Fixing the Voting Process

Whether or not you like the results, it’s clear a political upheaval will happen on Tuesday. But the real question is, “Why isn’t the upheaval larger?”

Currently Congress has a 74% disapproval rating.

RCP Average
Approve 19.8
Disapprove 73.8
So, why will about 90% of people win re-election? That’s the question. Part of the problem is, of course, gerrymandering. It guarantees that most incumbents will win, as their districts are drawn to ensure their re-election. To give politicians a say in their districts is a problem. But it’s only one part of it.
Another problem we have are the “party line” voters. The ones who will only vote for an R or a D on their ballots. This tag should, of course, be removed. Make people, at the very least, remember the names of the people they are going to vote for. Reflexively voting for one party over another is not helping anyone.
In this same line, I think we should remove the incumbent tag from the ballots. This is along the same line as the party tag, but people will reflexively vote for an incumbent.  Even when Congress has a 20% approval rating; people are loathe to admit their own mistakes, thus the idea of “but my representative isn’t part of the problem” comes into play.
Finally, ballots should be randomized. If you remove the party tag and the incumbent tag, then the person in the top position of the ballot will, inevitably, win the race. Think Alvin Greene. He was on the top position of the ballot and on this merit alone, won his primary (there are other theories, but this explanation is the most common sense). Ballots should randomly position names on the ballot. This is easy with electronic voting. Paper ballots wouldn’t be much more difficult. If you have 10 candidates, then it’s not difficult to produce 10 different ballots. Maybe 11 with a “write in option” that might just default to the bottom on all the ballots.
Simple fixes that’d make the voting system a lot more honest, fair and less partisan. And none are too difficult, nor expensive, to enable.

Publix, My Secret Mistress, How Do I Love Thee?

My ode to Publix, my local supermarket.

Where else can I get 2-1 deals on stuff I buy every week and sometimes a $5 or $10 coupon every few weeks as well? Where else can I get 2 boxes of Steak-Ums (16 patties, $9.99 each), for the price of one? Where else can I get 2 bags of Ruffles for the price of 1? Where else can I get 2 Hungry Man meals for the price of 1? And even 2 bags of salad for the price of one? Where else can I get Mangos 2 for the price of 1?

And then honor coupons on those same purchases! Oh, my secret Publix mistress, I love you. If you ever put vegetables or meat on 2 for 1, I might just have to do very naughty things to you.

Where else can I buy $250 worth of food, only pay $160, and save $90 on my purchases by exploiting the 2 for 1 offers to the maximum.