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William Allen: 'Try to imagine a party-free government at the federal level.'

Every American alive today was born into the two-party political system.

By the time any of us were born, these two private lobbying corporations had inserted themselves into every aspect of our representative democracy. Over the decades, they have perverted one constitutional provision after another to facilitate the demands of their special interests.

One of the more onerous perversions was the creation of the political party ticket wherein the two highest offices in the land, president and vice president, were essentially inextricably locked together to ensure continued same-party control of the presidency in the event of the sitting president's incapacitation.

Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, the electors for president and vice president are required to vote for each office in two distinct votes. The Oregon Constitution, Article II, Section 16 states as follows: "Every qualified elector resident in his precinct and registered as may be required by law, may vote for one person under the title for each office."

The practice of allowing a presidential nominee to select the potential vice president, from almost any adult citizen over 35, is an abomination in its own right. Just an odorous bow on our single ballot choice.

There are two major issues that we can address right now.

Starting on the 2024 election ballot, the office of the president and vice president must be listed under separate and distinct categories, in line with the original intent of the 12th Amendment. We have the right to vote for these offices independent of any and all political party affiliations.

Additionally, all party affiliations should be removed from the final ballot. The Constitution does not recognize Republicans, Democrats or any other synthetic political creation. Their private corporate identities have absolutely no place on the people's ballot.

It will ultimately take a constitutional amendment to remove the cancer on the body politic known as the Republican and Democratic parties. In the meantime, we the people can claw back our democracy one correction at a time.

Try to imagine a party-free government at the federal level. Five-hundred thirty-five congresspersons representing their constituents first. Throw in term limits and the United States might, just might, have a chance to survive the current unrepresentative cesspool that we have come to accept as normal.

I would appreciate public feedback from former state Sen. Betsy Johnson and state Rep. Brad Witt on their thoughts and potential legislative actions.

William Allen is a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer who has spent the last two decades engaged in water quality monitoring and water sediment research on the Columbia River. He lives in St. Helens.


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