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Rant & Reactions - Weekly Political Update 10/17/17

By Carter Hanson in Opinion & Politics - featured

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After a news filled week (most of it bad to less than satisfactory) I would like to draw your attention to an issue that is vital to the future of this country. An issue that, except for sometimes under special circumstances, is forgotten by everyone or shunned by the few who remember. I am of course talking about the very serious problem of election reform.

I am, contrary to many of my fellow left-leaning colleagues, not calling for the abolition of the electoral college (although that would be a step in the right direction). However, this may sound absurd but hear me out. I am picketing for the complete restructuring of the executive and legislative branches under a new Americanized parliamentary system.

This is, I admit, a far-fetched proposition but I do believe that this is the most efficient form of government and the USA would benefit in inumerous ways switching the system. This, I believe is a goal to work towards: making America a better place for everyone by creating a system of government that is more representational, equal, and a truer representation of the ideas of the American people.

To be specific, the branch of parliamentary democracy that I am here to advocate is something called “Mixed Member Proportional,” or MMP. This system of governance is present in New Zealand and Germany and has done nothing but good for their respective governments. MMP has cut down on misrepresentation in the nation’s legislative bodies and helped the people be heard.

MMP is an election system which, to put in layman's terms, is a combination of having local representatives and being proportional to the national results for each party during a congressional/parliamentary election. In this system people vote twice: once for a local representative to go to parliament, and the second for a party of their choice. When the national votes are tallied, representatives are added according to the party vote, to be closest to the national percentage of people who vote for each respective party.

Misrepresentation is a serious problem in America today. This was spelled out in the 2016 presidential election, the fifth time in American history where a candidate who got the most votes lost the election. However, this is not only a problem in presidential elections, but also in congressional elections where gerrymandering has reduced most votes to be utterly (unfortunately) worthless.

The establishment of a two party system in the USA doesn’t recognize the political positions of a majority of citizens, furthering the reason to replace our current establishment with something new and more proportional.

 

Parliamentary republicanism with MMP is the best way to fight two party systems, disproportional representation, and gerrymandering. I encourage my fellow Americans to push our nation’s government toward this system and away from the established system that is not representational and detrimental to the advancement and development of our nation.

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