Is not voting a valid, worthwhile option? What reforms could be made to improve the system?
I've not used Branch before but it seems a somewhat better medium for a chat like this...feel free to invite anyone else
I the current system I think that voting a clearly spoiled paper is giving a definite opinion whereas simply not turning up will always be ignored and counted as apathy by politicians.
Better would be to have the Brewsters Millions 'None of the above!' Option on all ballot papers...however that needs to be combined with other changes to not allow anyone to be elected unless they have a certain percentage of the total vote meaning None of the above could win and force a re-election
I think, if you care enough about the process of democracy or the outputs of the democratic or government processes to turn up and stylishly spoil your ballot paper enough that it gets a wry chuckle from the assistant returning officer them you probably care enough to try and change the electoral system so it actually works.
Yes I think you should vote, because if you don't vote it looks like you don't matter. And it is really hard to keep saying your unhappy about something when people can say that you voted and thus can't be unhappy.
Furthermore I'm really sure if the US Presidential election is democratic enough. Because of two reasons:
1. In fact you vote for members of the Electoral College and give them a recommendation on how to vote. Even though it's illegal in some states, they can vote different than the recommendation, this of course isn't really democratic.
2. The most states (one not I heard?) have a winner-takes-all system. The result of this is the possibility that although the majority of the people voted for person A, person B (1)
I've been discussing the idea of not voting all weekend. I posted an article on Medium about it. Everyone says we need to exercise our right/privilege to vote. But to me, who we're putting our name behind is more important than exercising the mechanism we use to put our name behind that person. I just can't put my name behind anyone on the ballot and in the state I live in, we aren't allowed to write in anyone. So what choice does that give me?
That is definitely a problem, I think that with the small amount of options in the US you absolutely should have the possibility to write in.
In my country -the Netherlands- we only vote for the House of Representatives, and we have hundreds of candidates and the last time we had 21 parties. So our voting system could be a solution too (less likely).
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch