When large buildings are brought down, the process doesn’t usually start at the top. More often, the supporting base, the foundation, is weakened, and the building collapses into a pile of rubble.

That process is analogous to how a national movement should begin to make government more representative of and responsive to the long-neglected needs of the people. The people’s needs include making health care affordable and college education available to everyone. And among many other needs, the most urgent is to slow down and reverse climate change that will soon destroy our planet. If that isn’t done nothing else will matter.

Our national government is an entrenched political duopoly and reform efforts at that level have not been successful. Change must start in the election process. at the lowest grassroots level.

Just as a building is taken down by weakening its foundation, the efforts of a determined electorate to reform our unresponsive high-rise government will be effective only if begun at the lowest election level.

Election by a plurality has polarized the nation, divided us into one or the other of two major political parties bent on winning at any cost and resulted in an unresponsive federal duopoly.

As has been shown by the people of Maine, election reform can be successful at the grassroots. Ranked-choice voting, passed by a majority of the voters in Maine, eliminates winning an election by a mere plurality of the votes.

We need to go further in election reform. Candidate winnowing in primary elections must be open to all voters not just those enrolled in the major political parties.

To end “gerrymandering,” voters across the country must demand that electoral districts cannot be created by the two major political parties, but must be done in a nonpartisan process.

Jim Chiddix

Waterville


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