I’ve been thinking about elections a lot lately (even before that last post), and I’ve come up with five things that are simply broken about democracy. Call me a commie or a socialist or something if you must, but I challenge you to identify why these are not critical flaws with our system.
Number 1 - Money It’s long been known that it’s expensive to run for any political position, but how much does it really cost? Well, as of January 9, this article says that Hillary has raised about 24 million bucks. That’s pretty darned impressive, but let’s take a moment to think about that. Nobody gives money for nothing, so the way I like to think about it is to say that she is 24 million dollars in debt. If she wins, she’ll need to get that money back to those companies/people, and will probably do something to make that happen. Kind of like the current administration did for Halliburton, except more democratic. So we have a new president that has biases on their very first day. Great. My solution to this is a very simple concept: publicly funded elections. I know it sounds expensive, but it serves two purposes. The first is that it allows politicians that are running for office to focus on their current jobs, rather than focusing on raising money. The second is that it levels the playing field for third parties (see number 2 below) while creating elected officials without debts to companies. What a concept!
Number 2 - No Third Party This one is obvious. Does anybody vote green or independent (or other) outside of strongly democratic states? Is there a third party? No, not really, which means that it’s either democrat or republican, i.e. status quo.
Number 3 - Nobody Knows Their Candidate It’s a fact. There is so much hype around elections that pretty much everybody, including those who follow these things pretty closely don’t know what their candidate stands for. What it comes down to for the democratic primary is, “Black or woman?” In the case of the republican primary it’s “Military guy or mormon?” That is not how the fate of the world (voting for president) should be decided, but I bet it’s about what it’s coming down to. I recently was shown a site called glassbooth.com, which asks you some questions about your opinions on issues, and then tells you how to vote so you get a candidate that agrees with your opinions. Doesn’t that make more sense? Can’t we have that when we vote for president?
Number 4 - State Electorate System…Broken. Shall we face it yet that having our vote broken up by state electorate points doesn’t make much sense? Why should our votes be broken up by artificial lines in the sand? It doesn’t pass the logic test if you ask me. For example, there was a recent measure in California to redistrict the state, thus allowing a more accurate split of its points. That makes sense, but why not just do away with the whole outdated system altogether? It’s time, isn’t it?
Number 5 - Voter Ignorance/Impossibly Complicated Issues I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know what most of the candidates stand for on an issue by issue basis (see number three above). I think I have some idea, but that’s only after studying up, and I still feel kind of ignorant on much of it. Think about this squirrelly question: is a tax break good for the economy? How much of the population knows enough economics to understand this issue? Maybe one percent, and probably more like one percent of one percent. Yet, all of the population votes on the issue, and most of it votes depending on who has the greater advertising money, and thus the more convincing ads. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s not a winning concept, and it can be expanded to other issues, such as stem cells, wire tapping, money for schools, etc.
I love getting feedback and comments. Make my day by making a comment.