ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Letter: Do we really deserve more than the lesser of the two evils?

Brown writes, "If the people are serious about having more choices, then the first step is to review these ballot access rules in order to ensure that they are not making things unnecessarily complicated and expensive for a citizen to run for elected office outside of the two traditional political parties."

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.
We are part of The Trust Project.

Do we really deserve better than the lesser of the two evils? Yes, if, and this is a big “if,” we are ready to do the election law reform work that is required in order to have more meaningful choices for voters. How many candidate choices exist is largely the product of specific campaign laws, which we, the people, are free to change.

Ballot access rules are those rules that govern how an Independent or a third-political party candidate gets listed on a secret ballot. Some level of regulation is required in order to avoid chaos and to produce a user-friendly ballot.

If the people are serious about having more choices, then the first step is to review these ballot access rules in order to ensure that they are not making things unnecessarily complicated and expensive for a citizen to run for elected office outside of the two traditional political parties.

Once Independent and third-political party candidates have reasonable access to the ballot, the next major campaign law reform issue is determining what sort of voting method the people want to adopt for their elections.

If we want to maintain a system where two, big parties win most, but not all, legislative elections then we probably should consider adopting Ranked Choice Voting. It would ensure that the winner is the preferred choice of a majority of voters and would avoid the “spoiler” problem that can arise with non-major party candidates.

ADVERTISEMENT

If we want the legislature to be represented by more than two parties, we should probably consider adopting some form of proportional representation. This could be set up so that some smaller parties win legislative seats, without leading to the situation in say, Italy where there very well might be more parties than Italian voters.

So, these are the campaign law reform issues that we – the people – need to have a serious conversation about, if, again, big “if,” we want meaningful choices outside of the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Campaign law reform is not particularly sexy and, to be successful, it does require dedicated people, from across the partisan spectrum, to build a movement that incumbent legislators, no matter their party, cannot ignore.

Lest we forget, that the Founding Fathers did not have secret ballots, primary elections, near-universal adult suffrage, and direct election of United States senators. Each of these reforms came about because men and women believed that a more perfect union requires competitive, free and fair elections.

Edward TJ Brown lives in Parkers Prairie, Minn.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

What To Read Next
Susan Brenan writes, "Other National Parks - Assateague Island in Maryland and Shackleford Banks in North Carolina - maintain healthy wild horse herds."
Rev. Gretchen Graf writes, "Caring people and churches are already stepping up to pay school lunch debt for their neighborhood children, but it would be much simpler to make this a state-wide solution so no child misses out."
Barry Borg recounts Focus on the Family's James Dobson's interview with Ted Bundy on the eve of his execution.
The research areas and projects that the geoscience department are currently working on are important for our societal needs ...