Fixing the Election

Over the years there have been many accusations about elections being fixed or at least manipulated.  They range in scope from the conspiracy theorists who claim JFK was elected by dead people voting in Cook County, to attempting to steal an election through litigation, to a media that pummels one candidate while showcasing another.

But that’s not what I’m talking about.  By fixing the election, I mean reform.  Here’s my plan:

1) You can’t run for office while you’re in office:  Our elected officials have a fiduciary responsibility to act in our best interest.  When they are out campaigning, they are acting in their best interest — and ignoring us.  If they disagree with this, just ask them how they can vote on bills when they’re on the campaign trail.

2) You can only hold an office once:  Our founding fathers never intended for career politicians.  They envisioned statesman, who would serve for one term and then go back to live in the real world.  If a person really wants a career of public service, then let the serve in different offices, at different levels.

3) Eliminate the primaries:  What each party needs to do is pick (by whatever means they deem to be most effective) a candidate who will best represent their party and have the best chance of winning.  As it is right now, each party’s nominee emerges from the primaries, bloody, bruised, and battered.  (And if a party really wants a primary, let them pay for it.)

4) Shorten the cycle:  It’s a given that little meaningful legislation happens during an election year; that’s 25% of the time!  Let’s start the process at the summer conventions, campaign for a few months, and then vote.

5) Go with the popular vote: Forget delegates and that whole nonsense (which was designed by leaders who didn’t trust us to pick the best person).  Using the popular vote means that every vote counts, no state can be written off, and campaigning must occur nationwide.

Although I am sure that this plan will work — and work well, it has no chance of being implemented: Too many people would have to give up too much power and too many businesses would have to forgo too much revenue.

Like it or not, we are stuck with what we have.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

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