An interesting case was just decided in Nevada about having “None of the Above” on the ballot. The basic premise is that in 1976 the people of the great state of Nevada decided that they would add “None of the Above” to the choices in addition to each candidate for every elected office. A fine idea if you ask me.
From a philosophical point of view the case seems relatively simple. The vote of “None of the Above” is a shout against the candidates put forward. From a legal point of view I must admit that I see merit to the judge’s ruling. If, by some chance, “None of the Above” wins the election, the law in Nevada voids it and the candidate with the next highest total wins. The judge suggested that in those circumstances if the election itself was voided and the position filled by appointment or new election then “None of the Above” would be constitutional.
It’s probably too late for this election but I hope the men and women of Nevada go ahead and change the “None of the Above” choice in the way suggested by the judge.
The reality of what I want to discuss is why “None of the Above” is an important decision opposed to not voting at all. The reality of not voting is currently an issue but simply hands the election to the minority who do vote. We see that today. When anyone wins a “mandate” from the people the reality is they had a relatively small percentage of the total possible votes while gaining a majority of those votes cast. Not voting is a bad choice. Voting for “None of the Above” meets with my approval.
My own voting habit is to cast my ballot for any independent candidate that happens to be on the ballot and write myself in when there is no such candidate. This is because I’m of the opinion that our two-party system is essentially a one party system and that party is moneyed interests. I detail this idea in posts here and here. The basic idea is that the only way we can expect politicians to pass legislation we desire is if they feel that is the only way they are going to get elected. As long as we elect only Democrats and only Republicans they will continue to bow to those who provide the campaign money.
“None of the Above” is a vote in that direction. If enough people start to vote for Independent candidates or “None of the Above” then change will eventually follow. If you like the direction this country is headed then please feel free to vote for you Democratic or Republican candidate, it makes only a slight difference. You are fooling yourself if you believe that if the other party wins the country is doomed. That’s the logic the two-party system advocates want to foist off on you. It keeps them in power together and eliminates any real chance of change.
One final note, the case in Nevada against “None of the Above” was financed and brought forward by the Republican party. Their thinking is that independent minded voters like myself are more inclined to vote for Republican candidates than Democratic ones. I can only speak for myself but … fat chance. Republicans are so far away from Libertarian ideals they are, in many ways, for bigger, and more intrusive government than Democrats.
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
New Release: The Hammer of Fire