Liberal Democrat

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Brookings: EDU- William A. Galston & E.J. Dionne: 'The Case For Universal Voting'

Source:Brookings Institution- "The Case for Universal Voting: what's your opinion?"
Source:The New Democrat 

“William Galston and E.J. Dionne, Jr. make the case for universal voting – a new electoral system in which voting would be regarded as a required, civic duty. They argue that universal voting would enhance the legitimacy of our governing institutions, greatly increasing turnout and the diversity of the American voter base, and ease the intense partisan polarization that weakens our governing capacity.”

From Brookings

"The election over. Campaign memories already faded. Inauguration Day less than 3 weeks away.

But doubts rankle still about the way we vote. Could it be more efficient, more democratic? Could more of us participate? Could we ever get rid of the Electoral College ... and should we want to?

Should we be considering weekend voting, universal early voting, e-voting, even compulsory voting? (which they have in more than 30 countries, including Belgium, Brazil and Australia!)

Those questions and more on our Due Process post-election show, featuring Sandra King in conversation with Marc Holzer, Dean of The Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, and Thomas Gentile, a onetime campaign adviser to Rudy Giuliani and a spokesman for the Federalist Society. And if that's not enough to make you to tune in to Due Process, watch us for some biting election satire from the documentary "Electoral Dysfunction" and political humorist Mo Rocca."

From Due Process TV

Before doctors try to fix their patients and fix what is physically wrong with them they first look their patients over to figure out the problem. They talk to their patients to where they are hurting and give them a full-examination. Well, the lack of voting in America should be treated the same way. Instead of just saying out low voter turnout is a problem that must be fixed how about we first try to find out why people aren’t voting in the first place. Low voter participation in America is the perfect time for people especially politicians and partisan political activists to look in the mirror to see where they’re responsible here.

You want more voting in America then you need better politicians. And I’m not talking about people who get elected and reelected easier who’ll say they’ll do one thing during the campaign, but then govern a different way. But we need politicians that will simply go to Washington and do their jobs. Which is represent their districts and states. And instead of focusing most of their attention on the reelection or moving on to the Senate from the House, or looking at a presidential run they instead serve their people and establish a good record in Congress. And concentrate their reelection, or hopeful promotion based on their record in Congress. They do their jobs and reelection and promotion will take care of itself.

The only way you get better politicians is by having better voters. Which means the current people who vote every two years for Congress and four years for president need to do a better job of voting. Treat voting like a high school and college test and actually do your homework. Know who you’re voting for before you actually vote for that person. I know that sounds like commonsense, but a lot of American voters don’t bother to do that. And instead vote for people solely based on political commercials, soundbites and short campaign speeches. Without bothering to look to see if their current rhetoric matches up with their record in Congress, or before they ran for Congress.

As a proud Democrat it would be easy for me to be in favor of compulsory universal voting. With higher turnouts especially with young adults you would see more Democrats getting elected and reelected. Higher turnouts tend to favor Democrats, because there tends to be more registered Democrats than Republicans. One of the reasons why hyper-partisan Republicans support the so-called voter ID laws which are really Democratic voter prevention laws. Which at least one Federal judge saying that the proponents of these laws failed to show any real evidence of real voter fraud. Which is why the Pennsylvania voter id law was struck down.

But there are a couple problems with that argument. One of the practical and that is even if somehow you were to make voting mandatory in America, most non-voters or people who only vote during presidential years would still choose not to vote. And pay the twenty-dollar fine or whatever it would be. But then the other problem is why should Americans be punished for not voting for people they don’t believe in. A lot of Americans don’t vote because they don’t like the available choices. Which again goes to the need of needing better politicians and candidates. Which would drive up voting in America.



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