Where The Voter Meets The Democracy Road.

Posted on October 29, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-26Alphabet With United States midterm elections only days away, election reform seemed a timely topic. It’s surprising that in the United States the standardization of voting systems/processes has yet to become implemented which leads to nearly perfect symmetry between voters’ true intentions and the final results. Many writers and activists concerned about clean elections point to Canada, where apparently paper and pencil ballots, hand counted across the country, results in final tallies after 5 hours.

In voting and elections, simplest is best. Paper and pencil ballots are as close as one can get to total transparency and confidence that the people’s votes/intentions became accurately expressed, and the men and women elected were the ones which the democratic majority of citizens thought best qualified for public service. Other election reform measures worthy of consideration include the banning of all money – down to the last penny – from the process, banning all advertising in lieu of debates on radio, television, and the internet, Sunday and/or weekend voting instead of Tuesdays, and strong enforcement of election laws related to political corruption.

Paper ballots filled out with a pencil offers the chance for accurate recounts with a paper trail, while eliminating any opportunity for criminal hacking of votes through either electronic voting machines or counting scanners. Banning all money from elections benefits citizens who will become much more informed on the issues and more apt to vote for the candidates whose positions reflect their own. Elections should be all about whose ideas make it better possible to improve the health and well-being of citizens, not about whose advertising consultants have the best marketing tricks up their sleeves.

Banning money from elections eliminates the need for elected representatives to spend too much time raising money, to cast their votes with prejudice toward their largest contributors, and allows that time to become spent on solving problems. Voting on the weekend would result in higher voter participation as most people have Sundays or Saturdays off from work, and Tuesday voting makes many voters not bother because of the pull between work and voting.

Of course, media corporations may hold a much different view about eliminating $multi-billions of spending on advertising during elections, as well as providing free primetime airspace for debates. Very large-money, billionaire election donors may have an even more intense opposition to removing every last red cent from elections, and/or could have a problem with citizens becoming more greatly informed about real issues affecting their family, neighbors, and friends’ lives. All these reform measures and more could come into existence after the United States held a Constitutional Convention.

Perhaps after viewing the following video clips from the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy” the idea of a United States Constitutional Convention will seem like a very wise idea. Perhaps some major reforming is in order.

****

For more information, please visit: http://www.hackingdemocracy.com and http://www.blackboxvoting.org

(Thank you to Hacking Democracy at YouTube)

First ten minutes of the film:

Troubling, saddening demonstration of touchscreen vote count manipulation:

Don’t forget to vote.

Enough Money In Political Campaigns Is Enough.

Posted April 5, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

lake superior 444After 400 posts on this blog it seems proper to make #401 about overturning Citizens United. Perhaps no issue in recent American history – in all of American history – has been so close to unanimously agreed upon by the people in the United States. Polls have consistently shown that 70-80% of Americans oppose Citizens United and want it to go away. When enough state legislatures agree that a constitutional convention to remove the highly controversial Supreme Court ruling is needed, the U.S. Congress has no choice but to allow it to happen.

At that time, the people’s demands will come forward, a sufficient number of states will approve of what the people have demanded, and Citizens United will find itself on the ash heap of history’s errors.

Other democratic nations around the world are far ahead of the United States with regard to taking money out of political campaigns and allowing their people to move closer to true democracy. Allowing money to determine winners and losers places America in an unenviable position in the league of nations.

“In our day, certain economic proofs have been accepted as self-evident. The second Bill of Rights, under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed. Among these are the rights to a useful and remunerative job, the right to earn enough for adequate food, clothing, and recreation. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living. The right of every businessman both large and small to trade in an atmosphere of freedom – freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies home and abroad.”

“The right of every family to a decent home. The right to adequate medical care and an opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. A right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, debt, and unemployment. The right to a good education. All of these rights spell security and, after this war is won, we must be prepared to move forward in the implementation of these rights, goals of happiness, and well-being. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”

– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Overturning Citizens United is all about a whole new way of practicing democracy – in America and around the world. Americans agree that something about our political system is not right and – that it doesn’t have to be this way.

****

(Thank you to Move to Amend at YouTube)

Please visit movetoamend.org