Lance Scranton: Gearing up for election season
March 24, 2015
The election season is in full swing and the candidates are starting to make their run for the biggest prize American politics has to offer — commercial spots on television, radio and social media that bash the other candidate instead of describing how our country will be better for electing them to office.
Negative campaigning has become the staple that holds most campaigns together but most people wish that it wouldn't have to be — except that it seems to work! What does it say about grasping for the lowest common denominator to elect people to the highest and most powerful positions in the country.
In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu hoped that his Likud party would win enough seats to allow him to form a new government and remain Prime Minister of Israel. For a few tense weeks leading up to the election, there was more than enough negative press, in this country alone, to make people think that he might not win. Negative press is powerful and can sweep even the most unqualified into power (and some of the most qualified out) by vilifying their opponent, which then justifies the merits of attack-style politics.
Conservatives and Democrats all across our political landscape scurry to their corners and come out swinging each election cycle with constant attacks on each other about everything from government spending to civil liberties. Unfortunately, once elected, each party keeps talking about their differences but the legislation they enact looks eerily similar.
Some think the solution is a third party, but I grew up in a country with a third party and it tends to make legislative decisions tenuous. What usually happens is that the third party exercises minority control over the major parties because each needs the minority party votes to pass their legislation.
The solution isn't more representation, but candidates that actually do what they describe in their campaign platform. Elected officials govern by the consent of those who voted them into office. If the electorate had a method for withdrawing their consent, politicians might actually do what they say when elected. It would be like a 30-day money-back guarantee and if the voters changed their mind, the candidate could be sent packing.