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Old 08-03-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Our Government is Broken - How to Fix it

Here's an idea.

In America our elections are run by a system known as "single member district plurality." That basically means that each district get's one member, who can be elected by a plurality of the votes - in other words, more than anyone else. They don't need a majority to win (if you have three candidates an election can be won with less than 50% of the vote).

In most of Europe, they use a proportional representation system. The name says it all. Each party receives a certain number of seats based on the percentage of the vote they receive. This type of system does a number of things. First, it gives smaller parties and independent thinkers a better chance to be represented. Secondly, it allows the district to be better represented. Think about it - in our system, a Democrat can win in a district, but 49% of the people voted Republican. Therefore, only 51% of that district is truly represented in congress. With a proportional system, all members have a "dog in the fight."

This system also allows parties to have a more focused and clear vision. Look at the two major parties in America now. Each party represents a large number of special interests groups. Often times these groups are in conflict with each other, yet represented by the same party. A proportional representation system would allow these interest groups to form their own parties. They would be smaller for sure, but they would be representative of their true beliefs and avoid conflicts with other interest groups within the same parties.

Likewise, the major parties (republican/democrat) would be able to focus more on centrists and moderate policies. They wouldn't feel the pressure from the "fringe" groups because those interests would be represented by the smaller political parties. This would allow for the major parties to find more common ground, and avoid fighting over fringe issue to appease the "base."

And finally, a proportional representation system allows for more critical thinking and a great number of ideas to consider. With so many groups represented in government, each having the power of their own political party, you see a greater diversity of ideas and ultimately - a more open-minded government, a government that is less static, and better able to change.

Such a system creates a government where no single party is in control. Alliances must be formed, compromises become more common. All ideas are represented fairly and in accord with the public's interests. The result is a government that is more transparent, and a government that is full of diversity and open to new ideas.

(This is a link to a group in Washington that works to educate people on different election systems. Check it out

Do yourself a favor, become your own savior.

Think Fresh.
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