Thursday, December 28, 2006

Forget about democracy right here first...?

With regard to my hatred for our current political system here in the U.S., the fact that it's held in a vice by two corporations (the Republican and Democratic parties) working in tandem to create a virtual monopoly, and that each corporation exists solely for the purpose of expanding and perpetuating its financial and procedural control which is blatantly evident by the fact that each party most vigorously supports the "most electable" candidates as opposed to the candidates who most sincerely promote the values of the parties in question...

I've said it before plenty of times to friends and family and I've said it online...If you're continually offered only the opportunity to choose between the lesser of two evils, you will eventually be left with, quite simply, evil. Lots of folks thought we'd arrived at that point during the Clinton years and heaven knows plenty of us think we're there now with the Bush II administration.

I had a few friends and politically-minded groups beg me just prior to our last governor's race here in Texas to please consider voting for Chris Bell (D) rather than Kinky Friedman (I). I had the same experiences the last two times I voted for Ralph Nader for president. My answer has been the same every time: no way in hell. We may have to elect Satan himself before people realize that we really don't have a true democracy here in the U.S., and that reforms must be made that will allow us to actually function as a democracy with any real integrity. And I'll be damned if I'm going to continue to perpetuate the cycle we're in, even if it's with my one measly little vote.

And it infuriates me to no end when someone tells me that, because I voted for Nader and Friedman, I in effect voted for Dubya and Rick Perry. No, I didn't. I voted for Nader and Friedman. The "spoiler effect" may be a current reality, but it shouldn't be. And there's an easy fix for this called "instant runoff voting." It's a reform that's working here and there in the U.S. now, though it hasn't made its way to state or federal levels. And it will be a bitch to install that particular reform - easy as it is - at those levels because both major parties will fight it tooth and nail. And since they - not us - have all the power over the electoral process, "instant runoff" will have to be forced onto them ordinary folks like you and me.

Here's a link that will explain instant runoff voting in more detail...

Instant Runoff Voting is Catching On

...but I'll quote from the article to give you a nutshell description of the process.

Instant runoff voting ensures that officeholders are elected with a majority of the vote in a single...election. No separate runoffs or primaries are necessary. Voters rank their candidates, and if their first choice can't win, their vote goes to their second-ranked candidate as their runoff choice. [And it can go farther down the list to third, fourth and fifth choices.] Voters are liberated to vote for the candidates they really like without worrying about "spoilers." You can rank your favorite candidate first, knowing if he or she can't win, you haven't wasted your vote because it will go to your second [or third, fourth, etc.] choice.

Simplicity is beautiful, yes? Choice is beautiful, yes? And freedom...well, that's supposed to be this country's hallmark.

So please tell me...anyone, whether you're conservative or liberal or somewhere in between...who among us who is not tangibly affiliated with either major party would oppose this idea? I'm guessing no one would because it makes so much sense. But, by all means, please tell me if you disagree. If you don't disagree, I strongly encourage you all to make your preferences known by seeking out and supporting groups who encourage instant runoff electoral options and other political reform.

And now I shall step back off the soapbox and go to work. Bleh. But thanks for reading this.



Blogger bill h said...

One more spot of agreement Danny! I voted for Nader twice and just voted for Kinky for that reason. I couldn't bring myself to vote for Nader last time, becuase I had lost some respect for him. I resonate to your reaction to all of the criticism of 'throwing away your vote', or in effect voting for the opposition. I no longer have much respect for the Democrats. A very wise political philosopher once opined: 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss...' but sadly they were wrong when they said, 'we won't be fooled again'...

i hope to see ya tonight for the Felons!

8:30 AM  
Anonymous wendy said...

I voted for the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate and the Independence Party candidate for governor (MN). Yes, we are the state that elected a former professional wrestler to the highest office in the state *hangs her head in shame* as an Independent candidate so I guess that shows the system isn't completely broken yet. Freakin close, though.

2:20 PM  

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