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We won! Whew... I am just relieved.

With all the voter suppression including long viting lines I would like to replay an entry from 2006.

Build Democracy in America
Memorial Day is an appropriate time to reflect on the sacrifice the few are making for the many. Rather than selectively supporting Democracy outside of American, we should find ways of creating Democracy in America.
There are many failings in the US political system:
* Undemocratic Electoral College.
* Gerrymandered House seats where there is a Soviet Union style re-election rate.
* Partisan Politicians running elections.
* No Constitutional Right to Vote.
* Low citizen participation in the political process including voting.
In my opinion, the crucial components of a functioning democracy:
* A competitive electoral system.
* Every vote counts
* Free flow of ideas.

Here is where Democrats need to have the courage to support Democracy even in the face of losing future elections. They need their own Contract with America outlining specific measures they support if in power. "Democracy in America" should be one of those measures.
Much has been written about improving the process. Here is just one article from "The Nation" on the subject: http://www.thenation.com/...
Here are a few ideas to make a more competitive election process:
* Eliminate the Electoral College for Presidential Elections - Popular vote.
* Nation-wide nonpartisan created US House districts like Iowa and Maine.
* Public funding of Federal elections with campaign limits.
* Free or significantly reduced media rates for politicians to get their respective messages (ideas) out to the public.
* Weekend elections starting and stopping at the same time to prevent premature announcing of electoral results while others are still voting. Another alternative is a Nation-wide holiday on Election Day.
* Auditable voting results for recounts.
* Possible mandatory voting like Australia.
* A nonpartisan bureaucracy to administer Federal elections.
Here is another site with electoral reform information: http://bolson.org/...
Part of the proposals should focus on increasing civic participation in the process. Educational funds need to be used to educate our children from grade school through high school on the American political process and their civic responsibilities culminating in registering every high school senior to vote. Much has been made about the science and math deficiencies in American children. Civic ignorance condemns America to be a less Democratic country.
Let me say in closing, I am not against "spreading Democracy throughout the world". I do hope the Iraq tragedy ultimately comes out OK for Iraqi people. I don't think you spread Democracy through force. The US needs to get our own house in order before we go preaching to the rest of the world.

Sun Oct 12, 2014 at 3:48 PM PT: https://web.archive.org/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Totally agree with public funding of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Killer of Sacred Cows

    elections so the karl roves of this power does not have all that power.

    "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little" – FDR

    by smokey545 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:29:52 PM PST

  •  That's an ambitious and controversial program (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, codairem

    For now, I would be content with simple voting reform for federal elections that sets standards for:
    1) eligibility
    2) access to the polls
    3) voting methods
    4) ballot design
    5) informing voters

    Just having honest, fair elections would be a big improvement over what we have now.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:31:33 PM PST

  •  though I wouldn't describe the goal as... (0+ / 0-)

    ... "making a more competitive election system."

    It's already as competitive as the competition between huge sums of money can make it.

    What's needed is to make a more free and fair and trustworthy election system.

    Toward that end:

    1)  All citizens are automatically registered.

    2)  The right to vote is made explicit and enshrined in its own constitutional amendment.

    3)  Interfering with anyone's right to vote or with ballots or other components of elections is made a federal felony.

    4)  Elections are held using paper ballots, that are counted by hand under intensive visual and audio surveillance that is broadcast on the internet.  About which more momentarily.  

    This election was the turning point toward a future with a future.

    by G2geek on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:41:04 PM PST

  •  We dodged a bullet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, codairem
    because they were not above every dirty trick in the book--those that we could see and those behind the scenes.

    The hacker activists who call themselves "Anonymous" called Karl Rove out in the days before the election.  They said they were going to watch the Ohio internet servers, because we're not having ballots routed to tabulation in Kentucky again.  They said they were putting all on notice that they were watching for shenanigans.  

    Next thing we know the Ohio Secty of State was putting untested "patches" on the election systems of over 30 counties.

    Ohio election activist Bob Fitrakis had an injunction hearing that was held on ELECTION DAY morning, and the judge deemed the software okay because it had to be proven that it was malicious.  Despite, "res ipsa loquitor" the judge thought the burden proof was on those of us who had no way to access the internal workings of the machine or the software.  Outrageous.

    Read all about these issues on Bradblog.com

    My question is this:  Why do we ignore these types of issues until the days before the election.  We need a huge clean up now and for ever more.

    What we need is an election system that is not reliant on backroom tabulation.  We, the people, OWN OUR election systems and we have the right to count votes by hand, by machine, or both, in the precinct.  We also should demand paper back-ups on all registrations.  

    I was shocked that my registration was missing when I went to vote per the new electronic registration system.

    Outrageous!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:43:12 PM PST

  •  About paper ballots: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, codairem

    It has already been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt, that software-controlled voting and tabulating systems are inherently vulnerable to all manner of tampering.   And it can readily be demonstrated that no software-based solution is truly secure.  

    This produces a pandemic loss of confidence in election results, and nagging doubts about whether there has or has not been tampering with the system.   Widespread doubt about election integrity is a leading cause of voter nonparticipation.  

    Thus the first commandment of a fair election system is:  Thou shalt not vote on machines with invisible parts.

    And the way to make all of the "parts" visible is with a return to paper ballots, counted by hand, with the count conducted under intensive video and audio surveillance and broadcast online.   Further it would be trivial to record all of these surveillance data streams for immediate review in the event that any issues of error or tampering were raised.

    This election was the turning point toward a future with a future.

    by G2geek on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:48:21 PM PST

  •  You and most others seem to miss why most of... (0+ / 0-)

    what you object exists.  It was the deal made between sovereign states to give up some of their autonomy to join this union, called the United States of America.

    Here's your list, with Const. for this answer.  It would take a constitutional amendment that would never be approved by the smaller states.

    * Eliminate the Electoral College for Presidential Elections - Popular vote.----Const.

     * Nation-wide nonpartisan created US House districts like Iowa and Maine.

    California has had this on referendums, but never quite passed, or needed fix.  It can be done, but not by the political system.  States with referenda can do this one

     * Public funding of Federal elections with campaign limits.

    No No No.....Ist amendment can't limit speech, and this was not such a close decision of the  SC

     * Free or significantly reduced media rates for politicians to get their respective messages (ideas) out to the public.--Who, only major parties?  Many issues to be dealt with.

     * Possible mandatory voting like Australia.
    TERIBLE idea.  Most voters are clueless, voting on sound bites.  Those who know this and stay home are heroes.

     * A nonpartisan bureaucracy to administer Federal elections.
    Maybe, but consitutinoal problems here too

    The following two I applaud, and can be done

     * Weekend elections starting and stopping at the same time to prevent premature announcing of electoral results while others are still voting. Another alternative is a Nation-wide holiday on Election Day.

     * Auditable voting results for recounts

    •  Couldn't a state award its electoral votes (0+ / 0-)

      proportionately rather than giving them all to one candidate? Some, like Maine and Nebraska, do split their votes, so surely others could do something similar, so for instance Florida would now give Obama 15 of its electoral votes and Romney 14.

      Romnesia is whatever I said it is though I'm not familiar with exactly what I said but I stand by what I said whatever it was.

      by Roger Otip on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:36:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What kind of popular vote for presidential (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    codairem

    elections? Would you go for something like the French have, where they have a first round with all candidates followed by a second round run off between the two who got the most first round votes? And you could do that in one go, saving the hassle of having to have two elections, by having an instant run-off election, where voters get to order the candidates they want - first choice, second choice etc..

    With that you can start to break down the two party monopoly a bit, and people can put down a minor party candidate as their first choice without fear of wasting their vote or letting in someone they really don't want - like Nader voters in 2000 could have put down Nader as their first choice and then Gore as their second choice so in the second round Nader would have been eliminated and their votes would have counted towards Gore.

    I suppose this system could be used on a state by state basis as well, which would probably be easier than bringing it in nationally. Is there any reason why a particular state couldn't give voters a 1, 2, 3 choice of candidates on a ballot rather than forcing them to pick just one?

    Romnesia is whatever I said it is though I'm not familiar with exactly what I said but I stand by what I said whatever it was.

    by Roger Otip on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:09:52 PM PST

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