With Presidential elections coming up in the next few weeks, let’s talk about our two-party political system, how it seems to have broken our government’s ability to govern and how it’s left people feeling so disappointed with politics that the majority of American’s don’t even bother to vote anymore because they feel that they have no real choices.
Things have gotten so bad that our government is not able to effectively govern any more. The losing party blocks everything the party in power tries to implement because they actually WANT the current administration to FAIL so that they get voted back into power.
So now we have half our government trying to make the country fail, which is not a good thing, right? And it only repeats itself with each new administration.
Well.. How about if I told you that the first President of the United States actually warned us about such a scenario happening?
Also.. How about if I tell you that there is actually a simple way to not only fix this problem, but also get people excited about politics again and get everyone trying to make things GOOD in our country again?
Well, during George Washington’s farewell speech he warned that the formation of Political Parties may result in frightful power grabs and revenge by one party against another. Which is exactly what we see happening today.
So, how do we get ourselves out of this mess?
By changing the way we vote. Currently we use the “First Past The Post” voting system – a “winner takes all” process where you ONLY pick one person to win.
The problem with this is that even though you may start with many different parties, over time you eventually only end up with 2 parties with wildly opposing views as we have today, and no chance for a new party to be elected.
Why is this? Because people do not want to waste their one vote on a candidate that has no chance of winning, as it ends up wasting their vote and putting the person into power they least like.
This is why people like Ralph Nader or Ross Perot, or even Ron Paul, who may have appealed to people on both sides, can never get elected into office.
The way around this problem is to have people vote by RANKING their favorite candidates in order of preference – called Alternative Voting.
Be sure to subscribe to C.G.P. Grey’s Channel on YouTube he is awesome!
This way you are able to pick your favorite candidate then your second favorite and so on without fear of wasting your vote or putting your least favorite choice into office.
The two extreme candidates cancel each other out and you end up with someone who actually appeals to the majority of voters.
People will again feel that they have a say in their government and we will end up with candidates that the MAJORITY of the people will actually like having represent them in government. This would be a far-cry from what we have today.
Here is a great video explaining the shortcomings of First Past The Post Voting.
NOW DO WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
Some local elections use Alternative Voting in the United States… so it can start there and work it’s way up to National Elections.
It is used in some elections in Portland, Maine; San Francisco, California; Oakland, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Saint Paul, Minnesota.
As people become more aware of the process and more upset with governmental gridlock, change can ultimately be voted in.
If enough of the community becomes aware of this solution we can start letting our politicians know that we want this system implemented then we can start electing people who support it.