By Steven Tucker

In Civics, we teach our students about the “Two-Party System,” but there’s nothing in the curriculum to explain what that means or why that matters. Most civilized nations have many political parties that form coalitions based on compromise and the public interest. Authoritarian nations utilize One-Party systems where the government is essentially a private corporate monopoly with sole control over the use of force. Adding an additional party doesn’t really change the formula.

The fact is, American citizens are ruled over by two private corporations with monopoly control over all government power in the United States. They control 99.99% of all electoral and legislative machinery. Neither corporation is democratic. Each is tightly controlled by small groups of leaders, financers, committees, and gatekeepers. Fiscal and political efficacy and efficiency (i.e. good government) are so far down on their list of priorities that Americans rarely get to experience them.

The only way Americans are going to get an effective government is to remove power from these small, corporate, activist, and elitist groups and gatekeepers.

Ranked Choice Voting, which allows citizens to rank their preferences will ensure that fewer extremists and corporate candidates are in power. Republican and Democratic primaries and conventions lend themselves to candidates with nowhere near majority support taking power. RCV ensures that a majority of voters prefer a candidate before they win a nomination.

Final Five (or Top Five) Voting takes the five top candidates from all party nominating contests and places them into a final general election. Ranked-Choice Voting would then allow Americans to rank the final five candidates by preference, ensuring that the candidate with the most public support secures the office. This forces politicians to rely on public support more than they rely on corporate partisan infrastructure and billionaire-backed interest groups.

Finally, a balanced budget amendment would ensure that legislators do their job regardless of partisan party politics.

They are required to balance the budget and can be held accountable by the public for doing so. No more passing the buck in the form of debt and endless deficits. Most of the horrific things our governments do they do in terms of debt and unfunded mandates. Unfunded mandates should also be illegal. It means nothing to the American People for a legislature to demand something of states and local governments without funding the mechanisms and implied powers requisite to carry them out.

Any person that tells you that RCV and Final Five Voting are problematic do so because they are protecting the powers of corporate monopolies. They do not want you or your family to have any say in how your governments govern unless it’s through them, unless you come to them, unless you join them, and unless you finance them. It’s 100% about gatekeeping and control and even when you try to participate in it and even after you’ve given them your money, you’ll still have no real meaningful access or privilege to their levers of power. You’re just another useful idiot propping up their corporate machines. I honestly hope that everyone would support RCV, Final Five, and Balanced Budget Amendments in any place where they are not already in place.

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