Friday, May 11, 2012

Voters' victory in 2012

[You may want to read Thesis and Strategy before reading this entry.]

 Would you consider it a victory in 2012 if the American voters could force Congress, before November, to conduct a national debate about whether there is a broken and corrupt campaign finance system that is badly in need of fixing and could force Congress to make a proposal to the American people about what should be done to make the system better, which proposal would be the subject of a "national referendum" in the November elections?  (The "national referendum" would be the voters in each Congressional district using the Congressional election in that district to pass judgment on the proposal that Congress agreed on.  If the voters believe Congress failed them in the proposal that Congress presented to the American people, voters could choose to vote against their incumbent representative merely on the grounds of being a member of the failed Congress or could vote in favor of their incumbent if they were sufficiently impressed with what the incumbent attempted to do in seeking to make a proposal that the voter thought acceptable to try out.)

In considering what would be a victory, one ought first decide about the primacy of the corruption problem and whether one agrees with Lawrence Lessig that “Practically every important issue in American politics today is tied to this ‘one issue,’ and the overriding agenda (invoking Thoreau) should be to attack “the root, the thing that feeds the other ills, and the thing that we must kill first.”

I think a high percentage of American voters either agree with Professor Lessig or could be persuaded to agree with him. That percentage could be as high as 90%. Regardless of the percentage, nothing meaningful will happen unless that high percentage acts in unison to demand of Congress that something be done.

Next, however, comes a significant potential impediment, to wit, among the voters who agree with Professor Lessig that there is a root problem that needs to be attacked above all else, there are going to be lots of different ideas about what exactly should be done. Those differing ideas and views have great potential for derailing an effective, united demand for Congress to conduct a national debate.

Rather than initially advocating any particular solution that a voter favors, voters should simply be adamant that they believe there is a very significant problem that Congress must debate and must agree on a proposal that Congress feels that the voters should be willing to try out. Whatever Congressional proposal comes out of the national debate, it will likely not completely satisfy a substantial percentage of voters who agree that something must be done. All the voters, however, will have the satisfaction of Congress being forced to react to the voters and of having a vigorous national debate take place. It is not fanciful to think that, if that happens, a large percentage of the voters will say, "OK, I am willing to give that proposal a try."

This demand for Congressional debate and acton will only be successful to the extent it is backed by a credible threat that the voters will vote out the incumbents in November if Congress is not responsive.

To me, if a national debate can be forced on Congress and Congress forced to put out a proposal to the American people, that would be a stupendous political victory for American voters in 2012.

There are many large and active political/reform minded organizations that are highly or centrally critical of the corrupt campaign finance system (and connected matters such as the revolving door between Congress and lobbyists and special interest organizations, earmarks, gerrymandering, etc.). These organizations also have other issues that are important to them. I am undertaking to solicit that members and supporters of these organizations (GOOOH, the Reform Party, Move To Amend, and others), together with independents, disaffected Democrats and Republicans, and candidates who are challenging incumbents, to endeavor to speak and act in a unified way in 2012, with the goal of forcing Congress, before November, to conduct a national debate about whether there is a broken and corrupt campaign finance system that is badly in need of fixing and forcing Congress to make a proposal to the American people about what should be done to make the system better, which proposal would be the subject of a national referendum in the November elections.

I would like to make special mention of the growing movement seeking a Constitutional amendment, which the movement thinks is needed in order to fix the corruption problem. The possible solution of a Constitutional amendment is worthy of debate, is an attention getter, is a signifier of there being an egregious problem possibly in need of drastic solution, and is concrete and specific for demanding a reaction by sitting Senators and Representatives. Thus, I think it can be generally useful in demanding the Congressional debate in question to include in the demand specific mention of consideration of a Constitutional amendment.

The amendment movement has significant ongoing developments.  Knowledge about these developments may motivate voters to participate in the making of demand on Congress for a national debate and action.  Accordingly, I will try to report ongoing developments in this entry The Amendment movement.

You may follow the progress of my efforts with specific organizations and person by clicking on the  B labels to the right or on the below entry links:

Reform Party
Move To Amend
Congressional candidates
Buddy Roemer

As my list of contacted organizations grows, rather then cluttering the right hand side of B labels, I will use this omnibus B8. Other organizations label and also give individual links below.

No Labels
Free Speech For People

In addition, in Current summary, which I will update periodically, I will report my current subjective sense of the situation regarding my efforts and what others are doing and how they are responding.

1 comment:

  1. The central political lie is that there is any difference in outcome from voting for one of the two money parties.

    That both the Dems and the Repubs represent the plutocrats is not yet sufficiently widely understood - but is the only political fact worth knowing. The propaganda system works overtime to differentiate these defective products, and the majority is still buying.

    There can be no effective vote in our system until this is understood, and people vote against, not for hardly anyone. A vote against incumbents who fail to deliver on the single central issue of destroying the two parties by getting the money on which they thrive out of politics is the only effective vote.

    But the litmus test for casting that vote must actually be the most effective strategy. A constitutional amendment is the least effective stratgy.

    The organizations you refer to so respectfully are nothing but fund-raising parasites feeding off the infected effluvia of a corrupt system.

    Lessig has even more complex problems.

    The most effective strategy is legislation.

    Since you are in Alabama, the best advice would be to pursue the states rights legislative strategy for getting money out of politics, for example: