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Election Reform

Now That the Election is Over, We Must Reform Our Politics

This is an independent opinion. Have one of your own? Email it to [email protected]

In the recent elections, the U.S. came perilously close to re-electing a man who, after four long years as our president, made it clear that he was an incompetent, authoritarian conman. He presided over a failed pandemic response, greatly increased the budget deficit despite promising to reduce it and dismantled environmental protections that had been in place for decades.

While we may all breathe a sigh of relief for having narrowly averted catastrophe with the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of a new leader, this is no time to return to business as usual.

This election was a chilling indicator that with the wrong person in office, our democracy could entirely collapse, leaving us with a regime contemptuous of the rule of law, that disregards civil liberties and cares little about the welfare of its citizens.

Through gerrymandering, voter suppression and unlimited campaign contributions from corporations and dark money sources, the duopoly led us down the dark road towards fascism.

Therefore, the next order of business must be political reform — reform that wrests control away from the parties and places it in the hands of the people. It is the political parties, after all, that brought us to the edge of the abyss. Through gerrymandering, voter suppression and unlimited campaign contributions from corporations and dark money sources, the duopoly led us down the dark road to fascism. All of these practices corrupt the workings of our democracy, and make it hard for voters to get what they want and for progress to be made.

The duopolistic paradigm is failing us badly. The two parties that have a stranglehold on our democracy are concerned more with winning elections than in representing their constituents, which is their true job. In the aftermath of the recent election, we must create a political system that truly expresses the will of the people. That is the democratic ideal, after all: government of, by and for the people. The duopoly serves only the interests of power.

I work with Represent San Diego because I want to transform our broken democracy into a fully functioning one. I support the reforms that Represent San Diego is working to enact: ranked-choice voting, public financing of elections and full transparency of money in politics. I also support related reforms like open primaries, citizen redistricting commissions and term limits. The two parties by and large oppose these because they challenge their hegemony over our democracy.

Rather than conclude that all is well now that we’ve ejected a dangerous demagogue from the White House, it is time to transform our political system to be stronger, more equitable and truly representative of all Americans. I urge you, regardless of party affiliation or ideology, to get involved so that we never again come as close to jeopardizing our democracy.

Represent San Diego is a non-partisan organization working to fix our broken elections and end political bribery and secret money through many methods including Democracy Dollars, a plan to provide public funding for elections and thereby make them more representative. For information about how you can become involved in the fight to save our democracy, sign up with Represent San Diego and find out about all our reform efforts.

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About the Author

Tony G. Rocco

Tony is a freelance technical writer and author of fiction, memoir, journalism and personal essays.

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