In Brief—The Two-Party system, Democrat versus Republican, is destroying democracy. It is anti-competitive, anti-freedom and anti-democratic. Ranked Choice Voting or Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) will restore the incentive to vote and will help restore a measure of democracy. Only you have the power to change the stifling system in operation today.
Republicans and Democrats are Killing Democracy—
You go into the grocery store and find only two brands of bread for sale, no gluten-free despite your allergy. You want to buy a new car but there are only two makes even though other countries offer at least six makes. Where’s the competition? Where’s the freedom? Where’s the democracy?
This is the situation with just the two parties from which to choose the candidate that will lead the country for the next four or eight years. You can choose one of three options: 1) you can vote for Candidate A in the Democratic Party or Candidate B in the Republican Party; 2) you can “throw away your vote” by voting for Candidate C in a Third Party; 3) you can simply not vote because you believe that Candidates A and B are both bad choices and Candidate C doesn’t have a chance of being elected.
Third Party Candidates Are Arrested—
Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for president and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, were arrested in 2012 for peacefully attempting to take part in the presidential debate of the Democratic and Republican nominees. The major parties arranged for her to be arrested thereby denying voters a chance to hear what a valid candidate would have to say on important issues affecting the country and the world.
Such exclusion is standard operating procedure for the two major parties and excludes not just the Green Party but the Libertarian Part and other qualifying Third Parties as well. It’s called a monopoly and what’s even more revealing, is that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney detailed that the questions asked would adhere to a narrow range of issues that were acceptable thus guaranteeing that many important issues would never be discussed.
United States’ Deplorable Record on Voting—
According to the International Institute for Democracy and Assistance in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2000 the United States ranked 139th out of 172 countries in voter turnout with an average of only 48.3 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot in general elections. In 2008, that percentage voting for president was higher at a bit over 57 percent due in large part to voter hope that Barack Obama would bring the change he promised. The factor most affecting voter turnout turns out to be the limited number of choices available to the voter. The choice between Democrat and Republican turns off roughly half the potential voters.
The Center for Public Justice puts it this way,”…when voters’ choices are more limited and their votes are regularly wasted because they have been cast for a losing candidate, the incentive to vote is weaker.”
Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff Voting)—
There is at least one way this undemocratic and anti-competitive Two-Party system can be overcome, Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) or Ranked Choice Voting. Here is how it works.
How It Works—
Imagine a ballot with the names and party affiliations of all the qualifying candidates next to empty boxes. The voter then places a number “1” in the box next to the candidate that is his/her first choice. S/he places a “2”in the box next to her/his second choice. If there are more than just two choices, s/he places consecutive numbers in the boxes next to the candidates’ names. One, two or more choices can be selected. The votes for each candidate are tallied. If the voter’s first choice fails to get the highest number of votes, the voter’s second choice kicks in and so on. The voter can have as many or as few choices as s/he cares to make. The voter then has an incentive to vote; the number of voters thereby increases.
If you want a graphic illustration of the ballot I have just described, Google “Instant Runoff Voting” and click on the Wikipedia article, then track down to the illustrated ballot.
The two major parties and their allies, the 1%, will do everything in their power to keep the present system from being replaced by a method that guarantees fairness in voting. They threw their weight against change in California and through lies and confusion convinced a majority of voters to vote against their own interests. They don’t want to diminish the perks they receive under the present system. They will oppose any effort to achieve fairness but the voters have the power to reject their siren song. It may be only a municipality at first but smart voters can overcome the status quo desired by the fat cats.
Start now applying pressure. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.