Wednesday, May 14, 2014

None of the Above

My brother and I once discussed the option of adding “None of the above” to the ballots.  Basically, instead of having just a set of people with a particular party affiliation, you have an additional option to express your disgust of the potential candidates.

It is not a bad idea.  By having people state openly their contempt of the people who wish to rule over them in some fashion, you have incentive to ensure that politicians are more accountable to the people they “serve”.

There is a problem with this idea, however.  If you have a “none of the above” option on the ballot, then it actually has to mean something.  What I mean is there has to be a way to apply that option in the real world.

My first idea is that if the majority of votes cast are for “none of the above”, then nobody gets to hold that office until the next election term.  This has a few problems.  For one thing, the bureaucracy heads would effectively run things more so than they already do.  At local levels, this wouldn’t be a huge problem because the bureaucracy is local as well.

I suppose though it would make everyone more honest.  I mean, various agency heads have already been caught lying to their respective oversight committees and Congress has done nothing to reign that in.  At least then we’d see these tyrants for who they really are.

The other option would be a run-off.  This, of course, presumes that the position actually means something.  Usually, it does not.  As far as I can tell, most elected positions, especially at the local level, are meaningless.  This becomes much more apparent when you factor in the mandates imposed on legislatures and executives.

Also, a run-off election merely makes the whole point of voting for “none of the above” moot as there will always be somebody.

The electoral system in the USA is run by the Democrat and Republican parties.  While they do allow so-called third parties to run from time to time, they always only do so in order to thwart their opponents.  In truth, the choice is always between a douche and a turd sandwich.

And adding a new option to the ballot won’t necessarily change that.