Clearly, our democracy is in deep trouble these days… in almost more ways than can be counted. Just to start, we have major issues with: the way constituencies are drawn (e.g., partisan gerrymandering gone mad, lack of multi-member constituencies; the amount of money (and where it comes from) in politics; the highly biased (toward rural/”red” states) of the US Senate; the way we elect our president (“first past the post”, where a candidate can win with a plurality not a majority; also the electoral college deeply flawed, etc.); how voters get their information (e.g., social media is horribly flawed, as is political media in this country, in a variety of ways, including being very conducive to “echo chambers” of one hand, “both side-ism”/false equivalence on the other); the percentage of people who don’t vote at all; the absence of some kind of “ranked voting” system; poor /fatally imperfect ( for example, at this point it is debatable whether it is even legitimate or not) Supreme Court; And much more.
So how do we deal with this situation? See below for an interesting thread on the subject, and feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section. The ideas I’ve listed are ones that particularly intrigue me… but certainly not exclusive (I’m sure there are many more!).
- “Ranked Choice or Jungle Primaries”
- “Register everyone to vote at birth, (no parties chosen, obviously can’t be done later) at the same time assigned SS#. ALSO, make obtaining acceptable photo IDs at polling places free and easy for all citizens. »
- “Restoration of Voting Rights Act”
- “I would like to see more rules added to who can be president. Right now if you are 35 and an IS citizen can you run? Must have a full background check, civics exam, education , relevant experience, etc. I never want to see someone unqualified lead our country again.
- “Rank[ed] vote of choice »
- “Independent [redistricting] committees »
- “Eliminating Citizens United”
- “Equity of Returns Doctrine”
- “The president is decided by popular vote only”
- “4-5 Multimember Congressional Districts”
- “1 to 2 years of compulsory public service at age 18”
- “Citizenship required in high schools”
- “Expansion [of] Ct supreme at 15 terms of 20 years »
- “SC judges should also be subject to a confirmation vote by the House”
- “Redefining the Supreme Court as an ever-changing panel of federal judges randomly selected from each circuit to hear each case.”
- “I really need a way to master the spread of misinformation – this part is the hardest for me”
- “I suggest moving to a parliamentary system with proportional representation if we keep the parties.”
- “Also federalize all elections for federal office. Normalize federal elections. We won’t even need polling stations. We can do all mail when voting, drop boxes at all federal buildings and post offices, electronic voting machines at all DMVs and post offices.
- “Eliminate black money. All political expenditures must be reported promptly from their source, i.e. no mixing of funds, no transfers from PAC to PAC, etc. All must be clearly indicated to which candidate or issue the expenses are intended for.
I would add that Congress needs to pass laws that seriously regulate social media companies – as well as propaganda networks posing as “news” – to curb the flow of dangerous misinformation, hold people accountable for spouting lies and threats, reduce monopolies market power, etc. Oh, and we need to drastically reduce income inequality, by having a very progressive tax code – including a significant wealth tax (50%? 60%? 70%? higher?) for anyone worth over 100 million dollars or whatever. Oh, and of course, ditch the nonsense “filibuster” in the US Senate.