General Question

CallorFold's avatar

Improving the US political system?

Asked by CallorFold (38points) September 2nd, 2014

Sometimes it can seem that US politicians are more concerned about the interests of corporations than those of people.

It has been suggested that moving to IRV (Instant-runoff voting) might help. Is this plausible? Are there any examples of places in the world where IRV was used and it arguably produced improved people in office?

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10 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area it has been in use in San Francisco and in Oakland.In SF it has been a non issue and hasn’t resulted in any whacky decisions.

In Oakland, it was a critical factor in the last mayor’s race. A less popular candidate made a few pacts to encourage supporters to vote for Jean Quan as second choice. And what happened is that in a multi-candidate field, the strongest, most popular candidate lost because he did not have an outright 50% of the vote.

Jean Quan has been an abysmal failure as Mayor, and IRV has lost much support as a result.

syz's avatar

I think the bigger issue is money in politics. As long as money = speech, our system will continue to be broken.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think to improve the system you have to improve the voters and I don’t know how you do that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I like that answer @Adirondackwannabe. Seems truthful enough.

Perhaps voters would improve when an improved candidate arises. All the informed and intelligent voters in the universe couldn’t overcome a choice between similar buffoons.

I would suggest, along with these other suggestions, to pursue a course to rid the political system of corruption. Transparency and honesty… I would vote for those merits alone.

LostInParadise's avatar

What bothers me is that people are so affected by political advertising. Don’t people have enough sense to vote in their own best interest?

zenvelo's avatar

@LostInParadise People vote in their perceived best interest. Working people vote to allow tax breaks for the wealthy, even though the taxes paid would support working people, because they like to think they are upwardly mobile and will one day be well off, and when they finally make it, they want to avoid tax burdens too.

It’s like people with a total estate of $1.25 million, including insurance, home ownership, family farm, etc., wanting no death tax above $5 million, because maybe they’ll be worth $5 million someday and don’t want the kids to pay inheritance tax.

rojo's avatar

So true @Adirondackwannabe.

The entire present Congress is an abysmal failure by any standards. It has accomplished little and Its approval rating is single digits, I have heard as low a 7% and yet come November almost every single incumbent will be re-elected.

But I guess that stems from the misguided belief that everyone of them is corrupt and useless EXCEPT my congressperson who should be nominated for sainthood but, fortunately, he probably isn’t Catholic so that is right out. But he should receive the Nobel Prize after all for putting up with the rest of that scum for so long.

zenvelo's avatar

@rojo describes the problem. I don’t want term limits for my Congressman (mine is retiring this year after 40 years!). I want term limits for your Congressman.

The best way to fix the political system is to get rid of gerrymandering and draw districts by impartial commission/computer zoning.

KNOWITALL's avatar

WE should outlaw lobbying & all public servants accept a set living wage, nothing more.

rojo's avatar

Just saw a couple of surveys and surprisingly for the most part only 20 to 30% think that their congressman is any good. The scary part was that the percentage of people who actually knew who their congressman was is even less.

An unsurprising survey found that roughly half of those surveyed think that a group of people picked randomly from a phone book could do as good a job, if not better, than the people in congress at this time.

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