Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Absurdity of Our Winner-Take-All System

Our current political system and electoral process is an absurdity of epic proportions. Our Constitution directs the Feds to ensure a "Republican Form of Government" for We The People. I think it's more important to focus on how this concept isn't reflected in our political process.

For starters, we have a Winner Take All voting system. Representation of the individual is impossible in this type of environment, as it allows the majority to trump the minority. When someone wins an election, they tend to clean house and surround themselves with like-minded people. This is natural, of course, but it fosters divisions within society because the majority (popular) ideology is represented while the minority (individual) ideology is ignored, shunned, sometimes oppressed.

True representation is only achievable in a proportional-type electoral system, one in which the results of a popular platform vote are used to directly determine the makeup of the government body being formed. As an example, take the simplified table below:

Republican 30%
Democrat 30%
Socialist 10%
Libertarian 10%
Green 10%
Religious Party 10%

The table is fiction, used for example, and it's results determine how much representation each political faction would have in government. After the platform vote, each faction would vote in their own elections (this could be done simultaneously), voting for who they want to represent them, not who they think will win. Using the House of Representatives as an example, Republicans would get 435*30% = 130 representatives (rounding would have to be dealt with, but this is not important for the illustration). Democrats would get 130 seats and the other 10 percent'ers would get 43ish each.

Of course, the results would be much different in actuality, and there would probably be more platforms represented, for which the more the better. The more representation the People have, the more each faction must compromise, and that creates a better chance that any new legislation will be geared towards the benefit of the People, rather than geared towards the interests of the money'd elite, as it is in our current winner take all system of representation.

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