Why is there no viable None Of The Above option on the ballot?
My ballot has been hijacked by the two major political parties. There are 300 million people living in America. Of those 300 million, the mysterious machinery of the Political Parties narrows the list of candidates down to two, and then I get to pick from those two. Excuse me if I'm not enthralled with this fantastic array of choices. Excuse me if I'm a little skeptical that this process results in the two best candidates being placed on the ballot.
All across the country, candidates are waging war. Turn on your TV for a minute or two; you'll see that it's not very pretty. Many voters will realize that both of their candidates are running misleading, hateful campaigns. Many will make the connection that stupid, spiteful candidates will turn into stupid, spiteful officers. Many people, just like me, will realize that all of their available options are very poor ones.
For all the people like me, there are only three options. First, pick the candidate whom you hope will do the least damage. Vote for that candidate, and hope. Second, don't vote. Consent to the will of the majority, and hope. Third, vote for a third-party candidate. This has the same net result as not voting. Consent to the will of the majority, and hope.
I suppose there are technically some other options, like "move to Peru." But for most of us, their are only three.
If I find all candidates on my ballot unacceptable, my opinion is completely disregarded under the current election laws. There are many more people like me. We are all ignored. Perhaps we are not intentionally ignored, but in practice we may as well not exist.
There should be a "None of the Above" option on every ballot. This option should be legally binding, and not merely an expression of opinion (like the toothless Nevada version.) If "None of the Above" receives the highest number of votes in any election, all current candidates should be disqualified and a second election should be held. This process should be repeated indefinitely until a suitable candidate can be found.
"None of the Above" presents a real choice for voters. We aren't stuck with the boneheads that emerge from the major party primaries. We aren't forced into choosing between two un-qualified candidates. To win a "None of the Above" election, you actually have to win the support of your constituents. You can't win merely by sucking less than your opponent.
"None of the Above" will be more expensive than the current system. It will, at times, require multiple elections. These elections cost voters money. But stupid politicians also cost voters money when they are forced upon the public. Stupid politicians enact stupid public policies, and the public pays for them. I'd rather pay for a new election. Furthermore, the "extra elections are costly" line of reasoning will help prevent flippant use of the "None of the Above" system. Voters will only pick "None of the Above" if they are so unsatisfied by their available choices that they are willing to pay for new ones.
When you walk into the polls, you should be answering the question: "Who do I want to represent me?" Under the current system, you are answering the question: "Which of these two jerks is less of a buffoon?" The system is broken. It will never be perfect, but it can easily be upgraded. "None of the Above" allows us to elect a good candidate, not merely the least sucky one.
If "None of the Above" were a viable option on my ballot, I would vote in every election.