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If This is a Democracy, Why Don't We Vote for the Vice President Too?

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The parties usurped the voters' role in the choosing of the vice president in 1832.

We're a weird country. Few electoral democracies elect a president the way we do and even fewer deal with succession the same way. Most nations replace their departed presidents with a temporary fix, typically an acting president who is a parliamentary official analogous to the Speaker of the House pending a special presidential election, or a quickie election to find a replacement. We're pretty much on our own when it comes to figuring out a better construction.

What's clear is that nothing would be lost and much would be gained by requiring presidential candidates to declare their running mates, and their cabinets, up front.

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Ted Rall, a political cartoonist, is the author of "The Anti-American Manifesto." He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1963, raised in Kettering, Ohio and graduated from Fairmont West High School in 1981. His first cartoons were published (more...)
 

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