Skip to main content
frankel66_Scott Olson_Getty Images_third party debate Scott Olson/Getty Images

Voting for a Better US Political System

The US political system has gone off the rails, a reality that is often blamed on gerrymandering, rising economic inequality, a campaign finance system that favors the wealthy and powerful, and slanted journalism. Yet there is another culprit, over which ordinary citizens actually have a lot of control: low voter turnout.

CAMBRIDGE – The American political train has gone off the rails, and it seems farther than ever from getting back on track. There has been a lot of finger pointing, with commentators blaming issues like gerrymandering, rising economic inequality, the campaign finance system, and unbalanced journalism. But the public cannot address these genuine flaws in the system directly. What they can do is tackle another fundamental problem: low voter turnout.

The beauty of democracy is that, if people vote, they can effect change. It may not happen as quickly as they would like, and the candidates may not always be ideal. But voters can still help shape their country’s future.

Nowadays, many are politically disillusioned. With the rich and powerful pulling the strings, ordinary people feel that they have no influence on electoral outcomes. So, they conclude, they might as well not register or show up to vote. This behavior is most prominent among young people and some ethnic groups, particularly Latinos and Asian-Americans.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/oVnxq9b;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.