Plus-minus voting in the Presidential election
This November, approximately 130 million votes will be cast in the Presidential general election. As I stated a couple months ago, those will all be registered as votes for or in favor of. That is the way our current balloting system works.
We all are aware that the majority of these votes will be cast for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from true believers and party loyalists to Kool-Aid drinkers and tabloid readers. All of us have at least one family member who votes for the candidate who looks more like a President – however the voter arrived at their decision, it will be cast in the spirit of voting for someone.
Among those 130 million votes there are a considerable number cast as protests or as a means to cancel out an opponent’s support base. Unfortunately, this often results in nausea and depression – sometimes referred to as McCain-Romney Syndrome.
What I would like to propose is a change in the ballot format to allow Americans to actually make their vote count. Since I find it impossible to vote for either of the binary Presidential candidates, and since I will be at the polls to support the best options on the down ticket, I would like the opportunity to vote against Hillary Clinton without voting forDonald Trump. It’s really that simple. A vote for is a +1, a vote against is a -1 and the other candidate gets 0 votes. What could be more binary than 1’s and 0’s?
At this point you may be thinking “but I hate both of them. Who should I vote against?”
The chance to actually take a vote away from the woman who lies for monetary gain, facilitates the murder of the unborn, and trifles with the security of the United States has to be balanced against the destructive narcissism of a man who seeks to become a dictator simply to feed his unquenchable ego. That, dear readers, is a matter of conscience. However, we should all be able to sleep better knowing we made the call.
We live in the electronic era. You can “like” or “dislike”; vote “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”; “swipe left” or “swipe right”. Thanks to technology, our options should have increased, but we seem to be stuck with Party and donor class elites making all the decisions. They don’t even pretend to let us think we have a say in the matter any more.
Based on what seems to be the most common numbers, polls show Hillary with 45% and the Donald with 42% of the popular vote with an expected 130 million votes. That means Hillary wins, 58 to 54 million. In the new system, negative votes matter! This format makes things a lot more interesting. With Hillary at a net -11% and Trump at -27% unfavorable ratings already – and the possibility of turning rationalized positive votesnegatives, and probably a good share of third party protest votes now counted as negatives – that 58-54 win becomes a topic for debate. This will become a windfall for pollsters as they try to figure out if there will be enough negative Hillary votes to offset the zero votes for Trump.
On the plus side, these election results will give us a much clearer picture of what America really thinks. Back in the sixties there was a slogan (yeah, we had slogans, not memes) “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” The headline for November 9, 2016 could be “40% of votes cast were negative!” If the popularity of the negative vote catches on, it could dramatically increase voter participation in the 2020 election. Those who seek public office just may be forced to offer some solutions instead of relying on name recognition. They may even have to talk about issues. Voters will be subjected to information. Oh, the humanity!