Each election cycle we are presented with the same dilemma; who should I vote for? We compare each candidates stance on issues with our own and we make the decision as to whether we will vote for candidate A or B.
But lets take a moment and examine this. We know that a politician can only be elected if they sway enough voters their way. I live in Maine. Maine has three political parties. Republicans, Democrats and Greens. None of these parties have a clear majority.
When running for office a politician’s first task is to secure his/her party base. Then he/she starts to concentrate on swing voters. Swing voters (independents) may or may not agree on all issues in regards to party stance. Therefor it is necessary for a politician to shift his/her principles enough to attract independents or voters from the opposite party. In a three-way race a politician needs 35 % or more of the vote. In a two-way race 51%. Republicans and Democrats in Maine each have roughly a 30% voter enrollment. Democrats have a slight advantage.
How About a Third Party?
If you are leaning towards starting a third-party, then good luck. First the two parties have the rules locked down to make it very difficult to start a third-party and then keep party status. Not to mention you are once again stuck in the same paradigm of trying to attract swing votes.
Stop Being Taken for Granted.
Lets simply eliminate the party system. Take away the party’s ability to control the agenda and the ballot, and you open the electorate to a host of new ideas, possibilities and choices. And guess what, because party enrollment is so small, it’s really not that hard to have either party lose its party status. Both sides are seeing a decline in enrollment.
Stop being taken for granted. Enroll as an independent, encourage our friends to drop out and force politicians to earn our vote. There is a reason why un-enrolled voters are called independents. Think about it.