November Assumptions Surprised Many
It’s human to assume much that surrounds us. We assume dogs will chase cats, rain will clear the air, and we will continue to pay taxes. Assumptions help us get through each day. And assumptions are reliable right up until the moment they fail. Then what?
Assumptions can be dangerous when it comes to politics. Certainly, the presidential election of 2016 surprised many, millions in fact. Last week’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey surprised many on both sides of the aisle. Voting in the state of Washington turned that state’s legislature Democratic so the whole western seaboard is now legislatively blue. Another bit of surprise.
Can we assume this is an indicator for the elections we’ll see in 2018? Will Democrats rise up and take back some legislative seats? Or can we assume that Republicans will hold onto what they have? It’s hard to predict.
History May Shatter Some Assumptions
In my quest to make every state legislator across the country aware of what Equal Voice Voting can mean for their state, assumptions are revealed. For example, some Oregon Democrat legislators believe our state will continue to favor Democrat presidential candidates. Republican legislators in other states have similar beliefs in that they assume their state will continue to favor Republican presidential candidates. Those assumptions are natural and have some merit; but they’re also subject to disappointment.
Let’s look at a little history. I evaluated the past 15 presidential elections to identify how many times each state changed political parties from one election to the next. For example, if a state voted for a Democratic presidential candidate one election and then voted for a Republican presidential candidate the next election, that would count as one change. The results of the evaluation are shown in this graphic:
Washington, D.C. and our 50 states have changed political parties a total of 196 times in the past 15 elections. That equates to changing political parties 25.6% of the time. It’s important to notice that every state has made this kind of change. Many have changed every few years!
Don’t Let Assumptions Cloud Our Future
The point of this analysis is that legislators need to realize they do not have a solid hold on future presidential elections. Such assumptions may not serve them well. Certainly, such assumptions will not serve their constituents (us) well.
It’s important for legislators to realize that all of us deserve to have our votes count. When selecting a president, all constituents need to be heard and not simply let a selected percentage of voters count.
As voters, we must not assume that the current major party of the state will retain its influence. If we’re among the majority party, our votes may keep it so. If we’re among the minority party, our votes may make a difference. Neither scenario is for certain.
Most importantly, the mechanism – our voting process – should be open to let all votes count! Equal Voice Voting fulfills this concern and helps our democracy acknowledge all votes. Let’s not assume our political future. Let’s not let our legislators assume it either. Let our votes count and let our legislators know that Equal Voice Voting can help make it so.