Fix the System

The poltical system of the USA is facing major issues of which the average citizen is unaware. The power to fix these issues lies solely in the hands of the public.

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Location: Peabody, Massachusetts, United States

Friday, September 01, 2006

Radical Moderate Political Platform - Part 2

Ok, I admit it, the previous post was not particularly radical, in the sense that Liberals have been working for it for a long time. Let's see if I can't come up with something a little more Radical today.

Election Process Reforms - Two Changes

-- Get rid of the electoral college, elect by popular vote
-- Have all presidential primaries the same day

Now, I understand that the electoral college makes managing elections easier and even in some ways gives more power to an individual vote. However, I believe that it ultimately discurages voters from voting. Our voter turnout is extremely low, and I believe the low volume of issue-educated voters is one of the chief problems our democracy faces today.

Say you are a republican in New York. New York is Democratic. Why bother going to the polls at all, when your vote is totally overwhelmed by the democratic majority that will carry the state? However, if the popular vote mattered and your vote was added to the rest of the republicans in the country, surely that would be more motivating.

Additionally, using the popular vote would make it more difficult for election fraud to affect the outcome of elections. It would no longer be enough to buy enough votes to win a 'battleground state' like Florida or Ohio. It would have to affect a larger number of voters, and would (hopefully) be easier to identify and punish because of its scale.

By having the presidential primaries all on the same day, just like the final election day, you give more motivation to voters to go out and vote for their candidates. The primary reason for different dates for the primaries is to facilitate campaigning. While this would have been extremely important when we did not have the Mass Media, today the Media makes this obsolete. Besides, if it is important to have the final elections on the same date for each state, why would it be unimportant for primaries?

Unfortunately, because the Media would love to be able to tell you what is going to happen in the future, they are very eager to make predictions about anything. If they can look at past events and say that all candidates who have won in state A will win in state B, they will do that. Unfortunately, hearing this discourages voters from voting for an underdog in state B.

If a voter feels that there is no hope for their candidate to win, they will be much less likely to go to the polls. Media companies have a tremendous amount of influence over the public's minds. We need to minimize the influences that they exert that would keep voters away from polls. Specifically, their ability to make predictions about who will win before many people have a chance to cast their vote. We need the Media to tell us about the issues and the candidates, not about who is going to win.

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