Mandatory voting

voting day in a small town

voting day in a small town (Photo credit: Muffet)

I believe that voting should be required in all national elections and made uniformly easy. A small fine would be imposed on non-voters. Elections today are frequently decided by which side is better at getting out the vote for their side. If everyone must vote, the results will reflect the wishes of all the people. Then the candidates will be compelled to compete on convincing voters of the rightness of their policies, rather than getting out the vote.

Romney Lost

Romney Speaks in Detroit

Romney Speaks in Detroit (Photo credit: Austen Hufford)

Republicans are still discussing why Romney lost the recent election. He lost, not because he didn’t receive more votes from his base, he lost because he received fewer votes period. End of story. Republicans claim that Romney received the majority of the votes cast by real Americans. Perhaps he did if you define real Americans as those who voted for Romney. That’s a really circular argument if I have ever heard one. Rather than reforming the party, the GOP are currently trying to find ways of increasing the number of real Americans who vote and decreasing the number of votes by other Americans.

Trust in government

English: Enhanced version of existing file in ...

English: Enhanced version of existing file in Wikipedia Commons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd was bemoaning the fact that trust in government is being eroded by birtherism and trutherism over the BLS labor statistics. Well Chuck, it is the GOP and a plot on their part to discredit government so that American voters will accept the GOP agenda. The media have no one else to blame but themselves for giving the GOP air time on the tube to propound their wild theories. The media should be debunking what the GOP are trying to sell. And Chuck, don’t treat elections as horse races; elections are serious business and should be treated that way. The latest poll numbers showing one candidate up and another down are largely meaningless and a waste of time. The media should be explaining the issues. If you do not, elections are reduced to personally contests, beauty pageants with the prize being political power over our lives for the next two or four years.

 

For sale

English: for sale sign

Image via Wikipedia

According to a recent report, 94% of our elections are won by the candidate with the most dollars in campaign contributions. If that is the case, why bother to count the votes. Our elected officials are bought and sold to the highest bidders. Let us simplify the system. Start all campaigns on the same day and finish them 30, 60, or 90 days later. The candidate raising the most money is declared the winner.

Rather than devoting all the money raised to campaign ads or to further corruption, require that only 10% be devoted to raising additional campaign contributions. After the election is over, the remaining 90% must be donated and delivered to charity before the winning candidate is permitted to assume office. At least all that money would be doing some good  rather than subjecting TV audiences to all those negative commercials. On the other hand, I favor getting the money out of political campaigns. We should select our leaders based on their positions, rather than the size of their campaign coffers.

Please see Washington Post article | Vast wasteland