Election '06 - A Case for Reform

                 The Senate race in CT 2006 drew national attention, much like a Beevis and Butthead episode.  I write this not to endorse any candidate, but rather to chastise the three major candidates; the ones who get the most press attention.  Believe it or not there were actually five candidates running.

                Alan Schlesinger’s campaign strategy seems to be to let Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman behave like Beevis and Butthead and hope that enough people are disgusted by such and vote for him.  Joe and Ned have also caught on to the idea that the winner is not going to be the most liked person, but by beating each other up, they feel that the victor will be the least disliked of the two.

                With all that said, how does one vote?  While many people may like Alan or one of the other two unknown candidates, voting today has become a case of choosing not the best candidate, but rather choosing the candidate that can best beat the “other” or worst candidate.  As a result, people will vote for Butthead just to keep Beevis out. Thus as a nation, we are no longer voting for someone to win, but rather voting in a manner to assure that a particular candidate will loose.  By doing such we all lose.

                At this point America needs an overhaul of its election process which will open the system for a wider variety of candidates, generate interest among the voters and allow the voters the ability to choose the best candidates.  The best place for such an overhaul would be the primaries.  By changing the focus of the primaries from choosing the best candidate from each party to picking only two from the entire pool of candidates, the primaries would attract more voters and a wider array of candidates.  Any party could run a any number of candidates and more independents would be encouraged to run.  Only the two candidates who got the most votes in the primary would be allowed to run in the November election.

                With only two candidates, political parties would have to work with candidates and other parties as to promote their platforms in the November elections.   With only two candidates, the election would go to a candidate who got more than half the vote, a majority.  Weather the votes were cast in favor of the winner or opposition of the opponent, a majority elected candidate may enjoy the support of the public better than that of “the last one standing” minority candidate that many of the multi candidates elections have been producing. 

                How would such an idea have affected this Senate election?  The primaries may have had a bigger pool of candidates and drew more of the registered voters because the primaries would have more of an impact on the November elections.  Instead of five candidates with three battling for the largest minority of the votes, only two would be seeking a majority of the votes in November.

                The more relevant primaries could have many different outcomes.  The most obvious outcome at this time would be that the election would be Ned Lamont against Joe Lieberman, with Alan Schlesinger officially out of the game rather than being a possible spoiler.  Another outcome would have been Ned Lamont verses Alan Schlesinger with out Joe Lieberman, a true two party race.  Another possibility could have been Lieberman verses Schlesinger, with Ned Lamont trying to influence the election from the sidelines.  Lastly the voters of CT could have chosen two other people effectively telling Joe Lieberman that incumbency is a privilege that must be earned, letting Ned Lamont learn that wealth can not be cashed in for power and that Alan Schlesinger’s strategy of letting two other candidates kill each other is not a way to win an election.