Both major parties in the United States exist to serve the interests of large corporations and not the working people. It is often thought that both parties are extreme on both sides but in reality, both parties are right wing corporate entities that have no interest in helping workers. For example, no Republican lawmaker supports Medicare For All and the vast majority of Democratic lawmakers do not support Medicare For All either. This is because almost all the lawmakers of both parties accept money from pharmaceutical companies. Despite 70% of Americans supporting Medicare For All, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, only a minority of congressional lawmakers support Medicare For All. Additionally, both parties supported the war in Iraq, because both parties serve the corporate interests of the military-industrial complex.
The majority of Americans want the endless wars to stop and the majority of Americans want Medicare For All, yet our lawmakers are still in power, despite our lawmakers having no interest in Medicare For All, and having no interest in pulling out the troops. Why is that? In an economy, monopolies use barriers to protect their market from competition. The very same strategy is being done with the party system. Since everyone has only one vote, and since we use the winner-take-all system of the electoral college, people are pressured to vote for the “safe” or “moderate” candidate. They are pressured to vote for the status quo. These barriers protect the corporate two-party duopoly. In order to tear down these barriers, the electoral college must be abolished and there must be ranked choice voting implemented in our election system. This will help vote out the corporate shills of D.C. and introduce real change.
The President of the United States is elected through a body known as the electoral college. The electoral college is a winner take all system. Each state has a number of electoral votes equal to the number of representatives and senators that state has. For example, if California has 53 representatives and 2 senators, they have 55 electoral votes. Whoever wins the state of California, wins all 55 electoral votes. Whichever candidate receives 270 electoral votes, wins.
This winner take all system is undemocratic. It forces citizens to vote for who has the best shot of winning, rather than which candidate they agree with. For example, in the 2020 Presidential election, a voter who strongly believed in Medicare For All and the Green New Deal would have voted for Howie Hawkins of the Green Party. However, if this person lived in a traditionally red state, they would have to vote for Joe Biden, because voting for third parties in this winner-take-all system is effectively voting for the opposite party. Abolishing the electoral college would help fix this issue. The voter would not be fearful of their state falling to the opposite party, because the states do not play a role in the election, the winner would be chosen from the popular vote. Additionally, in many cases, such as the Bush and Gore election in 2000, the winner of the election may end up being someone who got less votes than their opponent. A democracy works best when the will of the people is expressed and represented in the government, and voters not voting for the candidate they agree with is the opposite of representation.
Similarly to how the electoral college pressures people to vote for a candidate they may not agree with at all, the lack of ranked choice voting does that same thing. Ranked choice voting should be introduced because it allows people to vote for the candidate they most agree with, but not necessarily the candidate who they think is going to win as their first choice, and then choose the “safe” or “moderate” choice for the second choice. For example, the same voter from earlier would vote Howie Hawkins as their first choice, and then choose Joe Biden as their second choice. This way, third party voters are not helping the opposite party when simply expressing their opinion.
Medicare For All is vastly popular. Bringing the troops home from the Middle East is vastly popular. Yet our lawmakers do not match our values. The job of congressmen and congresswomen is to represent the interests of the people. They are not matching our interests. Our system is not as democratic as we once thought if our representatives are not truly representing us. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, when cash relief is needed immediately, there is no time to “reform” our lawmakers. They need to be replaced, and we need to make our system more democratic in order to do so.