If you are unaffiliated with any major party, guess what – about one-third of American registered voters are just like you! That tells me something! It tells me that a heck of a lot of voters are pretty disgusted with the top 2 parties and the limited options they represent. So hugely disgusted they are willing to voluntarily reduce their own voting power (since cannot vote in a party primary unless affiliated, in most states) to say so.
And there is good reason for that disgust. The two-party "duopoly" has reigned since 1824. And in that time, guess what happened? Almost complete lack of representation of minority views and ethnicities (or in the case of women, a majority is shut out), that is what.
|characteristic||% of US pop. who are||% of US presidents who have been||% of US senators who have been|
|Not Democ. or Repub.||33||0||0|
|Blood-relation of former US President||0||7||?|
If you are a woman, you get better parliamentary representation in Pakistan and Rwanda than the USA. (Don't some trends in this table more resemble what you would expect from a "monarchy" than a "democracy"?)
And suppose you happen to be against the Iraq war? (And according to the latest polls, as of 2005, a majority of Americans think that war was a "mistake.") Maybe you think spending $200 billion per year on an Iraq war based on a fantasy – including $28 billion just on the US embassy there (world's largest embassy) – was not incredibly wise when you consider that meanwhile, for 5 consecutive years, Bush and Congress by bipartisan budget vote turned down Louisiana's requests for mere tens of millions per year in more flood control money to protect the city of New Orleans. (Apparently, protecting New Orleans was worth about a thousand times less than that embassy.) And meanwhile over a third of the Louisiana National Guard (and even higher percentage of Mississippi's) were 7000 miles away in Iraq where they were unable to help with the Hurricane Katrina disaster. (That's an even bigger loss than the raw numbers suggest because many of these part-time soldiers had to leave their full-time police, fire department, and paramedic jobs behind.)
Or maybe you favor a balanced budget? Sorry – both the Democrats and Republicans voted for the war and for the tax cuts during that war and budget deficit period. What if you are against the "PATRIOT act"? Sorry – both the Democrats and Republicans voted for it. (In fact John Kerry, later to be the Democratic presidential candidate, cosponsored it.) Where is your choice? OK, what if you want to get rid of outrageous "pork" spending and government subsidies? Need I say more?
And suppose you are right-to-life (anti-abortion) but you are not in favor of eliminating the "estate tax" on inheritances in the 98th percentile and above in size so wealthy fat cats can leave huge inheritances tax-free while those of us who actually work for a living have to pay taxes? Sorry, you can get one of those views from the two major party platforms right now, but not the other view at the same time – pick your poison. Why can't you find a party that thinks your way on both issues? Wouldn't a real democracy offer you that kind of choice somewhere?
Right now you are suffering from a lack of acceptable choices. You can't go with the major parties because they are shutting your viewpoint out. You can't go with the minor parties because the system is rigged so they have no chance. The USA's "democracy" has left you out in the cold.
You want a system that will allow more than two parties to exist, (which no longer must only be fringe and fanatical), with more points of view, and without artificial forces that lead to permanent duopoly domination. You want to be able to express your point of view in your vote to try to get what you want, as opposed to being forced into one of two very-ill-fitting boxes, neither of which is what you want. And you want to express your view about all of those candidates so even if it does come down to two candidates you don't like terribly, you still have some say about them.
Seems to us, range voting is for you.
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