By Mark Bauer
If there’s one thing Andrew Yang has learned from campaigning for president and mayor of New York City, it’s that America’s electoral process is in desperate need of reform.
Hence why Yang is now putting his time and resources into a third political party, The Forward Party, that emphasizes the need for open primaries and ranked choice voting.
In a recent book tour stop in Boston, he cites Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the lone Republican senator to vote to impeach President Donald Trump. The fallout from that decision was swift. Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2022, saw her approval rating among Alaskan Republicans plummet to the low teens.
To the casual observer, Murkowski’s political future looks finished except for Alaska’s recent passing of open primaries and ranked choice voting. Both will give Murkowski the opportunity to take a principled message directly to the people of Alaska, rather than having to cater to the extreme wing of her party.
“Now imagine if we could liberate another 10 senators around the country, to be able to do what they thought was right as opposed to their party-line incentives,” Yang said. “How much good would that do for our country? I’m going to suggest to you all it might actually save our democracy.”
That sounds like a lot of pressure to put on two otherwise minor reforms. But the change we seek in politics really might be that simple.
“What we’re calling for is open primaries and ranked choice voting in as many states around the country as possible,” Yang said. “That will unlock us from this doom loop. Make it so that genuine points of view emerge, and make our actual system more resilient.”
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Mark Bauer is a producer, entrepreneur, day trader and former Independent candidate for Congress in Texas. Previously he spent 10 years as a legal journalist covering the legal market in Texas and regulatory issues in Washington DC. Mark’s primary interests involve using content and storytelling to help different groups of people better understand one another.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Rank the Vote, its members, supporters, funders, or affiliates.