To the editor:
I’ve written letters over the last few months making the case that Democrats better represent Utahns: that they’re family-focused, fiscally responsible, more pro-life, fight for American workers, protect our rights and liberties, and have policies that provide better economic mobility and freedom for everyone – and that the Republican Party has sold out and only Democrats even represent us.
But what kind of choice is that? If there’s just one party representing us, it’s no choice at all. And since Democrats are one of only two viable parties in America, they’re prone to all the same shortcomings that have beset Republicans. Certainly, Democrats fare better at representing Middle America, but the cracks that have broken wide open for Republicans are there: Corruption, fractures and infighting, lack of bipartisanship.
What America needs more than Republicans or Democrats is choice. And right now we have none. This will continue to be the case if a few key pieces of our election process remain: first-past-the-post voting, the Electoral College, Citizens United, and gerrymandering. There are many problems with our election system, but these are the big four that, once removed, will make it easier to tackle others.
Switching from first-past-the-post voting to ranked choice voting would make voting for other parties viable – it would allow people to truly vote for their favorite candidate (whether Libertarian, Socialist, etc.) with the assurance that if that candidate didn’t win, their vote would go to another preferred candidate instead of being “wasted.” Getting rid of the Electoral College would make most every state purple and eliminate swing states – meaning that not only would every vote count the same but every state would actually matter. An end to gerrymandering means an end to allowing whichever party is in power to restructure voter blocks in their favor.
These all set the stage for a strong multi-party system – where it is more difficult for one party to have an outright majority. This means a return to bipartisanship, an end to the use of “nuclear” options that both parties have used to deteriorate our government’s checks and balances, and a bigger need for politicians to represent their constituents – with an end to Citizens United ensuring that everyday Americans do not have their voices drowned out by the rich. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s much better than what we have.
So regardless of whether you vote Republican, Democrat, or something else – please work toward this change. Talk to your representatives, vote for people who include these in their platforms, and be conscious of where your money goes as a consumer and who it supports.