Letter: The state needs more political parties

Published 3:48 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

One must be heartened by the ballot access reform law newly opening up this state’s electoral system to more than the two-party duopoly which has perennially controlled North Carolina politics. But with unlimited campaign money still determining who can be a successful candidate of both the NC Republican and Democratic parties at all levels of government, choice of both parties’ candidates has long been more plutocratic or oligarchical rather than democratic.

Voters here have had to choose between the lesser of two evils on the ballot than vote for a candidate who more truly represents the views of the voter.  Thus, political reform has been hard, if not prohibitive, to come by in NC, where Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum politics rule.

In order to establish a more democratic electoral system in this state and open up the possibility of real political change,  we not only must rid our present system of unequal and corrupt voting districts, but broaden the range of the political ideologies of candidates voters can choose between on the ballot.  Third and fourth party candidates, adding political ideological diversity to the voter’s range of choice, seem a wise direction for NC political reform to turn to.

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The recent ballot access reform law passed by the state legislature is certainly a step in the right direction.  A follow-up bill for ranked voting in NC elections seems called for to further make our electoral system more democratic.  I suggest a bipartisan committee of the Legislature accompany Gov. Cooper to Maine to see if there isn’t something in Maine’s ranked voting system that could help Tar Heel voters get office-holders that more truly represent their real political and economic convictions.

Ed King, teacher, Pittsboro