Sago Boulevard

Monday, August 15, 2005

More Choices

Patrick Basham has a good article on the importance of competition in congressional elections. "Political competition," he argues, "heightens voter interest, stimulates the adoption of distinctive policies by candidates and parties, and produces higher voter turnout." So many polls suggest that Americans aren't crazy about either major candidate in elections. Last year, voting in my first presidential election, I seriously considered abstaining or writing myself in simply because couldn't decide which candidate I disliked less.

Current redistricting practices and gerrymandering really have to go. They have "evolved into an electoral instrument to protect and strengthen the incumbency advantage." Third parties have to be allowed in but it's only possible with some major institutional changes. Libertarian and Green parties nominating presidential candidates is a waste of good ideas. The problem is that they can't get into Congress and the only way to have some kind of voice is to try for the national scene.

I hate having to vote for the lesser of two evils; I want more choices. Sounds like an unreasonable request, doesn't it? That's the sad part.