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washingtonpost.com | Where Elections Should Turn

by Jack Santucci // Published December 13, 2005
In light of declining voter confidence in the two major parties, one Washington Post reader suggests using proportional voting to elect the Congress.

"Where Elections Should Turn"
December 9, 2005

David Broder ["A Pox on Both Parties," op-ed, Dec. 1] presented a clear explanation of the causes for public distrust of both major political parties. But the situation is much worse than he admitted, because the answer to his concluding question, "When both parties have lost public confidence, where do voters turn?" is, unfortunately, "nowhere."

Partisan redistricting, the fundraising advantage of incumbents and the plurality electoral system for members of Congress so favor a two-party duopoly that the third, fourth and fifth parties millions of Americans might love to see have no chance of victory.

One part of the solution is proportional representation, in which parties would gain seats in Congress in relation to the percentage of votes they receive. But since neither major party wants to lose power, we probably will not see a much fairer electoral system anytime soon.

DAVID J. JACKSON

Bowling Green, Ohio

FairVote has been advancing proportional voting since 1992. With mounting public pressure for more competitive Congressional elections, voters are increasingly aware of their Reps' stances on redistricting and election reform. The only significant hurdle is a 1967 law mandating Reps be elected in single-member districts; a Constitutional amendment, contrary to what some believe, would not be necessary.