Monday, June 12, 2006
United States Ranked Among the Lowest in Voter Turnout
We have real problems in our nations that are only being addressed as a bit in a 30 second sound bite in a paid TV commercials or speeches by the candidates on both sides. The special interest groups have hijacked our democracy by buying and paying for both candidates in the major parties. Many if not most of the people in America feel disenfranchised by both of the national political parties. The United States ranking among the nations with the lowest percent of eligible voters turn out for president or prime minister.
Percent of voter turn out in past national elections
· Greece 89.0% 2000 Parliamentary
· Indonesia 85.7% 1999 Parliamentary
· Italy 84.9% 2001 Parliamentary
· Israel 84.5% 1999 Parliamentary
· Finland 76.8% 2000
· Spain 73.8% 2000 Parliamentary
· Russia 68.8% 2000
· India 65.5% 1999 Parliamentary
· South Africa 63.9% 1999
· Poland 62.6% 2000
· Lebanon 61.1% 2000 Parliamentary
· Japan 59.0% 2000 Parliamentary
· United Kingdom 57.6% 2001 Parliamentary
· Canada 54.6% 2000 Parliamentary
· United States 46.6% 2000
The United States ranked number 93 out of nations in the world of percent of voter turnout. Only nation such as Ireland, El Salvador, Sudan, Kenya have a lower percent of voter turnout. The fact that only 46.6% of the eligible people voted in the United States last national election should be rather alarming. Especially considering the impact of the United States foreign, military, and political policies on the rest of the world. Too many American people can tell you more facts, stats, and details about their favorer sport teams and players than they can about their elected government officials.
None of the Above
With privilege comes responsibility that the American people have not taken seriously when it comes to their democracy. Too many people are willing to let other people decide who is going to represent them. Part apathy and part disgust with our political system is why many American people do not vote. Only by opening up the American political system will we raise voter participation. Major reforms in the federal campaign laws are needed. Starting with the following;
· Take a portion back of the public air waives for free political campaign time.
· Create a C-Spain type channel for political campaigns on federal and state level.
· Limit campaign donations to registered voters only.
· If “None of the Above” wins new election is called.
· If the winning candidate does not receive 50% of the vote a new elections is called.
· Hold those people responsible for the messages in the political ads they run.
These few changes would increase voter participation on the grass roots level. Giving people a real choice and the ability to send a clear message to the people in power.