Can Polarized Politics be reduced through two simple words?
George Washington warned us about “the alternate domination of one faction over another” [polarized politics] in his Farewell address over 200 years ago. But couldn’t polarized politics be seriously mitigated simply 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.” Simply called “Approval Voting,” this means that:
- Similar candidates (and parties) for an office will no longer spoil each others’ chances by having their vote-totals split amongst them,
- Expensive primaries no longer needed to eliminate party spoilers,
- Same election procedure and ballots (no added costs)–simply count all the approval votes,
- More candidates will run and owe their allegiance directly to US!
And with all the extra competition, incumbents will just have to do a better job, big money will have less influence to buy politicians, gerrymandering will be ineffective, lobbyists would be less influential, pre-election polls will be less self fulfilling, elections will be less vitriolic, and more people will vote and have more faith in their elected officials.
And our elected officials would now be able to legislate faster and better using Approval Voting in their procedures to select 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.
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 finally understand that “We’re all in this together”!
So, what are the disadvantages for US VOTERS having more choices rather than just one?