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Universal Voting Dissolves the Obstacles Facing Voters


#1

Universal Voting Dissolves the Obstacles Facing Voters

Ralph Nader

When will the authoritarians and their political henchmen stop harassing American voters and let all citizens vote? No other Western country comes close to imposing so many obstructions for certain categories of people to keep them from the voting booth. In Canada, England, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, it is very easy to vote.

Voter suppression is real and getting worse.


#2

As long as the Kabuki Kongress and K-K-Kourts allow the states and Duopoly parties to administer the human and civil right to vote, universal voting is nothing more than another wonderful Nader-presented idea.

It will take massive organizing among the sleeping U.S. populace to build power to force necessary changes.

Until then, thanks to Nader for his work and wisdom on behalf of trying to bring some semblance of democracy to USA Inc.


#3

Give up calling We the People “consumers”, Mr. Nader, and I’ll love ya even more! You are correct, sir! Voting made a holiday, same day registration, automatic registration at 18 and paper balloting that is hand-counted! Ralph Nader ROCKS! Stop calling us that corporate weasel and Senator Warren, you too, might do the same if you really want to be president in 2020.


#4

“When will the authoritarians and their political henchmen stop harassing American voters and let all citizens vote?”
Now that the SC is about captured, not for a couple of generations. I expect with this court, only rich white men will be allowed to vote in the near future.
Are we ready for a revolution yet?


#5

universal voting plus vote of more than one preference where someone like ralph running against evil and lesser evil candidate would receive the most votes in count such as bush vs gore vs nader


#6

Funny how most of those countries he cites (France, UK, Germany, Canada…) require some sort of ID to be presented to vote…


#7

Cellphone Blockchain Voting is the answer. Conservatives are putting up obstacles to this most secure voting technology, knowing they will lose the next election if its implemented.


#8

The two-party system is an important factor in letting voter suppression work. When there are but two parties that have any chance of winning an election, politician thinking turns to suppressing the voters apt to vote for the other candidate. If there were seven viable candidates instead of just two then it would be much harder to manipulate the voter rolls or to predict who voters will cast their votes for.

And it is pretty clear that the main reason we have a two-party system is our continued use of plurality voting. Someone who does vote using plurality voting really cannot express much with their vote. Theoretically that vote should be cast for the voters’ first choice but in fact with such little opportunity for expression, voters often turn to strategic voting, taking into account which candidates have a chance. Voters take into account how their vote will affect the outcome, and they don’t just blindly vote for their favorite.

Ranked voting systems have been proposed as a better way to vote and they generally are. But balanced voting systems are actually more likely to put an end to the two-party system. Whatever system is chosen it would be hard to do worse than by continuing to use plurality voting.


#9

So long as ID’s are easy for anyone to obtain at no cost there would be little opposition to requiring them - except for the widespread skepticism about big government intrusion into personal freedoms.

The trouble is that states that require ID’s tend to also make them difficult to obtain and/or expensive for some people to get. This clearly is intentional - for the purpose of keeping “the wrong people” from voting.


#10

As an Australian and in favour of universal voting, it has been proven the only logical and realistic way to assess the views of the electorate. Despite the relatively small opposition to the imposition of having to vote, and the corresponding small amount of informal votes cast, the system does reflect the views of the people. How informed those views might be is a quationable issue. However, with multiple candidates standing in most electorates, most of the State and Federal elections allow optional preferential voting. By counting the 2nd and 3rd preferences it becomes possible for one candidate to achieve 50% plus one of the votes cast. Compusory preferential voting is usually rejected as it forces each voter to allocate a vote to some camdidates whom they may strongly oppose.
Even if compulsory voting were applied together with a first past the post system, where more than two candidates are on offer, it is very likely no one candidate can achieve 50% of the vote. In that case it means that more people are agaInst the “winner” than in favour.
First past the post coupled to non-compulsory voting is the absolutely worst possible electoral system that can be devised, even though it is apparently used in the UK and other countries.


#11

Since we have social security cards for everyone why not make them with photo IDs and have them renewed in a similar way as driver’s licenses?


#12

Do you think it could be the same ID as their medical for all card??
I’ll bet in this great-again country, we could have that.


#13

I feel inclined to go negative here. In the present political reality voting hasn’t changed anything of substance favorable to the majority of citizens casting votes. A fraud is what I call voting, your I voted sticker is the approval of what amounts to no real choice from two of the same posing as opponents.Voting has been rendered meaningless. Mandated voting would be more of the same. There is no one worth voting for when there is no real difference between those being voted for as planned. This will not change going forward.


#14

The two party system was created precisely to prevent “outsiders” from getting elected. Corporate America doesn’t care who you vote for… as long as it is a Democrat or Republican. While each Party has differences in the way they’re co-opted by special interests, neither Party succumbs to the wishes of the public. It is a clever way to undermine the public interest while giving the illusion that the U.S. is a functioning democracy.


#15

Keep in mind that Jill Stein was a candidate in the last federal election. Only slightly more than half of the eligible voters casted a ballot presumably because they didn’t care for either candidate. But if everyone was required to vote and those who found the two Party favourites unappealing, then the Third Party candidate would have found themselves swept into power by default. As the U.S. becomes more and more diversified, the greater the likelihood of a third party candidate rising in popularity if we have universal voting. It is democracy on steroids and a definite monkey wrench thrown into the gears of corporate mischief.


#16

I’m not really inclined to think the two-party system was a result of nefarious intent by the founders, but it is pretty hard to get into their heads, particularly at this late date. The Constitution, as originally written, does not even mention voting, though they probably had in mind that citizens would vote in local and state elections. George Washington is said to have warned against the formation of political parties - calling them “factions” that were a danger to democracy.

But parties did evolve pretty quickly and the two-party system has been with us ever since. The fact is that with plurality voting, winning means garnering the largest number of supporters and that simply leaves minor parties out of the picture, at least for winning top leadership positions. That is particularly the case in the U.S. where we elect the chief executive. In a parliamentary system where it is elected members who choose the top position, a bit more room is left for minor parties. It is true, however, that politicians have adapted the polarized two-party system that we know and they understand that it works for them; they will resist change.

With a balanced voting system, a negative vote cancels a positive one and this means that a politician is not able to win election by garnering a plurality of support by alienating nearly as many voters. To win, politicians must walk a more careful path that will, on balance, appeal to a very large swath of voters.


#17

Low voter turnout has a lot of causes, not just dissatisfaction with the candidates. Voter suppression efforts and voter intimidation efforts are a couple other reasons and there often are intentional efforts to confuse voters about when, where and how to vote. And of course there are efforts to convince voters that their vote doesn’t matter - so why bother.

But also, with plurality voting, a voter does not really have much opportunity for expression, say of dislike of a candidate, or anything at all other than to specify a first choice. Voting for a minor party candidate seems (quite sensibly) to most voters as simply a throw-away vote or a scream of protest - not apt to do much good so far as selecting a winner. Sure, if everyone suddenly rejected this idea (and they all really preferred some particular third-party candidate) then that candidate could win. But if we all had wings we could fly. Those are seriously unlikely conditions.

Rather than placing hopes in such an unlikely scenario, I think we should look toward structural changes to our electoral system to undermine the two-party duopoly. Balanced voting could do that.


#18

One problem with this idea is that it would require legislation that the current legislators will not legislate.

What we should be concentrating on is what we can do now.

Many of us can cast a write in vote with our own name to register a none-of-the-above option.

We can also use that write in vote in 2018 to register a vote against the Big Money candidates offered by the two party duopoly and to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidate in 2020.

20-30% of citizens that vote in presidential elections do not vote in off year elections. Just one third to one half of those citizens casting a write in vote for this purpose (if there are no small contribution candidates on their ballot) could total 10-20% of the total vote in 2018.

These citizens can make it clear why they are casting this write in vote by registering at www.onedemand.org now that they want small contribution candidates in 2020. This will let other citizens know before the election what they intend to do which could encourage more citizens to participate because they will see they are not acting alone.

This 10-20% of the vote in 2018 creating and demonstrating demand for small contribution candidates in 2020 could inspire more of the 20-30% of off year non-voters to participate in demanding small contribution candidates in 2020. It could even inspire some of the 40% of eligible voters that don’t vote at all to participate in 2020.

People participate when they believe they can make a difference or send a message.

Citizens can do both by participating in One Demand in 2018.

And this could inspire many more candidates to run as small contribution candidates in 2020.

Even citizens that want to support third parties can participate in 2018. There is nothing stopping any third party candidate from making the commitment to run a small contribution campaign from this point forward in 2018.

And in many instances citizens will not have a third party candidate or the the third party they want to support on their ballot in 2018 so their only option may be a write in vote.

At the very least this opportunity should also be part of the national debate in this election cycle. Get Ralph Nader to take a stand on this opportunity by contacting him through the Ralph Nader Radio Hour and by signing and sharing this petition:


#19

Hi Paul…

I agree with your analysis and while it is true that there are a lot of reasons that people don’t turn out to vote, at least we can agree that neither candidate were capable of inspiring almost half of the electorate to go out and vote.

I am also aware that most Americans don’t even know that third party candidates even exist, much less understand their political platforms. Educating the electorate has proven to be more and more difficult as a handful of corporations have cornered the mainstream media market. A politically ignorant electorate combined with an absence of unbiased information, much less a vigorous debate about key issues, discourages me from believing that any significant structural changes to the existing system will materialize in the near future.

Now that our public school system is even being undermined from powerful corporate lobbyists (charter schools, religious gains and standardized testing), the likelihood of an increase of a politically informed public, seem more remote than ever. Therefore I feel that our best hope is to highjack an existing party with a powerful reformist agenda (like universal healthcare, downsizing the military, raising corporate taxes, free college tuition and just a better social safety net in general) and seize power within the current dysfunctional system even in spite of the predictable obstacles that the corporate media will throw at any sensible movement aimed at improving the lot of the 99%.

The Otter Guy Inc.

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