Proposed Statement of Demand for Electoral Reform Act of 2012 – this blends in everything from the group list

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20111028 Version 3.2  Note: I decided to leave in the ER Road Trip because that is what I would have if I were printing the handouts and taking them around, and because I realized this might qualify for some seed contribution from NYC GA to the IndieGoGo campaign.  The road trip is not an agenda item, the wording for the proposed demand to be shared with other Occupy groups is half the agenda, the specifics of the electoral reform act of 2012 being the other half of the agenda, in both cases this is a discussion meeting not a decision meeting.

ER  Road Trip

Proposed for Consideration & Further Development

Seeking $200 per state to take this to every Occupy site

http://Tinyurl.com/ER-RoadTrip


The system is rigged now for the 1% against the 99%.  There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by the simple restoration of integrity to our electoral process and hence to our government, restoring the representativeness and integrity of that government.

Electoral Reform 2012

Whereas the two entrenched political parties have excluded the other 63 political parties and displaced democracy – organized people – with a form of neo-fascism – organized money;

Whereas the U.S. Government, irrespective of which of the two entrenched political parties has been “in power,” has failed to represent We the People and instead legalized high crimes and misdemeanors by Wall Street and various special interests across all policy domains;

Whereas the U.S. national budget is out of control and being used by the two entrenched political parties to reward speculators who contribute to re-election campaigns (with 5% of the taxpayer-funded earmark being the standard “contribution”);

We the General Assembly and all related citizens who place citizenship above party; principle above party; and integrity above the now-standard corrupt practices of both the U.S. Government and the varied corporations that have “exploded” not only the U.S. economy but the global economy,

Demand

As of 5 January 2012, that the President of the United States of America and the Congress of the United States, shall introduce and then pass, not later than 15 February 2012, the Electoral Reform Act of 2012.  The elements of this Act are not negotiable and will include all ten of the provisions as set forth in the Act now online for public review, discussion, validation, and as desired, revision and extension.

If the U.S. Government fails to enact the Electoral Reform Act of 2012 by 15 February 2012, a nation-wide General Strike will be called for, and We the People will immediately begin to work toward the impeachment, recall, and/or public disenfranchisement of each Senator and each Representative failing to support the passage of the Electoral Reform Act of 2012.

Persistent Shortcut to Source Page: http://tinyurl.com/OWS-ER-HO

Suggestion: That as many as are inspired to do so take individual action to see these two pages properly presented at Wikipedia/Electoral Reform.  That be picked up by DuckDuckGo as well as Google et al.

 

Buckminster Fuller:  Don’t try to fix a broken system, create a new one to displace it.

Russell Ackoff:  Don’t keep doing the wrong thing righter, do the right thing.

10 Responses to “Proposed Statement of Demand for Electoral Reform Act of 2012 – this blends in everything from the group list”

  1. Eytan Levy

    I have a suggestion regarding redistricting efforts. Instead of saying they’re banned, why not eliminate the concept of districts altogether?

    In every election, allow voters to choose two Senators, and the appropriate number of Representatives (varying with population), and the top two Senators win, and the top appropriate number of Representatives win.

    That way if they wanted to redistrict anything, they’d have to change State lines, which would be a very, very big deal, and utterly transparent. I’d rather see redistricting become IMPOSSIBLE rather than just banned.

    • Benjamin Gevelow

      I take issue with eliminating districts altogether – the point of districting (as intended) is to allow geospatial groups of people to elect representatives from their own region, familiar with the particular needs and concerns of people in that region. By eliminating districts altogether and choosing Representatives from among an entire state there is a real concern that, in New York for example, ALL elected Representatives would be from densely populated areas clustered around New York City, Albany and Buffalo, leaving people living in vast portions of the state without representation to address the very different concerns of those in rural areas.

      That said, allowing citizens to draw their own districts makes obvious sense.

    • Randall Burns

      Lani Guinier at Harvard Law School and Dennis Kucinich would tend to agree with you. Proportional representation is the only practical way to really achieve minority representation. One option I’m surprised wasn’t considered is Mixed member proportional representation like is used in Germany. The have some folks elected to serve a district-and others that represent minority constituents.

      Another option might be to simply ditch the senate as we know it because election to the senate is a pure money contest these days-and replace it with a body elected by proportional representation.

  2. Robert David STEELE Vivas

    The best solution that I have read about is “tightly-drawn districts” created by independent citizen groups with computer aided suggestions that take into account natural breaks. We also have zip-code clustering, something Yankelovich has done a lot with, but the bottom line was said by someone else here, and I love it: this is a recollected quote from someone else:

    Voters should be choosing their representatives, rather than representatives choosing their voters (via gerrymandering).

    There you have it. Gerrymandering is a crime against humanity and in my view, unconstitutional.

      • Randall Burns

        I personally think you should have that option. I doubt more than a small percentage of voters would really take the time to do that. Still, I think it might be interesting if we had a few members of congress that were legally obligated to vote the way some identified group of constituents told them to. Even with election by districts, I wonder if candidates that ran on a promise to simply vote according to the will of a pre-defined set of constitudents, might not be preferred by voters to candidates who they know will sell to the highest bidder.

  3. Benjamin Gevelow

    I have one serious concern and a few minor ones with the document as it stands:
    1 (serious).
    “In passing an honest government would also eliminate the personal income tax and enact the Automated Payment Transaction Tax (APT)) ending all openings for loopholes and lobbyists.”

    On its face this seems to be a side-note or offhanded suggestion, which I believe has no place in a document so formally calling for actions from government. Furthermore, I do not believe it reflects a widely held and agreed upon principle and could therefore be seriously divisive in gathering support for this action. Personally, I believe that income tax is a better system than a sales tax or a VAT (which seems to be what an APT tax would be) in that if done properly it indexes a citizen’s contribution to her government by her means. Of course, under current tax code our income tax doesn’t even approach doing this, but there are other methods to fix that than abolition and replacement with a wholly different system. Furthermore, while the APT is not described in the document, it seems to favor the wealthy even more than the income tax already does, in that while automated payments may be necessary and convenient for those with limited means, there is nothing to stop the wealthy from avoiding all automated payments and avoiding all tax.

    2(minor).
    “Proposed, that to ensure the election of a winner elected by a majority, that the instant run-off concept be adopted for all national and state elections. Included is an elimination of Diebold—guarantee Voter-Marked Paper Ballot for All Voting. Other options include Ranked, Approval, and Range Voting, Liquid Democracy.”

    This appears to be an edit to the original document to include alternatives and express dissatisfaction with the idea that Instant Run-Off is de facto the best method. As it is, I believe that it reads vague and wishy-washy and does not express the core issue, a concern that First Past the Post voting leaves those who do not favor the polarized parties disenfranchised. I believe it would be stronger to simply call for an end to a voting system that favors a two-party system and gives the power to elect officials back to the people, the nature of which shall be decided by a non-partisan, voter-selected panel of experts.

    3 (minor).
    “Enact Open Registration; all parties having at least 10% of the voters registering a preference for their political philosophy shall be eligible for assigned districts proportional to their number, and also to a proportional share of leadership positions in legislative bodies at all levels from local to national.”

    I fear I don’t fully understand this one. Could someone explain to me exactly what is meant by an “assigned district”? The word “assigned” throws me for a loop. I do think that all parties having a preference of voters should be included in debates at all levels of government from local to national – personally I think that 10% is too high, and that the cutoff should be around 3%.

  4. Haym Gross

    Hello, PAER Group,

    I hope to be at the Teus. meeting.

    Here are my comments & concerns re: The two docs- ‘Prop. Statement of Demand… ERA of 2012′
    & ‘Summary of NYCGA…. Electoral Reform’. ( comments to be copied into threads for both documents )

    Substance:

    1. Overall ‘The Prop. Statement of Demand… ERA of 2012′ is closer in tone to what we need now ( my
    opinion). Both documents are highly valuable and need to be combined to gather the force of both efforts
    into a consensus proposal.

    2. The principal demand for democratic reform must be stated upfront in simple terms:
    I suggest the following draft:

    2. The proposed docs should A. INSIST ON THE INSTITUTION OF REFORMS.
    ( this is an academic exercise )

    3. The reforms are to be instituted through B. INSTRUMENTS OF REFORM to be developed through
    experimentation at the state and local level.

    4. The corrupt influence of money on our polity is a symptom of representative democracy. Greater
    participation on the front end ( campaign finance reform) and the back end ( direct popular voting on
    ballot & budget initiatives ) will limit this influence. Both reforms are essential.

    Surface Form:

    To avoid confusion with the ERA, a senior worthy reform with it’s own momentum, I suggest calling this proposal the DRA, .

  5. Haym Gross

    (oops, tried HTML tags & deleted parts of my post.. here’s correct text:)

    Hello, PAER Group,

    I hope to be at the Teus. meeting.

    Here are my comments & concerns re: The two docs- ‘Prop. Statement of Demand… ERA of 2012′
    & ‘Summary of NYCGA…. Electoral Reform’. ( comments to be copied into threads for both documents )

    Substance:

    1. Overall ‘The Prop. Statement of Demand… ERA of 2012′ is closer in tone to what we need now
    ( my opinion). Both documents are highly valuable and need to be combined to gather the force of both
    efforts into a consensus proposal.

    2. The principal demand for democratic reform must be stated upfront in simple terms:
    I suggest the following draft:

    Transform the U.S. electoral process to be free, fair, open and transparent; to reflect the will of the people in the most direct proportion and with full participation; to provide free ballot access to all candidates and initiatives; to eliminate the corrupt influence of special & vested interests on our democracy; to insure through the integrity of elections the equal expression of every citizen’s voice.

    2. The proposed docs should A. INSIST ON THE INSTITUTION OF REFORMS.
    ( this is not an academic exercise )

    3. The reforms are to be instituted through B. INSTRUMENTS OF REFORM to be developed through
    experimentation at the state and local level.

    4. The corrupt influence of money on our polity is a symptom of representative democracy. Greater
    participation on the front end ( campaign finance reform) and the back end ( direct popular voting on
    ballot & budget initiatives ) will limit this influence. Both reforms are essential.

    Surface Form:

    To avoid confusion with the ERA, a senior worthy reform with it’s own momentum, I suggest calling this proposal the DRA, ‘Democracy Reform Act of 2012′.

  6. Andrew

    Instant run-off is poor system. Randall Burns and I have been looking extensively into different voting systems and calculation methods around the world, and instant run-off is the poorest alternative to first past the post.

    Here’s a study on corruption in different systems, and it found open list proportional representation to be the best of the bunch. It also has the natural bonus of being the most representative and deals with a lot of the tactical voting problems.

    http://www.march.es/ceacs/publicaciones/working/archivos/2010_249_en.pdf

    In short, IRV is a horrible system, almost as bad what we currently have and not worth putting any muscle behind.

    The Scandinavian countries, which have the added bonus of being pretty much the best at everything in the world, all run on open list, party list proportional representation with a 4% threshold.

    Right now we have a wagon with square wheels, IRV is a wagon with pentagon wheels at best, there’s plenty of round wheels around the world we can look to and learn from. IRV isn’t even worth fighting for.