Saturday, April 15, 2006

I believe the Libertarian Party recommended including the "none of the above" ballot option in its party platform years ago. Maybe it still does. Intrigued, I ran the idea by a pension actuary friend of mine. He suggested the negative vote instead.

We all know of people who voted for Bush as the lesser of two evils. Under the negative vote, these people could have cast a negative vote against Kerry instead. Bush might still have beaten Kerry. But many of the people who voted for Kerry as the lesser of two evils would have had the option of casting a negative vote against Bush. Negative votes cast against a candidate would offset positive votes.

Bush might well have won the election nonetheless. But consider the psychological consequences of a candidate's accumulating a negative vote total. Could Bush still claim a mandate from the American people if, say, he'd "won" the election with a net total of negative 6,381,565 votes to negative 6,426,002 "for" Kerry. Could he so blithely tax and spend and spy and bomb and torture and extort and incarcerate in our name?


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