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Jan-27-2012 19:57printcomments

We're Ready for Real Choice

With a broken government, perhaps it is time to consider a minor, yet significant, change to the voting process.

Ron Paul
Ron Paul

(SALEM) - Ron Paul finished second in the New Hampshire primary. To be more precise, he finished second in both of that state’s primaries – Republican and Democrat, the latter as a write-in vote. Though President Obama is running virtually unopposed in the primaries, 2,289 New Hampshire voters felt that Ron Paul would be a more suitable standard-bearer for the Democrat party than the sitting president.

Of course, Paul has no chance of winning the nomination of either party, but in a three-way race between Ron Paul, Barack Obama and the eventual Republican nominee, how many Republicans, Democrats and independents would vote for Paul if they weren’t afraid that their vote would help their vision of the worst case scenario win? How many would vote for him if they honestly believed he could win?

Instead, many Republicans who would otherwise vote for him won’t for fear that a vote for Paul is a vote for Obama. For some Democrats, the same is true. “I’d vote for Ron Paul except that I’m afraid that Newt Gingrich would win.” Or Mitt Romney or fill in the blank.

Instead, we have a system where a significant percentage of the population, almost certainly more than half, is guaranteed to be disappointed with the results of the 2012 election no matter how it turns out. With a ballot system not significantly changed since the founding of our nation, we have virtually no choice beyond the single Democrat and single Republican that each party presents to us.

With a broken government, perhaps it is time to consider a minor, yet significant, change to the voting process. Rather than a straight vote awarding the office to whoever gets the most votes (through the Electoral College system), what if we allowed voters to rank the candidates in order of preference?

If a single candidate wins more than fifty percent of the first choice votes, he wins that state’s Electoral College votes. In a two-way race, clearly, one will have more than fifty percent and one won’t. But in a three way race, such as in 1992 when George H.W. Bush ran against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, how many people might vote for a third party or independent candidate if they felt that they really had a chance?

If no single candidate can gather fifty percent of the first choice votes, then the second choice votes kick in. The second choice of the voters for the candidate who received the fewest votes would be applied to the top candidates. For instance, in 1992, Clinton received 43.0% of the popular votes, Bush, 37.5% and Perot, 18.9%. There is no way to know, but what if most of Perot’s supporters would have preferred Bush to Clinton? What if 13 of the 18.9% would have noted Bush as their second choice? He would have won reelection.

But what if people who really despised Bush or Clinton were able to vote for Perot as their first choice and Clinton or Bush as their second choice knowing that they wouldn’t be wasting a vote? Perot may have been able to win that election and how different would the world be today if that had happened?

Naturally, this will have to be implemented on a state-by-state basis unless we amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. But in the upcoming election, a Ron Paul win over a traditional party loyalist would send a message from the American people to those in Washington and that message is that we are ready for real change.

John Randall can be contacted at johnrandall@ironpurpose.com.

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stephen January 29, 2012 7:51 am (Pacific time)

I have not addressed the voting aspect. Yes, the electoral college should go away for sure. Each state should handle their own votes maybe. I dont know but how about this. I dont know about you, but for 30 years, I dont remember my banking ever missing a penny. Why is it the banks can document millions of transactions a day, almost flawlessly, but we cant have an honest vote? Think about it.

Anonymous January 29, 2012 7:44 am (Pacific time)

Amanda, we have a third party candidate...Ron Paul. He runs under the "so called" republican party because of two reasons. 1. Over the years the democrats and republicans made legislation that makes it impossible to run third party unless you are a billionaire. 2. Republican USE to mean "to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". Ron Paul wants to bring back what made this country strong. He has dedicated his entire life to his country, for his fellow man and his family. He understands the true nature of mankind, that we are NOT machines, or robots. We are thinking individuals and each one of us makes a difference. We will NEVER know our true potential under the current leaders who suck up to the elite who caused all the chaos, whether it be the indoctrination system they call skools, to the GMO food, to the chemtrails, mainstream tv, the endless and useless wars on this and that (only to take our money while they build a police state).. I dont necessarily support Ron Paul for president, because I have not acknowledged a president for 30 years. Well, I did support Ross Perot. I support Ron Paul, because NO government or army can fight an idea of freedom, liberty and justice for all...Go RON PAUL!!

AmandaBlack January 28, 2012 9:44 pm (Pacific time)

We need a Third Party candidate from the people, and for the people, or we will forever be slaves to the corporate dictate.

stephen January 28, 2012 12:48 pm (Pacific time)

I have to share this video!!! Its only 4 minutes, Jon Stewart speaking about the corporate owned whore media...and how they treat Ron Paul...It's hilarious but very informational at the same time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb5aGgQXhXo

stephen January 28, 2012 12:40 pm (Pacific time)

Hopefully people will awake from their sleep and indoctrination, and realize we have not had an opportunity to elect someone who is honest and not part of the corporate owned politicians in a long time. It is of my opinion, that we have been made to be slaves and most dont even know it. They say we have a "choice" then they cram a few of THEIR hand-picked candidates down everyone's throat using the corporate owned media. I ask...what kind of friggin "choice" is that??? Oh, and lets not EVEN get into owns diebold. Dear lord people pay attention, its the 11th hour. I support Ron Paul.

Anonymous January 28, 2012 6:49 am (Pacific time)

Over the years I have seen, it seems, endless methods by those who want to dissolve the Electoral College System. As of yet none of these arguments have been able to offer anything better. Now that we are an even more divided country because of many reasons, the more important it has become to insure our "Republic" continues in it's present form. An open vote would simply throw everything to mob rule, and it would be a tyranny of the majority.

celebs4truth.com January 27, 2012 11:14 pm (Pacific time)

OMG! Ron Paul gets two pivotal Maine endorsements Saturday! Share this EVERYWHERE! http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-denver/ron-paul-to-receive-two-pivotal-endorsements-at-maine-events #1 #RonPaul Iowa vote fraud article in the world! Get this article out to the far reaches of the universe! http://www.examiner.com/conspiracy-in-denver/iowa-vote-fraud-official

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