Negative Voting

It's been six years since I first announced my idea to change the American electoral process. Since then, my negative voting movement has gained absolutely no momentum, while election results have only affirmed my position.

In the summer of 2000, anyone could see the country was headed down the crapper. George W. Bush and Albert A. Gore -- two of the country's most hated men -- were the favorites to become president. No one else stood a chance.

I didn't know that election would end up as controversial as it did, but obviously the result wasn't going to be popular. Obviously our voting process was backward. Obviously it was time for negative voting.

When I launched the negative voting movement in June of 2000, I declared it was too late to save that fall's election, but there was plenty of time to plan for 2004. Now, the 2008 campaign is fast approaching, and my warnings continue to be ignored.

The negative voting process is a simple reversal of the traditional way of voting. Instead of selecting the least objectionable representative of a major party, Americans would instead vote for the person on the ballot they dislike the most. The candidate with the fewest votes would win.

Under such a system, George Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry and anyone like them would have no chance of winning an election. They would be simply too unpopular for the office. Americans couldn't resist voting for them.

Celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger would be impossible to elect because of their name recognition. Only common people would stand a chance of not getting enough votes to win.

Campaign finance reform would no longer be an issue because candidates would have no need for money. Keeping a low profile would be the only way to avoid getting votes. Also, term limits wouldn't be necessary because getting re-elected to any office would be nearly impossible.

More Americans would vote because there would be no sense of responsibility for electing anyone. No matter what the results would be, everyone could say they voted against someone.

Clearly, negative voting is America's opportunity to turn its political frown upside down. And all it requires is reversing the system completely.

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His favorite kind of politics is the politics of dancing and the politics of ooo feeling good. His e-mail address is paul[at]geekprom.com.