How can we change our political system, voter participation

sandersLet’s turn Election Day into a holiday. It’s one giant leap for a political system that the world can look upon as an example, not a failure. Bernie Sanders

That is a nice idea and we need to work to stop the Oligarchy that is rapidly consuming the working class. We have already lost our democracy. Gore Vidal said many years ago that the US was in effect a one-party state. A monolithic party with two wings, Democrat and Republican. Vidal was brought up amongst the American political elite so his words are based on firsthand experience.

It is hardly surprising that turnout is poor when voting makes scarcely any difference. The same effect is seen in the UK, where Labor and Tory campaign for the “middle” which alienates most and motivates few. Some even consider turning to the ‘Monster Raving Loony Party, or the equally weird UKIP’ to register their protest. To lighten this up please check out their manifesto: Or better yet vote for Insanity!  :-P Hairy Knorm on the hustings in Rochester

I suspect that you think I am making this up but The Official Monster Raving Loony Party is a registered political party in the UK. I offered to free trade our Tea Party to the U.K. for this party, but they declined.

Returning to our own politics, the US is a disgrace and ranks worldwide about 120th for voter turnout. Super-pacs funnel tens of millions into election campaigns with zero transparency as to where the money comes from. Sadly, ‘Citizens United’ is never going to be repealed or negated until a new system comes into in power, or the revolution finally occurs.

  1. We need to better regulate the media that spews out propaganda instead on news, with no sanctions whatsoever.
  2. Lobbyists (often former members of this monolithic power structure are given ever more freedom to buy candidates by paying the electioneering costs for whoever promises to support their agenda. Sometimes they buy both candidates just to hedge their bets.
  3. Amazingly even foreign countries (Remember China and Clinton?) can make political contributions and lobby elections in the US. This is not allowed in Canada, but hey, when transnational pipelines talk they really flow. The Keystone Pipeline is a good example. What other foreigners own your legislators? Nippon in P.A. comes to mind with Tharinger and Kilmer doing full kowtowing.
cough cough
Nippon is NOT a local company as it would like us to believe but it is the Last Mill Standing and clearly has an enormous influence in Port Angeles and upon its elected officials. The local Democratic platform actually included this poison oak verbiage:
Environment:
We accept responsibility as stewards for our natural world and recognize the need to develop, and implement policies  to encourage lifestyles consistent with long-term sustainability and viability…’

followed by “We oppose the construction of any new facilities that burn timber waste unless there is clear scientific evidence that such projects will not come at the expense of air quality and health risk.”

tharinger
Then we see Steve Tharinger cutting the ribbon for the biomass incinerator. Worst of all he helped get US tax money to help build it. Our other Republican commissioners like Mike Chapman also supported it though waffling a bit because of the massive citizenry protests.
  1. “We get the government we deserve” is an often misused phrase. We do however get a government made up of power hungry people, and they and their party select the people who run in future. We just rubber stamp their choices.
  2. Bernie Sanders makes some good points. We do need to simplify voter laws and create a free photo id for everyone entitled to vote. Hopefully this will mute the ever more restrictive laws being passed by States to keep the poor from voting. A national holiday for people to vote is a great idea, but the number of voting stations should be greater and transport should be available for everyone that needs it.
  3. Only a small number of people under 30 went to the polling station. In some areas it was 13 percent. That’s unbelievable but after seeing my own daughters reactions quite believable. Donald Sutherland of ‘Hunger Games’ makes his point.

The Democrats have simply become Republican Lite. Clinton’s Free Trade reforms and other welfare reforms forced many into the low wage market, while depriving them of health care they had under welfare. Still working mind you but these “reforms” created a vast pool of underpaid serfs whose wages totally stagnated. Yet it was labeled a success and now we have Prince Charming Obama trying to sucker us into an executive created ‘historic’ trans-Pacific trade deal. That should finish off the working class of America. Momentum is growing! Ha. Another link to this issue. With Democrats like that,who needs Republicans? Or are they simply lemmings with an inclination to political suicide?

DEMOCRATSOne person noted that there are other parties. “The Green/Rainbow party is active in many states, and there are others. There is also a space to write in a candidate. All these young people spending all their days on social media, and they can’t organize anything. If you want change, work for change. Protest. Run for office yourself. Do something. Anything.
I liked that comment. Door belling for candidates was an eye opener. Not all good.

One flaw that he/she did not mention is the two tier system that we are stuck with in many states. While we may start out with a stable of alternative candidates in the primaries, they are eliminated by the one party state that Gore Vidal described. …”that there was one monolithic party with two wings, Democrat and Republican …”

Both of them collude to prevent any challenges to this system and the corporations only contribute to them, sometimes to both sides. Joe Biden did his tricky best to tar the Independent running in Kansas as a show in for the Democrats when it came to vote in the Senate. It was like a Polar Vortex to his campaign and he LOST!

The ‘Green, Independent, Libertarian etc. have no chance at all.’ By the time you get to the Nov. elections all you can do is “WRITE IN” an alternative, which effectively is a wasted vote.

I agree with a Holiday Saturday voting day, but it needs to graft on a new method of voting. Both Australia and Ireland have a system where you can vote first choice, second choice, and third choice and so on. This transferable vote allows representation to small parties and to independents.

Adopting a Saturday option would be huge beginning as the remaining blue collar voters need to get in line after work and often have to spend hours waiting to vote.

Perhaps and only then will we get better participation. As for the young … I have no clue, my daughters probably did not vote (30’s to 40’s) and live in LA LA land. One daughter actually hung up on me when I got into the political issue. Going to polling centers is like visiting Andy Griffith land. All old farts, like me.

Even worse many, adults as well have no clue who represents them in City or County government, much less in State or Federal legislature. Makes one wonder – ‘should they vote?’

“The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ..” Thomas Jefferson

I think Americans should pay more attention to the words of our founding fathers than to the talking heads on the media and  the political maladroit robots in Washington! As to the lethargy and non-involvement of the people, I only wish that native born Americans had half the civic understanding and voting responsibility that Naturalized citizens have.  For shame!

(C)Herb Senft 2014 rock climbing white.svg.thumb

Let’s make voting a national holiday with a purpose. The petition: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/democracyday


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