Press

End the Endless Election Season

Writing for the Daily Beast, PPI Senior Fellow Raymond A. Smith lays out policies to improve our presidential elections.

President Obama’s second inauguration last week capped a long electoral cycle that began almost two years ago, in early 2011. The stupendous length and cost of America’s presidential elections is a wonder to the world – and not in a good way.

In scarcely 24 months, the whole spectacle will start anew. Then it’s two years of straw polls, fundraising reports, and breathless horserace coverage of non-events. This will be followed by a gauntlet of caucuses and primaries whose arcane rules are understood only by a small priesthood of campaign consultants. And it in the end will yield a general election campaign smothered in attack ads paid for by shadowy “independent” groups accountable to no one.

Does democracy really have to be this way? No, and for proof we need only look to our closest democratic allies, whose national elections are notably brief, efficient and orderly. How do they manage this? Four sets of policies and practices stand out.

Read the complete piece at the Daily Beast.