Being Fair In Politics Allows Minority Voices

Winning isn’t always fair

Our nation’s politics seem to push against being fair in favor of quick solutions. The left pushes against the right and the right returns the favor. The political push-pull factor drowns out anything resembling intelligent discourse and honest curiosity. Solid solutions seem elusive. Instead, we are deluged with a cacophony of opinions and one-upmanship maneuvers to take the hill– to win.

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Where does listening fit in?

I’ve pointed out in my blogging that there is a critical need for improved listening skills. I’ve pointed out that these skills are needed by our leaders as well as by our citizenry. We need to listen to each other. That seems fair. That seems democratic.

Given that this blog focuses primarily on the mechanism we use to elect our nation’s president. However, listening is actually secondary to giving everyone the opportunity to participate. If one’s vote isn’t even counted, how can the voter’s opinion matter? How is that fair?

Voting results should reflect the voters’ sentiments

One of the principles of our democracy is that minority voices are heard and count. Yet, in presidential elections, this does not happen! Consider any of our 50 states in the presidential election. Because of the diabolical winner-takes-all “add-on” to our Electoral College, winning is the only goal. A state’s Electoral College result is given to only one candidate. All other considerations (votes) are tossed aside. The notion of capturing voters’ sentiments is lost.

Sadly, some believe that the National Popular Vote bill will remedy this concern. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, however. As was recently reported by Hoang Nguyen in and Trevor Nace in Forbes, many also believe that the earth is flat!

Making room for others

We need to make room for all voters if we are to be fair. As a metaphor, consider our modes of transportation. Driving on the freeway you’ll notice there are a plethora of automobile manufacturers sharing the road with you. Each manufacturer also provides a wide array of driving choices: sedans, SUVs, vans, pickups, crossovers, hybrids, etc. There are dozens of choices and I haven’t even mentioned traveling by bus or rail or air. Our transportation choices make up a true spectrum of preferences—reflecting our individuality.

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The metaphor may be a little weak but the point is that everyone’s vote should count just like everyone shares the road. We all have different opinions and priorities just as we traverse the same highways in different vehicles. You may not agree with me politically or even in a lot of other ways, but your vote should always count just as does mine!

Each citizen casts a ballot based on his/her values, perspectives, and priorities. The Electoral College results should reflect the aggregate of a state’s voting choice as a proportional value. As there is room for every car on the road, there should be room for all voting opinions to be counted.

Equal Voice Voting encourages better listening

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) promises to change the voting mechanism to be more inclusive—to be fair. EVV promises that a proportional voice emerges as a state votes. All votes count and every voting citizen is thereby encouraged to participate.

If we use a voting mechanism that allows everyone’s participation, then listening to each other has true significance. There will still be debates and differences of opinions but we will no longer be able to elbow others out of the way. Our vote matters as does everyone else’s.

The state’s voting result becomes a true mirror of its voting citizenry’s sentiment. For example, my home state (Oregon) would have split its electoral votes in the 2016 election. Four would have been allocated to Trump and three for Clinton.

EVV gives a state’s electoral votes more significance. They would reflect our political choice as a proportional vote, not just identify the candidate winning a plurality of votes.

The idea of choice has more elbowroom. Listening—not shouting—plays a major role in our politics. EVV might even mean a call for more civil discourse. EVV will entice more voters to participate. More inclusiveness certainly promises a fair process and allows the minority voice to be heard.

Equal Voice Voting fixes the voting mechanism

If you find yourself voting for a minority candidate in your state, are you frustrated knowing your presidential ballot currently means nothing? If you vote for the majority-favored candidate in your state, do you stop listening to what the minority voices have to say? Do you favor such a failed democratic mechanism? Do you appreciate the fact that your state’s Electoral College result does not truly reflect your state’s voting voice?

Political leaders and legislators need to acknowledge that we need more listening in this nation (many already do). Before that can happen in our presidential elections, they also need to acknowledge that we must fix how we vote. Doing so is a two-step process:

  • Remove the winner-takes-all approach in our elections.
  • Adopt Equal Voice Voting to make all votes count and each state matter.

It is the only fair way to elect our next president!

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