That Perennial Western Malady, the Revolt of the Individual Against the Species

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Monday, December 27, 2004

Americans are Dissatisfied! -Voter Turnout Statistics

Americans are dissatisfied with their options.

IDEA, the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, tracks election statistics for every country on earth from 1945. (There were 1,617 democratic elections held on earth between January 1, 1945 and December 31, 2000.) At 48.3%, the USA ranks 139th in voter turnout out of the 172 countries that have held at least two elections.

8 Comments:

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Dr. Forbush said...

I believe that the US Surpassed the 50% mark in the 2004 election. However, the best solution for this problem is to give the people what they want, more choice. Third party candidates don't have a chance in this out dated two party system. Changing the US system to a proportional representation type democracy would give the minority voter a choice, and hence bring the voters to the polls. The other option is the make a law demanding that people vote like they do in Australia...

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger spenwah said...

I think the most important reform we need to be working toward is fair debate access. There were six presidential candidates on enough state ballots to win, and they all should have been invited to participate in the debates. I think this is something that almost every American would agree with. When people see that there are candidates out there who have real solutions to the country's problems, they will flock to the polls. I think most of the people who don't vote aren't lazy or uneducated, they just don't see any substantial difference between the two parties.

As for Australia's "Instant Runoff Voting," two months ago I'd support that. But recently I've decided that any effort spent moving in that direction is wasted, IRV offers virtually no improvement from our plurality system. Approval Voting or Condorcet Voting should be pursued instead. I posted an informal essay (from a discussion forum) on this topic a few weeks ago.

Thanks for stopping by.

 
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