For those of us closely following American politics, it’s been a rough week, month, and – let’s face it – year. But I have good news: politics doesn’t have to stay this way.
Here are 3 political reforms that would solve some of America’s most pressing problems. Excitingly, they can all be passed via ballot initiative — meaning we don’t need to wait for politicians to do the right thing.
Solution: ranked choice voting + independent redistricting commissions.
What it fixes: uncompetitive elections (see: 90% of incumbents staying in office, few viable third-party or non-establishment candidates, low voter participation).
How it helps: RCV removes the “spoiler effect” in elections, letting fresh candidates run for office without taking votes away from major-party candidates. Independent redistricting commissions ensure that we choose our politicians, rather than them choosing us.
Who’s championing it: Represent.Us, FairVote.
Solution: multimember districts.
What it fixes: polarization (e.g. legislative gridlock, animosity between parties).
How it helps: MMDs (paired with ranked choice voting) break us free from the two-party duopoly and move us toward a proportional representation system.
Who’s championing it: FairVote.
More info: FairVote’s breakdown of fair representation.
Solution: anti-corruption laws.
What it fixes: legalized political bribery (e.g. laws that benefit special interests and hurt the rest of us, candidates who court big donors rather than voters).
How it helps: Anti-corruption laws break the connection between economic power and political power. They empower voters to fund our elections. They make it illegal for politicians to take money from lobbyists, close the revolving door between agencies and corporations, and stop politicians from spending all their time fundraising. And they disclose political money online and stop donors from hiding behind secret-money groups.
Who’s championing it: Represent.Us.
More info: Represent.Us’ anti-corruption policy platform.
No more wringing our hands. We know how to fix our political system, and we can do it at the ballot box. Let's get to it.