What is Negative.Vote?
NEGATIVE.VOTE is an Independent expenditure organization aligned with Independent voters. It advocates publicly for the right to vote “NO” on behalf of voters that do not affiliate with either major political party. As part of that advocacy, it will petition to bypass the two-party system and put the question directly to voters via ballot initiative in every state.
Ballot question: Should voters get a “NO” vote to cast AGAINST our least-preferred candidate in any given election – to register a more precise measure of voter sentiment?
It's time to end
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our constitution.
- John Adams, 1780
The two-party system is broken
The current system gives a structural monopoly to two parties, which each represent just a fraction of American society. 65-70% of registered voters do not affiliate with either major party.
Primary Elections are a spiral in which the more extreme the candidates, the less the majority of voters are willing to be affiliated with the two major parties – further strengthening the grip that each extreme has on each party. This is a system that favors extremists.
Additionally, when voters must choose to allocate their one vote between two extremist groups, margins of victory are typically razor thin, making American democracy an easy target of outside influence and meddling by foreign governments.
America’s adversaries capitalize on the weakness of the two-party system by attempting to rile up and divide its most polarized citizens.
When polarized Americans see each other as enemies, the nation suffers, without regard for what most voters want out of government: solution-oriented candidates, consensus-building, and action. Instead, we get name callers and gridlock…at best.
Did you know that voters in Ancient Greece had a negative vote? That’s right. The people who first invented democracy had this figured out over 2600 years ago! Democracy means “rule of the people” from the Greek word, Demos.
Ancient Athenian voters were each issued a piece of clay called an ostrakon, which they wrote upon to indicate their least-preferred candidate. The Greek voters would place their ostrakon on a candidate’s corresponding pile to make the negative votes easy to tally.
The candidate with the largest pile of clay was banned. How f-ing brilliant is that! And ostrakon is the root of the English word, to ostracize.
It is time for the people to exert our will. America needs to bring back the Greek System, and we’re not talking about a fraternity party..
Why not vote Independent?
Here’s why that’s a mistake with just one vote:
An Independent or 3rd Party candidate may seem like one way that Americans can register our disgust with the two-party system. …and Independents may poll higher during the early stages of any given election cycle, making them seem like a viable option.
However, support for Independent candidates will tend to erode over time as an election approaches, as voters encounter “The Prisoner’s Dilemma.”
We vote in private, and behind the curtain voters ask ourselves, “If I abandon the two-party system, can I trust that others will join me?” …because a single vote for a 3rd Party or Independent candidate actually HELPS one’s least-preferred candidate.
Invariably, voters conclude, “No, I cannot trust that others will join me.”
So we return to the two-party system to vote for the candidate that opposes our least-preferred option – exacerbating the two-party rule and the effects of polarization.
The Effects of Polarization
In addition to violent skirmishes that break out occasionally between the most extreme elements that are empowered by our two-party system, there are also long-term effects of such a polarized society.
Most notably, America is overly dependent on ever-increasing deficit spending and a national debt, which can only increase as a percentage of the American economy to sustain the status quo, regardless of which party is in power at any given time.
Furthermore, without a negative vote, the only strategy that independent voters have at our disposal is to “bounce” back-and-forth, alternating our vote between the two major parties. We vote for the party that is not in power at the time.
There is a clear historical pattern of independents acting as a swing vote against incumbents. However, this results in small windows of time when one party controls both the legislature and the executive branch. When the stars align for either party, they will continue to increase our national debt by either:
- more spending obligations
- lower taxes despite existing obligations
The real national debt is almost one million dollars per American household. Something has to give, and we want to give you a negative vote to break the cycle.
The Impact of YOUR Negative Vote
Many extreme partisans would largely cancel each other out. As a result, their constant partisan bickering should subside - revealing an opportunity for the rest of us, a majority, to elect more solution-oriented candidates, who could work together to make progress toward solving real problems.