Tuesday, April 3, 2012

None of the Above

In the movie Brewster's Millions Richard Pryor plays a two-bit minor league baseball pitcher who learns that a great-uncle he never knew existed has died and left him 300-million dollars.  However, to get that money, Brewster has to spend 30-million dollars in 30-days--with no tangible assets or income to show for it.  As part of his effort to blow all the money, Brewster enters the New York City Mayor's race on a "None of the Above" platform.  Of course, the movement catches fire and "None of the Above" easily wins the election.

Never before have I wished that "None of the Above" was an option on the ballot as I do on this election day.  The Republican Primary, City Council, School Board, County Board--I have no interest in voting for any of these people.  I am yet to hear from ANYBODY on today's ballot any of the fiscally-responsible plans and ideas that I support.  So NOBODY is getting my vote.  Good thing there are those school referenda--or I might be tempted to just sit this one out.

But I am serious about "None of the Above" being an actual option in all elections.  You could argue that the 65-percent of people who aren't voting today are making that selection by not showing up at the polls.  But those who get the majority or plurality of those votes cast by the minority still end up winning.  By having the "None of the Above" option, we could make a declarative statement that "We don't want any of these candidates anywhere near seats of power"--and that result would stand.  If "None" wins in a head-to-head race--both candidates lose and two new candidates will have to be nominated until "None" stops winning. 

The multiple seat races we have for Common Councils and School Boards (of which I am not a fan) are a bit more complicated.  In those, "None of the Above" would have to serve as a "firewall"--where those who beat it win seats--those who finish below it are out.

The only problem is that political action committees and Super-PAC's would be formed to overtake the "None" movement--with negative attack ads, robocalls and full color mailers every day.  That would alienate the voters and drive them right back to the "lesser of two evils" philosophy that most of use now to decide who gets our vote.

Oh well, I guess I'll just go with my old standby of writing in Bob Burnell for every office.

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