How often in daily political banter do we hear about how “The American People” want this or that. How the American People have spoken. Politicians say that the American People sent them there to do this or that. Politicos cite polls showing that the American people are for or against this or that.
The American people. Is that ALL of the American people? Is EVERY American in agreement on this or that? Of course not.
What is implied by these statements is that there is a general consensus among Americans for or against a particular subject. But in order to back up such statements proof of this consensus certainly must be offered. What is offered as proof is usually polling data, stated as accurate to within a certain margin of error. And what is considered the most valid “proof” of a concensus or mandate is always the results of an election.
While the accuracy of political polling is certainly the subject of another post, election results are of course always at the heart of any posting on this site. When we have an election, politicians and politicos always declare to the world that the election results show a mandate for this and that. And usually everyone accepts such claims. After all, in an election the “American people” speak, and the results reflect their will.
Considering how important the impact of the United States telling the world where it stands on ultra-important issues is, it is IMPERATIVE that our elections actually do reflect the will of ALL of our people, not just that of certain demographic groups.
Our voting system DOES NOT enable our elections to speak for all of the people who should be represented. It doesn’t even come close.
Online voting could change all that. Only through the use of online voting can we point to our election results and truly say that “The American People have spoken.”