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If you were the conductor of the election justice orchestra...

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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 01:47 AM
Original message
If you were the conductor of the election justice orchestra...
what would your baton say to the musicians?

In other words, if you had ten or a hundred or a thousand people come to you and say, "We know our democracy was stolen. What's the most effective thing we can do to get it back?" what would you tell them?

If you told them to go out and spread the word, and they did, and then you had ten million people each ask you, "What's the most effective thing I personally can do to get our democracy back?" what would you tell them?

Imagine, for the sake of this exercise, that some of them have computer skills, some are bloggers, some are crack websurfers, some sleuths, some are children or teenagers, some are experienced organizers, some are soccer coaches, some are incarcerated, some are teachers, some are students, some are retired, some are housespouses, some run military-themed "escort services" (just kidding), some are statisticians, some are factory workers, some are union leaders, some are retail get the picture.

Some of them want to fix the system so no more elections are stolen. Some of them want to make sure that the last stolen election topples them from power before another election takes place. Each wants to do something, and each is fighting a sense of hopelessness and futility.

Each plays an instrument, or maybe two. (Their skills and resources are their instruments.) Your job is to give them their sheet music and also to get them all to play in concert with each other.

What are some of the things you'd tell them to do? How would you get them to play a symphony instead of a cacaphony?

I invite you to imagine this. Really imagine that you are in charge. Because, of course, there's no one better than you to do this job.
You may not have a complete answer. But whatever pieces you have, write them here. Think laterally/be creative. No need to post the same ideas we've all said and heard so many times, because we all already know those are important. If you have a new angle on an old idea, let us know.

Have fun! Be powerful!
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 03:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. A symphony rests on its recurring themes...
...just as modern music rests on its "hooks."

We've been promoting 3 major themes (memes) to be included in all election reform/revolt activity. They are intended to change people's thinking about elections in general. (Not least of which, the real target, our own thinking on the left.)

God bless us on the left, but try as we might (and we do), we cannot (and never have been able to) teach/inform our way to success with the general public. There are just too many of our fellow Americans who have been trained to NOT WANT any more information.

Using these themes will help you break down resistance and more quickly change minds. (We've seen it happen.)

1st - An election is a survey, not a contest.

Just like the census, an election tries to measure an objective reality: the will of the electorate. There's no reason (maybe cost) why we couldn't conduct them in the same way, with bonded agents going door-to-door collecting private ballots from voters.

The point(of view) being made(changed) is that an election is about the voters (not votes - ever). Candidates, campaigns, Parties, officials, equipment manufacturers, are all nearly-irrelevant. There is only one principle/interested-party/owner and that is the electorate as a whole.

2nd - It's the "ERRR," stupid!

Count every vote! -- ERRR!!! -- Count every vote! -- ERRR!!!

Forgive my stupid illustration, but see how easily we can be nudged away from our most powerful moral position and into their pre-gamed arena of discussing only vote-counts, ballots, chads, etc...

This is not simply a bolstering of the first meme (it may seem so, but only because your mind doesn't need changing). We must always speak of voters, and never votes, because unless we do such things as suppression become "separate issues." We can't allow this.

Victims of poll-tax-lines and "missing" registrations are voters. With the same right to be "surveyed" as everyone else.

3rd - Election manipulation is a capital crime.

(Ok, ok, stop screaming. The sentence can be commuted, all right?)

Yes, this is extreme. Even a bit looney. But it gets your attention, right? That's the power. That and the fact that it's a simple, completely moral proposal.

Election theft is far worse than cop-killing. Worse than 9/11 or any incident of terrorism. It is literally High Treason.

It undermines the only moral principle on which the nation was founded and continues (in theory) to rest. That gov't power can only be derived from the consent of the governed.

So what's so extreme? The truth is that we've been extremely lax in defending our most important of rights. We need to be "born again" as Fundamentalist Americans. That's the way to curb fascism.

Use of these themes can give strength to any argument, urgency to any accusation, and pause to any sport metaphor pablum coming from the Euphemedia Placators.
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. Practice makes perfect. Practice being an organized group.
Before a performance, small groups of an orchestra practice together. An orchestra is made up not of a large organized mass of individual musicians, but is an organization of groups -- string section, horn section, etc.

Our movement, being Internet based, is more complicated than that. In an orchestra, these sections all sit together. Sure we could all simply go to local group meetings, and we should. But that would be like a violin player, a pianist, and a trumpet player getting together for practice. If they practiced the symphony, that would just mean they would each take turns performing their part, while the others stood by and watched. They could kick out some interesting abstract Jazz, and that might be good, but it doesn't help them with the symphony.

We as a movement are relying on you, the soldier in all this, to "form up". Noone in the middle knows where you are supposed to be sitting. They'll know how to conduct, once you are there, but they can't show you to your seat.


Ask yourself, about yourself: Who, What, Why, When, Where, How?

Who do I know better than an average Joe off the streets. Do I have any special contacts? Who else here has contacts like that? They are in my section. I should talk to them about how to use these contacts.

What do I want to achieve? Who else thinks the same things are more/less important as I do? They are in my section. I should talk to them about our mutual goals.

Why am I doing this? Who most closely shares my core values? They are in my section. I should talk to them about how to communicate those values.

When am I available? Who can I work with in real-time? They are in my section. I should talk to them, because fast interaction helps make progress more rapid. (Also, are there any ongoing things that I could do for someone who is not available when I am?)

Where am I? Who else is nearby? I should talk to them. They are in my section. Hold local meetings, even if there is nothing to do in your local community, you and your neighbors are your own support group. Even without an agenda, you can help each other on a personal level, and you'll know someone is around if and when you need some good old-fashioned neighborly help.

How can I help? Who else has the skills that I do? They are in my section. I should talk to them, to exchange tips and tricks, and to help them when something heavy needs to be lifted.

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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Great work! Here's a resource for helping people connect

It takes about three minutes to sign up for this service. They provide you with a call-in number and an access code. You can then set up conference calls with your group where everyone dials in at the same time and you can have a conversation for as long as you want. The only charges are people's own long distance phone charges. (I imagine this is only one of many free conference calling services, but it's the one I know about.)
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. You all know how to play your instruments, Now FEEL the music!

The orchestra leader needs to simply allow the orchestra to really FEEL what is at stake with secret vote counting.

Thus inspired, the skills and inspirations of each orchestra member will direct each person to be the best part of the symphony they can be.

Questions for the ENTIRE ORCHESTRA:

Is this, or is this not, a battle for democracy?

Is there, or is there not, any issue that can be effectively pursued without elections with integrity?

Shall we, or shall we not, realize that this is not your normal issue or call to action?

Will we, or will we not, rise to the occasion and answer the call?

Can we, or can we not, feel the forces of history on our side?

Have they (our progressive forebears), or have they not, in many cases worked their entire lives or given their lives for the right to vote, and died without seeing its achievement?

Could we, or could we not, allow those eventual achievements to slip away from inattention?

Have some, or have some not, forgotten that voting is a right and a protection against tyrrany, and not a privilege to be given or taken away based on allegations of "dumbness" "Badness" or other factors?

Do we, or do we not, have a name for corporations running the government and the vote in conditions of secrecy?

Could we, or could we not, win a battle for verifiable democracy and freedom right here on our own soil in America?

Would we, or would we not, want others in other times to fight these battles on our behalf?

Shall they, the future generations, or shall they not, praise this generation for their work to preserve and expand the dream of democracy?

Can you, or can you not, feel this music?

Will you, or will you not, play your hearts out?
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sacxtra Donating Member (202 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Nearly given up... Now I am going to file an Election Complaint Form
I've nearly given up...

I am going to file an Election Complaint Form locally.

I suggest ALL VOTERS do the same.

It bypasses the media, and travels directly in to this flawed system, at which point is has to be dealt with. At a minimum it's documented.

if you want to know more about what I am going to do.


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