I mentioned not long ago a political fantasy system whereby each party could get rid of someone at the national level by getting an extra vote to cast against a member of your party only, to be replaced by some middle-of-the-road party member. I had suggested that the Republicans might use this to rid themselves of albatrosses like Trent Lott or Ted Stevens.
I also like the idea of sortition, echoing William F. Buckley's sentiment that he would rather be governed by the first two thousand entries in the Cambridge phone book than the faculty of Harvard. But these are mere fantasies. They are never going to happen, even if they are great ideas.
I have a more accessible idea, which can be put in place without cost, with equal benefit and punishment for the two major political parties: Leave One Blank. In 2006 I refused to vote for Craig Benson, Republican governor of NH. I thought he was a crook, and only moderately competent to boot. I could stomach even less the idea of voting for just about any Democrat, though John Lynch is only moderately offensive in the role. I just left it blank.
We should look earnestly for one from our own party to not vote for at each election. The descent of the Democrats into insanity has not produced an improved quality of Republican (For those who are more liberal of mind, ask yourself if the descent of the Republicans into insanity has produced a corresponding improvement in Democratic candidates).
Political consultants and pundits can give a wide variety of interpretations of any vote. As these are often contradictory, it is hard for me to take them at face value. But when a race has fewer votes cast than the others, I think that it will be generally clearer what has happened.
I know none of you wants to give the opposition party any increasing power or encouragement. But we have to start pushing one penguin off the ice or we're all going down. Refuse to vote in one of the races. It will still be tough choice, as your party's miserable example might be opposed by a nutcase from the other party, but if we try hard, we should be able to kick one misery loose every two years.
Leave One Blank.