Essay on The Wake Of The 2016 General Election

Essay on The Wake Of The 2016 General Election

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In the wake of the 2016 general election, Michael Lind published a piece on The Smart Set entitled: Can Electoral Reform Save America? This piece centered around a single question on the ballot of a single state, question 5 in Maine, and the impact on electoral reform it could have for the country according to Lind. Using deconstruction, Lind analyzes the idea of a Ranked Choice polling system, rather than the first-past-the-post system that is currently in place in the United States. His allusions to the past as well as separate government entities globally, as well as a deconstruction of both polling systems and the impact they have (or could have) allows the reader to absorb information and produce their own personal opinion.
Ranked choice voting is when in an electoral race, the voter has the ability to rank their chosen officials from favorite to least favorite. In the beginning of the essay Lind employs deconstruction by breaking down exactly what question 5 is asking, by employing a fictional election with four candidates: Dewey, Juana, Democracy, Arnott. He goes on to explain that as opposed to a first-past-the-post voting system where the winner would be whoever get the most amount of votes even if they don’t have the majority number of votes, in a ranked choice voting system the winner would end up being whoever the most amount of people prefer. Breaking this down, Lind explains that if most people agree that “Arnott” is evil he could still win by getting the most amount of votes which could only be 26% votes in a plurality voting system. In a ranked choice voting system, if most people chose Arnott as their lest favorite, he would not win the election. By using these examples and breaking down the possibly theoretical ...


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Throughout this paper, Lind makes many good points and uses historical allusion and employs deconstruction to complete his argument and convince the reader that change in voting systems in favor of the ranked voting system would benefit the US greatly, but lacks in evidence the proof that the change will have the impact he thinks it will. Although he can convince the reader to agree with him, there is no way for him to tell the future, but even so, his reasoning is not explained. After this article was published, it was found that the state of Maine voted in favor of question 5, agreeing to implement a ranked choice voting system. There is no way to tell what is going to happen in the future and how this will affect the country, but Lind’s piece definitely poses an important question that the people of the US are going to have to consider in the future.

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