Saturday, October 20, 2012

What's Wrong with Our Demcracy

Electoral Map... just one of many

Just the fact that we have a term for the "battle ground" states says something is broken.  When 20% of the electorate can decide the Presidency it becomes clear that we need to fix some things about how we vote.

The large money that comes into the political arena is phenomenal today thanks to the Citizens United case.  If you live in a battle ground state you are bombarded with the advertisements.  If you own a TV or radio station in a battle ground state you can look forward to an income increase (pot of gold) during the ever longer election season.  The strategy of running more and more primary debates and more and more election debates with larger viewer-ships means more possibilities for income and influence by the donors to that system.

Explaining What's Wrong.

At the moment it appears that President Obama has a slight lead in the Electoral College but of course this could be gamed by more money pouring into the conduits for Governor Romney.  The winner take all rules of most states make the game even more difficult in non-battle-ground states.  Once a candidate has 51% (or anything over 50%) he/she gets all the marbles.  Fully representative voting would be more modern and more easily done in this techno age.  A law similar to Australia's that penalizes those who do not vote would be helpful (Australia has a near 98% participation level).  A set of laws making it a felony to mess with the system as the Republican operatives have been doing would help.  Making voter suppression laws illegal with severe penalties would help.  Public financing of the elections and a shorter season would help.  Just a few things to tweak the system and we could be on the way to a recovered democracy.

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