One of the biggest short comings of today’s democracy’s is the illusion of choice, expressed in the offer of only two unfavorable options.
This is seldom more obvious than at the current situation with the US Presidential Election.
Mathematics demands, that you will always end up with two major parties/candidates/options in a “first past the post” system. (watch CPG Greys explanation, why this is the case)
“A first-past-the-post voting system is one in which voters are required to indicate on the ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives more votes than any other candidate wins.
To a greater extent than many other electoral methods, the first-past-the-post system encourages tactical voting. Voters have an incentive to vote for one of candidates they predict are most likely to win, even if they would prefer neither candidate to win. A vote for any other candidate is considered to be likely wasted and bear no impact or benefit on the final result they would prefer. The system is widely used in the United Kingdom, United States and India, most of their current and former colonies and protectorates, and a few other countries.”
Summarized; this has a systematical effect in which you have to choose the lesser of two “evils”, rather than the party or candidate that you actually would like to be in office. Unfortunately, rather than acknowledge the short coming of such a system, the blame will normally rest on the candidates or the party without a promise of a change. Remember: Most systems don’t have mechanism to replace/optimize them self and you have to feed on the explanation of “tradition”.
Now, how did the United States end up with these two candidates? I won’t claim that the voting system predetermined Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as obvious candidates but it does predict that you will be left to choose between a giant douche or a turd sandwich! Its as simple as that. The USA is stuck in a repetitive dual Party dry hump. So is the UK an any other state that still determines representatives with the “first past the post”voting system.
It is fairly depressing to choose between two unfavorable options in every day life, doing this for the governance of a nation lets you faint and shows how little progress we made in the field of decision-making.
But this year the choice must be rather clear. In this election, one choice is not just unfavorable but actually unacceptable and dangerous.
I understand the frustration with the political system and the demand for change, a demand that Hillary Clinton most likely will fall short, if elected. But the alternative is so unprecedented unacceptable that you just have to vote for her. If your choice is drowning then even a shitty life west is unquestionably the better option. The possibility of Donald Trump becoming President, of the most powerful Nation, will have so far reaching consequences that you can’t withdraw from it, no matter where you life. He claims climate change is a hoax, he changes his statements and opinions like a madmen, he feeds on anger and fear. The list of scandals and insane proposals but forward by Donald Trump is just endless and its even sold to his credit as “say what he thinks”.
If you have ever wondered about history, how a truly bad idea or person came to power, then history is written today! It doesn’t matter if you are a US citizen or home to any other Nation. If Donald Trump becomes President of the United States this will have negative consequences for every citizen of this Planet. We’re at a very fragile point in climate change negotiations, having a person at the helm who not even accepts the scientific consensus on the topic may just reverse the little progress made in Paris.
No matter how much you dislike or disengage in politics, it is the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group, you can’t not care about that. If you think the current process is fraud, broken or disappointing than its our all responsibility to do something about it. Or as Joseph de Maistre put it “Every nation gets the government it deserves”.
My advice to the US for now must be:
1. Vote for Hillary
2. Change to a proportional voting System.
Giving advice from the other side of the Atlantic seems fairly easy at this stage, so I’ll turn the page here.
What is valid for the election of the government should also apply for ideas. Even in a proportional direct democracy like we have in Switzerland we are still stuck with the illusion of choice if it comes to decision-making over ideas. You’re either for or against an idea! There is no option C or D on the ballot, as this system also lacks an alternative to majority decision-making.
I’ll leave you with this thought: What if the method of decision-making has more effect on the outcome than the actual people involved in voting?