May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Nine (9) Important Keys to Real Democratic Elections in the US and Elsewhere

In time for 2016, I am convinced we need a National Election Amendment, including some semblance of the following.  Multipartisan task forces should hash this out and negotiate the details for maximum democratic process.

1. Approval-voting instead of plurality-voting (allows everyone to vote with absolute sincerity, and dismisses the problem of "lesser-of-two-evils" and ALSO eliminates the need for "primaries" and all of the weird distortions caused by insincere voting at that stage); 


2. Public money only -- no private donations, or privately-purchased advertisements (allows free speech to be equitable, and mitigates opportunities for candidates/representatives to be corporately-beholden); 

3. Democratically-elected *media*, with ~20% of the FM spectrum dedicated to news and opinion from people we elected (bandwidth and time given according to proportion of popular vote -- allows all people to have their voice heard through representatives in the public media, rather than the overwhelming skew of voices only representing corporate media ownership, and narrowly defining the bounds of discourse);

4. Eliminate electoral college (we're not delivering vote-counts via pony express anymore, and direct voting makes every person's vote count);

5. End to gerrymandering.  Set the congressional district boundaries and keep them as-is until it comes time to add or subtract.  When that happens, each of the significant parties (define at whatever threshold) in the state should get to pick counties in a rotating draft, such that the Republicans get to pick one county for the district of their choosing, then the Dems, then the third party, then R then D, etc, until they're all spoken for.  To simply have dominant state legislatures recreate district lines in ways that secures their continued dominance has an ossifying effect for democracy.

6. Consensually-agreed-upon secure voting (either paper or transparent, secure machines with audited paper record) with sufficient resources at every precinct (It's not who votes that counts, its who counts the votes.)  The electronic voting systems frequently used do not in any way merit public trust.

7. Adequate resources for voting.  Nobody should have to wait more than 2 hours to vote.  Ever.   A standardized system.  The secure voting system should be standardized.  Citizens in Florida shouldn't have remarkably different voting experiences than those in Iowa.

8. Penalties for intimidating, harassing, or intentionally misleading anybody about voting should be severe (e.g. 2+ years in prison), and should be enforced.  "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

9. No term-limits (if representatives are naturally popular, the constituency would suffer if they need to seek somebody else less qualified with less experience).

10. Everyone gets the day off for election day (this allows for people who work long hard hours to have their voice heard)!

Please, get talking in social media, until this framework gets pushed into the mass media. Another quadrennial election cycle with this kind of ramped-up toxicity and inanity, and our nation is kaput.

In order: Approval-voting, no private money, elected media, eliminate electoral college, end gerrymandering, standardized secure equitable voting, term-changes, national holiday.

OR do we not have the political will to establish true democracy and overcome corporate oppression? 

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