New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has recently predicted that there is going to be a “serious third party candidate in 2012, with a serious political movement behind him or her — one definitely big enough to impact the election’s outcome”. Is this what the U.S. electorate needs to wrest control of government from special interests? How can voters be more broadly empowered to get control of electoral and legislative processes as a whole?
|By: letsgetitdone Thursday September 30, 2010 7:14 pm|
We Americans have a problem. We’re supposed to be a democracy responsive to the people. But polls show that policies favored by heavy majorities of Americans don’t get legislated by either or both parties in Congress. Instead, bills are passed that a majority of people either don’t care about, or view as a betrayal of their interests. People believe this is because both major parties are dominated by special interests who provide big money contributions to run their campaigns. In addition to these financial advantages, the major parties have gained control of the electoral system by structuring the rules of the game so that third parties cannot grow and threaten their domination. How can we get around this closed system, and either make the major parties responsive to us, or see to it that third parties can be successful?
|By: letsgetitdone Thursday September 16, 2010 10:52 pm|
Voting blocs can attain the electoral strength they need to win Congressional elections even when their candidates face strong opponents with seductive messaging machines that are well-financed by special interests. They can do so by conducting sustained, systematic campaigns to increase the membership of their blocs and form electoral coalitions.
Both strategies are built around the Interactive Voter Choice System’s consensus-building tools, including the Voting Utility. These tools enable voters to continue negotiating and even voting on which priorities they wish to include in common agendas, until they can identify the combinations of priorities that attract the number of votes required to beat their candidates’ opponents. This process also enables them to build electoral bases that outflank and outmaneuver those of stand-alone, special interest-controlled parties and voting blocs, whose members are constrained to accept fixed, narrow-gauge, special interest agendas.
|By: letsgetitdone Wednesday September 15, 2010 10:36 pm|
This part discusses how individual voters can use the web-based tools and services provided by the Interactive Voter Choice System to set their policy agendas and form voting blocs that run winning candidates in a Congressional District. Part 5 shows how voting blocs can use the application to build electoral coalitions that give them the electoral strength they need to win Congressional elections.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday September 14, 2010 9:15 pm|
All U.S. House of Representatives seats and one third of Senate seats in Congress will be up for re-election in 2012. The U.S. House of Representatives holds the “power of the purse” because it initiates all revenue bills. Electing a majority of representatives to this body who are untainted by special interest money is the fastest and most direct way for U.S. voters to get their policy priorities enacted into law and stop the passage of legislation that serves special interests.
With 80% of Americans wanting most Congressional representatives to be defeated, and the two major parties attracting little more than half of all of registered voters combined, there are likely to be enough discontented voters in most Congressional districts to oust their incumbents — provided they have a mechanism for putting House candidates on the ballot that elicit the votes of a plurality of voters. (U.S. election laws permit candidates to be elected without a majority of all votes cast; they just need to get more votes than any other candidate, referred to as a “plurality”).
|By: letsgetitdone Monday September 13, 2010 9:25 pm|
Thanks to advances in Internet technologies, the obstacles the major parties and their special interest backers have erected to prevent voters from ousting their incumbents can be circumvented by voters who leverage the large scale collective action power of the Internet via the web application described in this series to get control of U.S. electoral processes. This application, the Interactive Voter Choice System (IVCS), enables dissatisfied voters to self-organize and build voting blocs and electoral coalitions that can run winning candidates in local Congressional elections without special interest funding. The voting blocs and coalitions will be able to run candidates who can defeat special interest-backed candidates, wealthy self-funded candidates, and candidates run by special interest-backed voting blocs, such as the Tea Party, because they will be able to set transpartisan agendas that appeal to a broader-cross section of voters. These voters will decide who they want to run and what their candidates’ agendas will be.
|By: letsgetitdone Sunday September 12, 2010 11:43 pm|
The electorate’s dissatisfaction with the nation’s lawmakers has reached a critical stage. A majority of U.S. voters want to see most elected representatives in Congress defeated because they favor special interests over voters’ interests. Unfortunately, legal obstacles erected by the two major parties prevent voters from replacing most of these representatives unless they use the revolutionary self-organizing tools described in this series to work around them.
These obstacles range from federal and state election laws to campaign finance laws and Supreme Court decisions that favor private over public funding of elections. Voters can’t change these laws within the foreseeable future. But they can circumvent them at the Congressional election district level. The web savvy 125 million voters who use the Internet to influence the outcome of the 2008 elections can use new web technologies to leverage the collective action power of the Internet and elect a majority of Congressional representatives untainted by special interests in 2012.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday August 17, 2010 7:46 pm|
We think most people agree that money has corrupted our politics. Some even think that we now live in a Plutocracy, and not in a Democracy, and that both parties are corrupted and now represent only the financial oligarchy. So, the central issue of our time is how can we break its hold? How can we overcome the influence of money in politics and make our political system more responsive to most Americans once again?
|By: letsgetitdone Monday August 16, 2010 6:35 pm|
Nancy Bordier and Joseph M. Firestone
The two of us met recently at an AmericaSpeaks event in Fairfax, VA, on June 26th. We decided independently to attend the event, but for the same reason. We wanted to protest the undue attention being given the federal budget deficit compared to the far more critical need to restore job-creating economic growth. Increasing tax revenues by getting the unemployed into new jobs is a more effective way to reduce the deficit than self-defeating cuts in entitlement expenditures. We also wanted to protest the bias built into the event, which Joe later analyzed in a seven part series, The Procrustean Democracy of AmericaSpeaks.
After the AmericaSpeaks event, we discussed the problem of powerful special interests that mislead the public, distort U.S. priorities and deform public policies. A prime example is the billionaire deficit hawk who is advocating entitlement cuts and funded the event. We agreed that the increasing enfeeblement of the electorate is part of the problem. Voters’ influence over the agendas of the Democratic and Republican parties and their elected representatives grows weaker as the influence of the business and financial interests that finance the parties and the campaigns of their candidates grows stronger.
Corporate-funded mainstream media have joined forces with the compromised parties and their elected representatives to put special interest priorities in the limelight, and create a political climate conducive to the enactment of public policies they favor, to the detriment of the public interest. Governing officials who should be protecting the American people from predatory special interests have joined forces with them to further their depredations.