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Scared politicians deride MN bill that would give citizens a chance to legitimately voice their opinion


Elections

(NaturalNews) Millions of American voters can relate to this: Holding your nose to vote for politicians you consider to be the "lesser of two evils." Both are bad, both are corrupt or both or co-opted by special interests, but you decide to cast a ballot for the one you dislike the least, while never really getting an opportunity to vote for a candidate you really support.

What if that could be changed and elections would begin to feature a bigger variety of candidates, rather than just two peas in a pod (from different plants)?

One state senator in Minnesota has a plan to give voters more say over whom they ultimately elect by adding a mandatory choice to every electoral ballot: "None of the Above."

As reported by The Libertarian Republic:

A recent proposal by State Senator Branden Petersen (R-MN) would place "None of the Above" as an option in elections. Under Petersen's plan (which would be binding in all but presidential contests), if such option were to receive the most votes in a November election, a special election would be held with new candidates in February. Any candidates who had been listed on the prior ballot would be excluded.

New elections without the previous candidates

The Minneapolis Star Tribune further reported that Peterson himself admits his bill is a long shot to ultimately being passed into law, but he is at least hoping the measure will generate some serious discussion about an electoral process that has largely been hijacked by big money interests and the major political parties.

"This would give people an opportunity to really make a strong statement in rebuke of the present dynamic. It would be an honest check on the two-party system," Peterson, a first-term senator from Andover who has, at times, warred with the state GOP, told the paper. "This gives people a chance to legitimately voice their opinion."

As further reported by the Star Tribune:

It holds the potential for new elections if the "None of the Above" line garners the most votes. That outcome - binding in all but presidential contests - would trigger special elections the following February. The listed candidates from the prior race would be excluded, although write-in candidates would remain eligible. If the deadlock hit a governor's election, the state Supreme Court would be enlisted to select a temporary fill-in governor.

Such an out-of-the-box solution to a very real problem has been met with expected derision and outright opposition, and some from his own party. The Star Tribune reported that Rep. Tim Sanders, a Republican and chairman of the state House Government Operations and Election Policy Committee, dismissed it as a "Brewster's Millions" piece of legislation, a reference to the 1980's film starring Richard Pryor in which the main character spent millions of dollars on a successful "None of the Above" campaign in a fictional New York City mayoral contest.

'I'm not convinced'

"That's not something that grabs my interest. I'm certainly willing to hear him out," Sanders told the paper, adding that he believed that the measure would be too complex and create an insatiable appetite for an elusive perfect candidate.

"This is a representative form of government and I don't think you're ever going to find you're 100 percent represented unless your own name is on the ballot," he added.

Democrats panned the measure, too. Senate Elections Subcommittee chair Katie Sieben

Senate Elections Subcommittee Chairwoman Katie Sieben, of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (which caucuses with Democrats), said she would likely give the measure a hearing but believes it to be "excessive and expensive" as an answer to voter frustration.

"I'm not convinced," she told the paper.

There is at least some precedent for such a measure. Nevada has a "None of the Above" law. But there, if "None of the Above" prevails then the candidate who got the most votes wins, essentially negating the intent of the law.

As the country nears another presidential election in which the potential nominees for the major parties will be Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jeb Bush, "None of the Above" laws could garner much more appeal.

Sources:

http://www.shtfplan.com

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com

http://www.startribune.com

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