In recent years, smaller parties such as « France Insoumise » [Roughly, ‘France Undefeated*’] have argued that declining voter turnout represents a rejection by the French of the present ‘5th Republic’ and that there must be a constitutional convention to sketch out the ‘6th.’ It’s difficult to argue that they don’t have a point.
On Sunday, France saw the lowest turnout since the sixties of only 75.30% (The current election system dates to 1965.)
In the last election, U.S. turnout was a measly 55.5%; this is fairly average for the last two centuries, sadly. Clearly, change is needed.
In recent discussions I have detected no appetite for structural change, only a short-term “stopping of Trump.” But let’s look at the big picture so we don’t have this problem again in 4-8 years.
I know that some of my friends may disagree that Trump needs to be stopped but lay that aside for a moment and ask yourself, why did you vote for Trump? Because of structural rot in the system. Because the government was captivated by interest groups and not responsive to your needs. But if we do not address the structural rot that leads to depressing choices that make people not show up this will not even seem significant compared to what is to come.
- Switch to ‘ranked preference voting’ for the Executive Offices, including the presidency (AKA ‘Instant Runoff Voting,’ this was recently adopted in Maine and there are videos on the internet which explain how the “instant runoff” works.)
- Switch to mixed-member-proportional voting for state and House elections. (This is used in New Zealand and there’s a video from the NZ Electoral Commission which explains this very well.)
- Return to an appointed federal Senate and do away with state Senates.
- Make voting mandatory and do away with ‘voter registration,’ instead people will be automatically registered on a time-delay when they file for Social Security (I.E. at birth.)
- Ban legislature controlled redistricting and switch to mathematically defined redistricting such as “Shortest Split Line Method.” (The Left often overstates the degree to which gerrymandering skews elections, but it nonetheless occurs and it is repugnant.) And finally….. the BIG one….
- Term limits! Presidency: 1 6-year term, no reelection. Senate: 2 8-year terms. House: 3 4-year terms. Supreme Court: 10 years.
* A lot of newspapers are rendering it “France Indomitable,” mainly because it begins with “I,” but that’s wrong that’d be « France Indomptable » . If we wanted to be puckish we could also translate it as “Contumacious France…” 😉