Winner-take-all very undemocratic system: American analyst
The US electoral system is one of intolerance and prevents other views from being presented to the American public, according to Myles Hoenig, an American political analyst and activist.
Hoenig, a Green Party candidate for Congress, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday as Americans began to cast their ballots to settle a contentious US presidential race between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidate Donald Trump.
“Since 1980 and the right wing Reagan Revolution, the average turnout of registered voters for a presidential election has been 53%. This doesn’t include all those eligible to vote but do not register,” Hoenig said.
“In most developed countries the numbers are much higher for many reasons. In a number of countries voting is mandatory. Most countries have parliamentary systems and parties are represented in their legislative bodies based on percent of votes. Here in the US we all but discourage voting,” he stated.
“Our elections are on the first Tuesday of November, not weekend voting like many other places. It’s also not a federal holiday, requiring people to take leave from work, if they are government employees, and possibly losing pay if they are in the private sector,” he said.
“The one issue that truly turns off people from voting is our winner-take-all mentality, coupled with the Electoral College,” the analyst explained.
“When 49.9% of a voting population sees their candidate losing and losing all opportunity to influence the winning candidate, the motivation to vote is gone,” he noted.
“As it stands, it is likely to go to Clinton or Trump, unless something truly dramatic happens at the very last moment and it swings to the House of Representatives. Both of them represent minority parties, only representing no more than 29% of registered voters nation-wide,” he observed.
‘Minority’ parties control electoral system
Hoenig said that “the majority of registered voters are either independent of the 2 parties or unaffiliated. For these 2 minority parties to have such control over the electoral system shows a dysfunction that could only have been written by organized crime, otherwise known as Congress.”
“We have seen how ruthless both parties have become, with the Democrats taking their turn at it this time around. Clinton rigged the primary system against Sanders and stole the nomination,” the activist said.
“She did it with the complicity of the media by them not covering [Senator Bernie] Sanders when he was drawing mega-crowds and by cooperating with the Democratic Party establishment to anoint Clinton,” he added.
“To guarantee dominance and a total win the two parties have colluded for decades on how to prevent other views from being presented to the American public, mostly because these views would be received very favorably. I’m referring to the Green and Libertarian parties. If they were in the debates, the numbers would most likely swing away from the Democrats or Republicans,” he stated.
“The fear that they have is that it could lead the nation to a more proportionally representative form of government, rather than the winner-take-all we have today,” the commentator explained.
“Additionally, both parties oppose on a federal level choice ranked voting. This would allow for one to vote their conscience but also vote strategically as their losing number 1 choice is replaced by their number 2. But both parties would see an upswing in general support for the Greens and others and that is not tolerated,” he said.
“Overall, our electoral system is one of intolerance. We don’t want other voices heard. We don’t want the masses of eligible voters to vote. And we expect all the losers to accept perhaps a candidate, position, or party that is diametrically opposed to their values and interests,” he said in his concluding remarks.