Woods: Change our flawed voting system


Megan Kalb/Iowa State Daily

There are many things wrong with our two-party system, and it all stems from a warning our forefathers gave us about the dangers our country would befall if we were to take on that type of government.

Zoë Woods

For centuries we have voted our members of congress, our governors, our representatives of state legislature and even our president through the First Past The Post voting method. It’s sad to say that we have been doing it wrong for all these years. It has taken us down a road of arguments and gridlock. This path has brought us the two-party system, a system we as a country were forewarned about when our nation was still in its early years.

It may appear that we are too far down the rabbit hole to ever climb our way out, but there is a way, a rope that will pull our nation out of this pit we dug ourselves into. The alternative voting method—one where the voter ranks the candidates, rather than choosing one— puts more power into the hands of the people and will put into office people who are actually voted by the majority of the people. With the help of time, our nation could right itself and sit upon a pedestal of greatness once again.

So why the alternative voting system? Here are three reasons why it would ultimately benefit our country, make it strong politically and make our forefathers proud.

– It will gradually eliminate the two-party system. The two-party system is why nothing in our government can get accomplished. There was a reason we were warned long ago to avoid such a form of government and now we are seeing the ramifications in all their glory. The alternative vote penalizes extremist parties because they would more than likely not get the second preference vote by the people allowing candidates from other parties to finally see the light of day.

– “It would reduce the need for tactical voting. Electors would be able to vote for their first-choice candidate without fear of wasting their vote,” as stated in the Electoral Reform Society website.

– Finally, it would reduce the number of “safe seats” where the election result is already considered to be of fact even though it hasn’t yet taken place.