Amendment XII – The United States Constitution: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-xii
So, I was reading up on the 12th amendment to the Constitution, at the link above, both the text itself, and the articles about its effects.
Got me thinking about the Founders, and about the “Great Man” theory, and the “Best Men” notions [the twist on the “Great Man” theory that our Founders seem to have had, about “the best and brightest men of merit and character” being elected by We the People of the States and sent up to Federal level to represent and problem-solve and so on]; about how originally the thought seemed to be that the Electoral College would somehow forstall or negate formation or influence of political parties [it didn’t]; about how the person recieving the most Electoral votes would become President, and the “runner-up” would become Vice President, and that any political opposition they had against one another would be a kind of “check and balance”, part of the practice of government; how that didn’t work out so well, necessitating the 12th amendment making changes to the Electoral College and made it possible for political parties to put forth President/Vice President tickets.
Kinda no wonder then, how we’ve “boiled down” to a two-party political system [with a bunch of outlier lesser political parries that can’t get much if a foothold, and a nebulous number of “Independent” politicians that nevertheless have to ally themselves with either of the two big parties to have any influence], a “Duopoly” that encourages itself to become more and more polarizing. Worried that at some point, we might “flip” or “collapse” into some sort of one-party system.
Revisting: “America’s Hidden Duopoly” (Ep. 356) – Freakonomics Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/politics-industry/
I’m wanting to try “ranked choice voting” for electing persons to office, from local, to state, to federal. I keep hoping it would help for the emergence of a “three party plus Independents” system, enhance the principles of “checks and balances”, “power-sharing”, and “problem-solving compromise in the Public’s interest” I think the Founders were going for.
Would “ranked choice voting” require additional changes to the Electoral College system, or elimination of it? I mean, the existence of it and the way the country originally selected its President and Vice President almost seems like a proto-“ranked choice voting” experiment that needed refinement….?
Don’t know. I’m just a blue-collar tax-paying shlub. Would like to see something improve. And it seems like it’s time the “Grand Experiment” of the United States tried a couple more experiments, maybe using the Amendment system, to break out of its Duopoly gridlock, without collapsing into a single-party system…?
I mean, to me, it seems like the Founders recognized that people would always have certain fundamental differences of opinion and philosophy about how society would/could/should work, but the key was to accept they’d have those differences and instead work to recognize and solve common problems. Just reread The Preamble to the Constitution (the “mission statement”, as I like to think of it)…
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
… or that bit from the beginning of the Declaration of Independence…
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
[Sidebar: “Happiness” and “Pleasure” aren’t exactly the same thing. Just pointing that out.]
Anyway, I think “ranked choice voting” POTUS, and maybe VPOTUS, might help.
Of course, I also wonder if we should make sure that persons elected to the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS can’t serve as the “head” or “defacto head” of any political party while they hold the office. Not saying they can’t declare themselves members of a political party. Or align themselves with one. Or raise money for one while in office (I’m flexible on that one).
But, it might be in the nation’s best interest if, while in office, they didn’t seem to *have to* both run their political party and the government. I mean, seems like the Founders really tried to avoid the influence-peddling and pissing-matches they saw in Britain’s political parties dominating their Parliament, right?
Our POTUS isn’t exactly a Prime Minister, nor a King. Just one of the “Best Men [or Women]” of several, having to work with others to get things done. Right?