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Reply #1: I agree that the govt is set up to slow change, but that could be good if the govt is "progressive." [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:26 PM
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1. I agree that the govt is set up to slow change, but that could be good if the govt is "progressive."
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 12:34 PM by Bill Bored
Think of how rapidly we might have done away with the New Deal if we didn't have the Senate or other obstacles to rapid change. Thirty years after Reagan, it's still mostly intact. This will change because of some of the things you say are obstacles to the kind of change you want, such as your #4 (Money Dominated and not Vote Dominated Elections), as well as the mainstream media and other distractions.

You seem to be anti sates' rights, but I'm not that happy about what the feds have been up to lately. Progressive states might serve as a barrier to the radical right-wing plutocratic agenda in Washington. Maybe people will vote with their feet and relocate to such states, reducing the red states' representation in Congress, but it seems the reverse may be happening because of the promise of lower taxes, sunny weather, and more jobs in the red states. I'm glad the blue ones will always have two US Senators to represent them, even as they lose seats in the House.

As far as the voting system, I think whatever system or "game" is put in place, parties will try to rig it to their advantage. That includes computerized elections, which could be the major game-changer of our time. "Progressive" types who have placed accessibility and convenience over election integrity are partially to blame for this, and so are those who oppose winner-take-all plurality elections in favor of more complex, software-dependent systems such as Instant Runoff Voting, which are very difficult to verify. Proportional representation would be very hard to verify as well, because you have to know how MANY votes each candidate got -- not just who got the MOST votes. This is an election auditor's nightmare! (In the case of plurality elections, there are solutions that could be implemented fairly easily if people would stop trusting software to count votes, as most computer scientists have suggested.)

Regarding Primaries, the problem there is lack of voter participation. Primaries shape the general election and the 2-party system that you oppose. But imagine how different things would be if moderate Republicans and truly progressive Democrats won their Primaries (perhaps due to higher voter turnout?).

In NY, and a few other states, there is Fusion Voting. In the General Election, "minor" parties can endorse major-party candidates and give them their ballot lines. This pulls the majors to the right and the left. Perhaps 20% of the vote for a Dem or Repub can come from the third parties. This system is a simple way to hold major-party candidates more accountable. They have to tow more than one "party line" when they make decisions while in office.

Unfortunately, with computerized elections, the percentage of the fusion vote will no longer be verifiable in New York. Third parties could lose access to the ballot entirely if they don't get enough votes. And the 2 major parties, along with the voting system vendors, run the elections!

It's ALWAYS SOMETHING! :)

But thanks for your thoughtful post.
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