To the Editor:
I certainly agree with Jean Lloyd-Jones and Maggie Tinsman (July 5, 2018 Messenger) that we need to ensure that campaigns remain positive rather than negative. It must be acknowledged, however, that negative campaigning is facilitated by the two-party system itself. When people believe that there are only two viable options, negative campaigning becomes an easy way to go for politicians. They do not need to be positive if they believe all they need to do is show that the other side is worse.
It is not a stretch to say that our current two-party system is to politics what structural sin is to theology. The best way to address this problem is probably ranked choice voting. In this system, voters are allowed to express their preferences, and voting does not become a stressful form of choosing the lesser evil. I believe this is especially the case with Catholics, whose sentiments are often split between the parties. And antiwar Catholics are often alienated from both parties.
Ranked choice voting helps ensure that candidates present their positive agendas. You can vote for what you believe in, and also indicate what you would tolerate. Voting does not have to be a competition to the death between the parties of Lloyd-Jones and Tinsman. Other voices will become viable, and that is good for democracy.