How To Fix Democracy
We've seen what a good job we are doing at breaking democracy, can we fix it?
I suppose early voting helps, but why do we still hold elections on Tuesday? This isn't hard, just fix it already. Either make election day a national holiday, or move it to the weekend. "Doctor, it hurts when I do this!", well don't do that! Sheesh!
Now let's do the hard one: Get rid of primary elections! Without primaries, the "base" are no longer in control of who gets on the ballot (and as an added bonus, states other than New Hapmshire finally get a say in which candidates can be President).
But that's impractical you say? Not so. An "instant primary" could be held on the day of the general election. Voters would be given the ability to specify their ranking of the list of all the candidates, from their best candidate, to their worst candidate. When counting votes, the candidate that gets the fewest first place votes is removed from consideration, every voter who listed that candidate first is switched to now voting for the second candidate in their list of rankings. Repeat the process till there is only one candidate left.
Now, instead of your vote being utterly wasted if your one choice isn't elected, you might only feel that your vote was wasted when the candidate at the very bottom of your list winds up winning. A heck of a lot more people will find a candidate they thought was acceptable winning the election, even if it wasn't their first choice, they at least helped keep their last choice out of office.
States! Get your act together! Change your Presidential election process to choose electors based on the proportion of the popular vote, not winner take all. Make the Presidential candidates take the small states as seriously as the big states. (Better yet, change the constitution, but that is a lot more work).
The parties will no doubt fight tooth and nail to keep all the regulations in place making it difficult for independent or third party candidates to run, but at least with instant primaries, no one will ever be able to make the argument that a vote for the candidate you believe in is really a vote that will help put absolute evil in office. With the ability to rank the candidates, I can fearlessly put the candidate I believe in first, and still put absolute evil at the bottom of my list. Heck, this one effect of instant primaries might eventually change the definition of "viable" from "has lots of cash" to "has good ideas".
Congress! Get your act together! Pass some legislation eradicating the idea that corporations are people. This is even more obviously dumb than voting on Tuesday.
The whole negative campaigning thing only works well when there are only two "viable" candidates. Now that we have changed the definition of viable with instant primaries, if the two "major" candidates want to engage in mud wrestling, we can just tell them both to get lost and put someone with good ideas ahead of them in the list. Have a couple of "major" candidates pour most of their money down a sewer befouling each other only to both wind up losing, and the whole concept of negative campaigning might lose the appeal it has today.
Well? Was the 2016 election embarassing enough to get us to fix things so it won't happen again?