Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Veto Vote

Continuing on the subject of voting, since it's election day: I know a lot of people, including me, feel kind of disillusioned with the whole process of democracy in America. I was thinking about this because, although I don't like the idea of voting for a main party candidate unless I'm really behind them, I did anyway because I didn't want the opponent to win. And then I had an idea: What if we could use our votes to veto? As in, for each position we have one vote, and we can either use it to vote for someone, or against someone. I would bet other people have thought of this before, and at first it seemed kind of negative to me, but then I thought about how it might actually change the democratic process:

  • People could directly lower the chances of a main candidate they didn't like without contributing to polarization.
  • People could vote without voting for someone whose values and policies they disagree with.
  • People could use voting as an avenue to express political negativity and dissatisfaction.
  • There wouldn't be as much of an incentive for smear campaigning. If a main party focuses on making the other party look bad, it might only cause people to vote against either party. To get positive votes, a party may have to advertise its own positive features.
  • The candidates who attract the least antagonization would have a better chance.

Obviously it wouldn't be a perfect system, and I don't really know how it would turn out, but to me it seems like an improvement. What do you think?

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