Change voting system so we can make better choices

Change voting system so we can make better choices
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Change voting system so we can make better choices

Americans need to give the system of national elections a serious reconsideration and come up with a new system that doesn’t give certain states all fit weight in the election cycle. Before even half the states complete their primaries, the candidates are already chosen

By Ray Hanania

We may not all agree on who should hold office, but I think most of us on all sides agree that the election system we rely on can be better.

This whole focus on the primary system in which 50 states hold elections separately is flawed. It’s designed more to give the news media something to write about than it is to pick the best people to run for office.

First of all, Democrats and Republicans should pick their own candidates themselves, as organizations, and decide on their own who should represent them, rather than presenting the two parties as the only options to voters.

Vote sticker from he 2020 election in Illinois

Vote sticker from he 2020 election in Illinois

Sure, I vote Democratic now but originally my dad and family were “Au H2O” Republicans back in the 1960s, supporting Barry Goldwater. Actually, we voted for JFK in 1960 and we didn’t like LBJ as his successor after he was assassinated in Dallas.

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The point being that we were really never card-carrying members of either political party organization and we always voted for who was “better.” Today, I’m a conservative Democrat, or a Reagan Democrat, someone who believes in some conservative family values and opposes government programs that selectively provide benefits based on race or income, while supporting liberal programs to help the poor and provide healthcare to all.

You can turn that into a partisan issue to suit your agenda if you want, but that’s the reality. But I support the Police, want tougher punishments for criminals – not like Kim Foxx who panders to her racial biases by refusing to prosecute theft crimes involving items valued under $1,000.

If someone uses a gun in a crime, or is a part of a crime involving a gun, he or she should be imprisoned for at least 30 years without exception. If you take someone’s life intentionally, your life should be taken, too. Yes, about 4 percent of prisoners on death row are unjustly convicted, but that shouldn’t stop the execution of individuals who are clearly guilty where the forensic evidence is overwhelming.

We also need to change our jail system and punish guards who provide leniency and support to prisoners. Street gang members especially should suffer harsher confinement without social interaction.

If we had tougher laws, we wouldn’t have as much crime.

I supported Barack Obama in November 2008, but didn’t necessarily like Joe Biden as his running mate. And I voted for Donald Trump after Hillary Clinton hijacked the Democratic National Committee to tank Bernie Sanders.

Politics is fluid, but our system of electing our officeholders is not. It should be. The problem is most of the issues we support don’t get implemented because the people we elect don’t implement them. Our election system is driven by the law of averages. The best and the worst get shoved together and we get someone who tries to make everyone happy, usually by saying stuff and then by doing nothing.

What we need is to have an election where everyone is allowed to run at one time, together, in one election, with the most popular running again, several times. The four top vote getters should be allowed to run again, and then the two top vote getter should run. It’s similar to an Open Primary system, but better.

This process of holding a series of decisive elections allows people to re-rally if their first choices are not popular. They get a second and third chance to re-select. In the existing system, we are forced to accept someone to represent the Democrats, the Republicans and sometimes a “Third” Party, and we end up voting against someone in the national elections rather than for someone.

It should be about issues not about party politics. And it should all be done at once. No more of this “Super Tuesday” stuff in which some states get to position their election results to define who stays and who exits the race before the rest of the country decides. We’re not even halfway through the state primaries and we pretty much know who is going to be the candidate.

Republicans and Democrats, and progressives, or whomever, can hold their own conventions to rally behind a candidate on their own without imposing their will on the rest of us.

I’m tired, and I am sure many others are too, of being forced to vote for who is the least offensive candidate in each election. In too many elections, the passion is to vote against someone allowing an idiot to slip in.

And that applies to elections we’ve seen not only national but in local elections from suburbs like Orland Park to Chicago.

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