Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 26, 2014

Not voting shouldn't be a choice for Americans

(Continued)

Is it possible that the Constitution might work better if we had voting rates of 80 percent, or perhaps even just 70 percent? It’s possible. And not because at 70 percent the Democrats would triumph: They might not. But both parties would be different. A bigger percentage of the “99 percent” or just the “bottom 90 percent” would be there to ballast against the “1 percent” or the “10 percent” at the top. The “have-not” faction, to take a concept from Federalist No. 10, would be much larger relative to the “haves,” and all the false consciousness and cognitive dissonance in the world could not cancel out the good effect. Good things would start to happen. The problem of economic inequality at least on the scale we have would sooner or later solve itself.

Maybe the red states would never do it — but think what would happen if the blue states had compulsory voting and the red states did not. It would pile up popular majorities so lopsided for the blue-state presidential choice that red states would have to relent. To keep the Electoral College from becoming a total joke, they would have to resort to compulsory voting, too.

Can’t one blue state, just one of them, try compulsory voting by initiative and see if it sets off a constitutional chain reaction? After all, the states are supposed to be “laboratories for experiment.” That’s why we have 50.

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