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View Diary: Armando's Challenge, Or The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election (389 comments)

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  •  Alright (none)
    I'll go with this analogy.  The patient's appointment is on January 6th.  The receptionist says "You can't reschedule any time this year.  You may have a slight chance in 2006, but the next realistic chance of an appointment is 2008."

    To me, the single most important reason to make a big noise about the election now is that (to change metaphors completely) the window of the American publics' attention span is about to close forever on the 2004 election.  We can all pretend that our efforts to make elections clean  will actually change anything in the next two or four years, but I greatly fear (given the sorry election reform history of 2000-2004) that we will be acrimoniously debating election fraud on dKos in November and December of 2008.  Sad, sad, sad.

    There is a tremendous chance which we are about to let fall by the wayside (yikes, another metaphor!).  That's why Georgia10's work, and the work of so many others is so important.  If Conyers etal are able to get a group of Senators to stand up on 01/06, we will have instant SCLM attention.  Ergo, we will reinvigorate the election reform debate that, to the average voter, was "a Florida problem that got fixed before the 2002 election, didn't it?"

    We have no, I repeat, no chance of meaningful election reform in the next four years if we don't jostle the sleepy electorate awake long enough to realize that they are being screwed.  On January 7th they will nod off again(oh god, I've started another metaphor) for another two/four years and will be even harder to awaken.

    •  Excellent Point (4.00)
      We have no, I repeat, no chance of meaningful election reform in the next four years if we don't jostle the sleepy electorate

      Exactly.

      I just made the point in the "response to Georgia10" diary that the shortest path to future election reform is to prosecute the 2004 election as a theft.

      In fact, what we need to jostle is not just the puny electorate, but the whole bloody system itself. Because this transmits the shock wave upstream to the powers that pull the strings, the ones that need to be checked and balanced.

      The specific reason we have "no chance" for reform if we let the moment pass (as you say) is that we have no power in the government.

      But what we do have is an adversarial system.

      But that whole premise breaks down if the adversary is too shy to fight. We need to push our cause to the max because the opposition--rightfully, in our system--is doing the same against us.

      If the evidence backs us up, so be it.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 11:25:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  shortest path to ...? (none)
        I just made the point in the "response to Georgia10" diary that the shortest path to future election reform is to prosecute the 2004 election as a theft.

        I disagree. Trying to prosecute the 2004 election as a theft is the shortest path to election reform being written off as a nutcase idea. Even if you're right about the 2004 election. Maybe especially if you're right about it.

        Proud member of the reality-based minority

        by Bearpaw on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 11:26:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see why that's the only appointment. (3.00)
      The 6th is our first appointment. Are we giving up if we don't win the challenge? Because we're not going to.

      I think our next appointment has to be with a doctor who will pioneer a new treatment -- i.e., legislation like Rush Holt's. And because we know that'll be blocked, we need to initiate other proceedings in court.

      I don't understand what's left to fight about in this analogy.

      I'm for paper trails. I'm for open source only voting machines and auditability. I'm for investigations into voter suppression efforts. I'm even for the electoral challenge on the 6th, even though we'll lose. And I'm for more (and frankly, better) attorneys filing more and better lawsuits to try to find a way into those machines.

      What else would you like to test me on? Name it, and I'll see if I can agree to it, if that's of any interest to you.

      What separates me from most of you, apparently, is that I like to approach these frustrations with the idea in mind that there's a solution I can lay out for the specialists who are empowered to help me. I don't just sign petitions asking them to figure it out for me.

      They can't seem to do it. They're too busy fundraising. So I'd like to figure out the system myself and give them a blueprint, so that there are fewer excuses not to follow it.

      That's what I'm about.

      •  Where we differ (4.00)
        I guess, is that I have little confidence that meaningful reform will happen without great pressure from the public.  No matter how thoughtful and useful of a blueprint you could provide, it would get fed into the law making machine, with Republicans at all the controls, and would come out the other end as an  ineffectual mishmash of legislation, chock full of money making opportunities for partisan constituents and almost unrecognizeable compared to your original blueprint.  

        I want maximum visibility of these issues now, before the coronation.  For petesake, many Americans are completely unaware that there are serious voting problems.  Why would a legislator give this any kind of priority, when their constituents are so blissfully unaware?  I believe that public awareness is as much a part of this mess as is a good blueprint.  We are approaching a very good chance to wake people up.  I don't think we should waste it.  I say sign petitions, send LTEs, send emails, make this important to people.

        •  Sure. Fine. Go. (none)
          There's nothing counterproductive about public pressure and a public awareness campaign, provided it's well-founded. That's what I thought Armando's challenge was supposed to draw out.

          It might have happened sooner. That would have been nice. And a more coherent statement of the issue might have arisen on its own, without prodding. But it didn't. And I don't see that as the fault of "elite bloggers."

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