The Daily Rundown
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Washington, DC 20016
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
As Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News and host of The Daily Rundown, how would you like to have the greatest impact on American history in your lifetime? Your NBC/Esquire polls have recently shown that our largest political group is the moderate political center. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you well know, our single-choice voting method forces politics into a two-party system (Duverger’s Law) — each party trying to undermine the other. Ergo, for the case of our polarized politics, single-choice voting is the singular cause! [no pun intended]
Chuck, on your show today, you made an astute observation at the end of your segment with Reid Wilson: You essentially stated that some states are trying to reduce partisanship by changing closed primaries into top-two open primaries—thereby promoting the top two candidates to the general election who have the greatest appeal to the broadest aspects of the entire electorate (especially in the political center, which has no strong political ties to any specific party), and that this is “the most important thing to watch in the next ten years.”
But if top-two primaries still utilize single-choice voting, then similar candidates will still be spoiling each others’ chances by having to share their vote totals—perhaps allowing less-popular candidates to win—as happened in Egypt’s disastrous first election! This is why Mark Frohnmayer’s ballot initiative in Oregon to change its primary system into a top-two Approval Voting primary is of the utmost importance—insofar as Approval Voting, in itself, provides a level playing field where:
- Voters may select as many choices as they like—no more spoilers!
- Without spoilers, party primaries are no longer necessary,
- Many more qualified candidates will now run on their own platforms, and they’ll owe their allegiance directly to US!
- Greater political competition means that:
- incumbents will have to do a better job,
- big money will have less influence,
- gerrymandering will be ineffective,
- lobbyists less influential,
- pre-election polls less self fulfilling,
- elections less vitriolic,
- and more people will vote and have more faith in their elected officials.
Approval Voting can be quickly initiated state by state by officially adding just two more words to our ballot instructions. Instead of “Vote for one,” our ballot instructions can read, “Vote for one or more.” Same election machinery, procedures, and ballots; simply count all the votes.
Additional Overall Benefits:
Elected officials can now use Approval Voting in all their legislative procedures to quickly find the most-approved parts of lots of bills on the same subject, quickly putting forth legislation that will already be the most pre-approved and without any wasteful pork-barrel projects.
And best of all, the winning candidate will have the broadest overall support of the electorate—instead of sometimes being just some polarizing, bare-majority winner—and We, the People, will come to look at politics as being a cooperative venture wherein We’re all in this together!
So, here is where you, Chuck Todd, now have the opportunity of a lifetime to be the first major media pundit to start the conversation on the merits of this simple, common-sense, no-cost change to our voting process that will ameliorate the polarized politics that George Washington warned us about over 200 years ago when he wrote in his Farewell Address that “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge…is itself a frightful despotism.”
And when you really come to think about it, could there be any disadvantage for US VOTERS to have more choices rather than just one? Chuck, would you please let me know if we can count on you to discuss on your show this simple upgrade to our election procedures? We the People are most eagerly looking forward to it!
Thanks for getting back to me. And keep up the great work!
Most sincerely yours,
Contributor to The Center for Election Science and writer for Democracy Chronicles
– Reid Wilson, The Washington Post
– Jason Jones [as holographic George Washington, “Election Night Coverage 2012”], and Jon Stewart — The Daily Show
End of letter to Chuck Todd