BlueJayWayBlog - Vote & Election Reform

Vote and Election Reform to Restore Democracy

Abolish Corporate Personhood Rights while establishing the following Vote Reform:

- Verifiable Vote. Elections results will be allowed to take weeks to accurately count, but they must be verifiable.

- IRV (Instant Runoff Voting)

- Publicly financed elections w/ max citizen contributions of $100 per campaign per candidate per year.

- Ban all PACS, corporate, business or organizations financial contributions. All lobbying must be done in formal, open public forums. Behind doors or casual meetings with any form of lobbying will be an impeachable offense.

- Public Airwaves like radio, tv, and the internet will become 50% nationalized for citizen non-profit public use. The remaining 50% will be auctioned off on a profitable leasing system to business interests. The revenues obtained will fund the public 50%.

- All election advertising and campaigning will be done via the above media. Public Funding will, at minimum, cover the 5 top vote-getting parties (as determined by a yearly platform polling election process placed before the people on the above mentioned media).

- Each elected official will have a website that monthly informs and surveys constituents on important issues of the day, and maintains a list of all activities in office pertinent to legislation and constituent interest. Representatives must publish their platforms with concrete objectives listed and account for how well these objectives are moving along. Constituents will also be able to contact their representative through these sites.

- All election days will be holidays.

10/30/08 - Did the "Debates" Present America with Real Choices to Choose From? The following is a letter to Lawrence Lessig after listening to today's KPFA interview...

I have great respect for all the valuable work you have done for free speech and the internet. However, at today's KPFA interview you included an idea that 3rd Parties are not excluded in the debates. Hinting, at actually, it's ok to omit marginally supported alternative opinions from mainstream dialog.

I would like to try and persuade you that that idea sends mainstream monoculture spiraling inward into an ever less socially diverse gene pool of ideas and needs to be jettisoned in favor of the purposeful seeding of greater diversity of thought.

I have been very politically active within society for the last eight years. When people ask who I am voting for and I tell them Cynthia McKinney, they say "who?". I would bet that of alternative candidates ranging from greens to indy to libertarian, you couldn't get 1% of the voting public to identify more than one platform position for any of these candidates much less their overall policy proposals. This gives people the idea that "reality" is limited to the "viewed" options presented before them.

For our society to be fully informed during an election all the top 5 platforms (or more) should be presented under equal conditions so that each can be compared side by side. The debates under this circumstance should have included McKinney, Nader, and Barr at least. There should be a very well laid out schedule each election, with national holiday time to coincide and facilitate, and commercial free access. Possibly a non-partisan government channel with on demand access to at least 3 - 5 debates and equally presented platform positions published in comparison lists (just like product comparison tables) so people can clearly distinguish choice.

This is the crisis of our times, of this democratic republic. As much as "technology" has improved the availability of information, the actual access or delivery of information has decreased for mainstream "consumers". Both McKinney and Nader have viable alternatives for a reconfiguration of our government that is appropriate for a full planet living sustainably. The current Red&Blue Corporate Monoparty is a train headed off the cliff, with the elites in a remote control booth off stage, and us, the people, trapped in the train. Free access to equivalent information would allow citizens to understand, accept and choose to participate in solutions they understand and accept, and work to fix the catastrophic mess we are in.

When I tell people about DemocracyNow they say, "DemocracyWhat?". It's been around since '95 but I just heard about it 2 years ago and have been watching it ever since as an antidote to the mainstream propagandizing of "our" media. This equally valid, but alternative point of view, should be given equal budget and placed parallel to the mainstream media's nightly news shows so citizens could accurately evaluate the full spectrum of information available on equal footing. This would be a functioning operation of real democracy.

First Amendment Rights to free speech and free assembly, in this technological times, must be considered valid only when including ACCESS. It's not enough to be able to speak and assemble, especially if that is restricted to a cage 4 blocks away from being heard, or to the absurd restrictions under the rubric of permitting and private property, or from a position in the information environment that is virtually unheard. The EQUALITY of information being heard validates acceptance in a social culture like ours. The fact is that rarely heard opinions are automatically marginalized and discarded.

Thanks for a few minutes of you valuable time.


Suggested Changes to Democratic Voting and Elections

Public Financing of all Elections include local publicly owned, non-commercial TV stations with access for all candidates. All candidates must post their platforms, speeches, proposed legislation and all pertinant information about how they have voted, their income history and other information related to how they would govern on their own website hosted by government. Corporations are not persons and have no rights awarded citizens.

Campaign contributions can can only be made by individual citizens - maximum $100/year per candidate or initiative and no more than $1,000/year in total political contributions. No PACs, no organization, corporate or noncitizen contributions allowed. All lobbying is done in public hearing with no private conversations with representatives allowed. No politicians may become lobbyists after their term of service.

All voting systems to be designed for rock solid confirmation of every citizen vote with verifiable trail. If the accurate count takes months to confirm then so be it. Elections found to be fraudulent will be reheld with government action suspended until conclusion of the new election.

How about this?...

Verifiable Elections

The 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen. This is a proven fact that the media and Congress have ignored.

Here is a proposal to implement a verifiable election process that I think will work... check it out. Each citizen would use a paper ballot marked with the Precinct# and a random identifying number. The citizen then gets a photocopy of the completed ballot. All ballot results are published locally by web or newspaper for each citizen to confirm that their vote at their precinct was recorded correctly. Totals for each precinct are published as well and the winner is not determined until each citizen has confirmed, by looking online or in the paper, that their vote was recorded correctly. Disputed records can be corrected by presenting the photocopy. The ballot coud be printed on a uniquely identifiable paper w/numbering like our tamper proof currency. If tabulation and rectification of the vote takes 30-60-90-180 days so be it. At least we would have verifiable election results.

Debates are held only on non-commercial, publicly owned TV stations with all contenders sorted by party with primaries held on all parties. Then all party winners will debate. All elections will be monitored by neutral observing bodies. Each elected official will maintain a publicly accessible website where their platform and voting record and proposed activities will be publicized. Constituents will be allowed to contact them through this website. Surveys will be run online to assess citizen concerns and will be held like elections where comprehensive consensus will be the objective. Multiple persons will be able to run for office and assume the positions as a team. They are there to represent their platforms. Individual candidates are also elected to represent their platforms. All citizens will have absolute access to the right to vote. Any obstruction of that right by any means, by any group or individual will be fully punishable by law.