3. Implement instant runoff voting (voting preferences)
Instant runoff voting (or IRV) is the only realistic way to break (or at least challenge) the two-party lock. With IRV, you don’t cast just one vote for president: you list candidates in order of preference. For example, I might have voted “1: Johnson, 2: Obama”. Votes are counted by first running the numbers with everyone’s first preference. If there is no candidate with a majority (more than 50%), the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated, and everyone who voted for that candidate gets moved to their next choice. Then this process is repeated until there is one candidate with a majority. What is fantastic about this is that voting third-party no longer helps out a major party candidate you don’t agree with, because you can specify which major candidate you’d prefer in the case that your third-party candidate doesn’t win. No more Nader or Perot spoiler effect! Because there would be no more spoiler effect, people would be much more willing to support third party candidates. With sufficient levels of support, these candidates could not be ignored by the televised debates. Their viewpoints would be represented, and the major party candidates challenged on the issues that they ignore because both parties are in lockstep. We could have real, substantive debates instead of a bunch of superficial tweaking on taxes, spending, abortion, how much each candidate loves the military and supports a certain middle eastern religious conflict theme park.