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Has anyone noticed that we only get to use half of our vote?

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I live in the reddest metropolitan area of the reddest state in the nation.  Deep Bush country.  A white Republican county district judge in my county recently said in a court proceeding, to a black attorney and his client, that this county is run by Republicans who all think like him, and he advised the attorney's client to settle rather than go to trial, because he didn't think the client should bet on black.

The judge is still on the bench because he was right that the county is run by his fellow Republicans who think like him and will always protect him.  In my state, 60% of senate and 73% of house candidates run unopposed.  It's about the same for the positions at the county level.  Nationwide, 35% of state legislative candidates run unopposed.  What this means is that when a real slime-ball like the one above runs unopposed and absolutely no one wants him elected, he's elected anyway, because there's no way to vote against him.

When there's a proposition on the ballot you get to use all of your voting power by voting for or against.  But, when you consider the candidates on the ballot, you can only vote for, not against.  You can only show approval of candidates, but not disapproval.  According to the definition of vote, you're only allowed to use half of your vote.

Definition of vote from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law: an indication of approval or disapproval of a proposal, motion, or candidate for office.  Note that a vote must include disapproval of a candidate, not just approval.  You're being deprived of the most important half of your vote.

We need a for and an against box by each candidate's name so that we can exercise our full right to vote by voting for the ones we like and against the ones we don't.  We need to be able to vote both for Elwood P. Dingleberry and against McCain or Clinton.  The current systen only allows us to vote for an unacceptable candidate rather than for a less acceptable candidate.  When both candidates are unacceptable, we can't vote against both of them.  We can't say, No, I don't want either one of these people representing me.  I'm voting against all of them.  You're going to have to try again with people I can vote for.

Majority rules, if there are more than half the votes for a candidate than there are against, then that candidate is elected.  If the parties can't pick candidates who can do that, they need to pick better candidates.  This would force the parties to run candidates that only the majority will vote for because they have to consider the total vote for and against and subtract the lesser, the same as is done in a vote for or against a bill, a motion or a proposition.  We need to be able to view candidates as the proposition they're presenting to us:  Should I be elected to this office?  We can then say yes or no for each candidate.

Someone pointed out that if we could vote against the candidates, no one would ever get elected.  Just so.  But with good candidates, they would.  With candidates the majority approves of, they'd be elected.  The current crop of candidates most surely wouldn't be elected.  As we now know, we'd be much better off if the 2006 election had resulted in no one being elected to congress.  They'd have to just shut the thing down until we could get a congress where the majority has voted for the members instead of one buffoon getting a few more votes than another buffoon.

Think of the benefits of Congress being shut down.  No one there to fund Bush using our troops as cannon fodder to fulfill his fantasy of becoming Emperor of the World.  We should tell Harry and Nancy to close up shop and go home until Bush's term runs out or he resigns because he can't do anything.  That'd bring this whole mess to a screeching halt.

 

Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)
 

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I have either considered this...or, more sadly, fe... by Rachel Gladstone-Gelman on Monday, Jun 4, 2007 at 12:04:30 PM
Thanks, Rachel!  I'm glad you liked my ar... by Ed Martin on Monday, Jun 4, 2007 at 1:23:14 PM
 Some years ago, I read somewhere that in the... by B York on Monday, Jun 4, 2007 at 3:12:39 PM
is the name we chose for a system where one could ... by Samuel Bryan on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 1:55:18 AM