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And the street says…

October 17, 2016

No, not Wall Street. Your street.

As this interminable, excruciatingly contrived and frankly distasteful campaign enters the final leg of the race with the last debate on Wednesday,  what would voters like to see changed about the process?

In order, here are the top six items most mentioned by people who have contributed their opinions to this blog through October 16, 2016.  113 people responded.

The question sent out was: “Without regard to party or candidate affiliation or likelihood of you voting in November, please indicate the top six (6) things you would like to see changed about the campaign/election process for 2020,with  #1 being the most important to you. You  may include a short comment supporting your choices.”

This isn’t even remotely scientific, but you can judge for yourself how the topics line up with your views.

Number One, not surprisingly, is to make the whole process shorter.

At present, every state has a different filing deadline and registration window for people to file to run for President. Most people would like to see that end date changed to a national date.  The consensus seems to be 365 days back from whenever the presidential election is held, or approximately November 7, with no more than a 30 to 60 day registration period prior to the closing date.

Number Two is to make the election process more representative.

With the internet now a prime communication tool, the need for an electoral college is being questioned in almost every demographic.

Not everyone is convinced that a straight popular vote is the answer, given the Hollywood tabloid flavor of this campaign, but everyone seems to agree that once you cast a vote, it should mean what you intended it to mean.

One person remarked “If I never have to hear the phrase “battleground states” again, it would be too soon. Presidents shouldn’t be elected based on the opinion of just a few people in a dozen or so states.”

Number Three is campaign finance reform.

The obscene amount of money being funneled out of the economy and the fact that it automatically means that the person who spends the most has an unfair advantage over other candidates really bothers people.

No one is oblivious to the fact that pay-to-play corruption is a built-in part of our political process.

Most people would like to see some sort of cap on total funding, although how to accomplish that fairly and what amount it should be remains a question.

Running just a tad behind these top three were:

Tied for 4 and 5;  Limit number of presidential contenders and do not require people to register a party affiliation to vote in primaries.

Rounding out the top six was to eliminate caucus voting completely and require all primaries to be elections open to everyone, with all the candidates on one ballot like the general election. (Everyone who commented thought that scenario would better limit the power of the individual parties to influence (some said rig) the election.

Sidebar:

Many people commented that they had no idea how to make their choices a reality. Because over 60% of the blog contributors initially identified themselves as independents, the normal or existing party structures aren’t an option.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a national movement to reform our campaign and election system post-election, but it would certainly seem that there is an appetite for it.

Whether that will still be possible if Clinton wins is a story for another day.

From → op-ed

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