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Daily Kos: Will We Ever Vote for Who We Want: Dems Block IRV

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  • Jim Dorenkott
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/5/163227/4518 Maryland could have been a historic breakthrough on the spoiler effect, e.g. blaming Nader for Gore losing
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 5 3:58 PM
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      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/5/163227/4518
      Maryland could have been a historic breakthrough on the spoiler effect, e.g. blaming Nader for Gore losing in 2000. This is one of the main blocks to corralling all progressive votes together to drive out the Bush neo-cons. See Zeese testimony to the committee: http://kevinzeese.com/content/view/111/40/ Kevin Zeese is running as an independent anti-war candidate for US Senate in Md and can be expected to get a lot of votes.

      Even with 3 democrat co-sponsors the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee couldn't find 2 other democrats to support using Instant Runoff Voting in state and federal elections. The committee is weighted in favor of democrats 7-4. The final vote was 4 for IRV and 7 against including the democrat chair and co-chair and the chair of the elections subcommittee all voting against.

      One would think that since 2000 more democrats would have figured out the way to win is to work with the greens and independents rather than against them. IRV is win-win, but it does mean the democrats have to give up their illusion that there is still an effective 2 party system and that they are an opposition party that people look up to.

      Every year more and more people register decline to state but are still forced to vote for one of the 2 parties because of "lesser-evilism" voting. We still are not allowed to vote for who we want.

      With IRV in place one could vote for who they want 1st, who they could tolerate 2nd, and who will stop whoever they don't want 3rd. This will change the whole dynamics of elections and help us build the progressive movement we desperately need.

      There is still another chance in Md. People are urged to contact their local delegate and ask them to sponsor or co- sponsor a house version of the senate bill SB 292 which was voted down.

      Also, there is a campaign in Vt. Burlington, Vt will use IRV in the upcoming mayoral election. In addition, there is a senate and house version of IRV for state/federal elections proposed. Like Md there aren't enough votes to get it out of committee. Once it is on the floor of either house we can have a full blown out debate on the pros and cons.

      Dean has said and written that he supports IRV
      http://fairvote.org/?page=27&pressmode=showspecific&showarticle=26 but where is his leadership in supporting it in his homestate.Instead of supporting IRV he and others it is said talked the Progressive Party congressional candidate from running; why? the spoiler effect. He would have cost the Democrat candidate the election.

      2008 is coming fast; if there's no IRV we have to decide whether to vote for another pro-war, pro-patriot act candidate like Kerry or vote our beliefs. Which will it be?

      link to Poll and previous diaries on Daily Kos w background and links to elected officials to contact.

      Allied we win; divided we lose again!


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    • Mike Hersh
      (tip: Just post a message to get unmoderated posting rights! -moderator)_________________________ Jim, Thanks for all your help publicizing IRV. The Dems
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 6 9:41 PM
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        (tip: Just post a message to get unmoderated posting rights! -moderator)_________________________
        Jim,
        Thanks for all your help publicizing IRV. The Dems blocking IRV are and were wrong to do so.

        We came up short this time, but we'll stay with it until we get IRV and other campaign / voting reform. These are PDA's official positions on voting:

        1. Count every vote

        The right to vote includes the right to have our votes properly counted.

        We must ensure that every citizen's vote will be counted. This includes a guarantee of open and transparent elections with verified voting, paper trails, and access to the source codes for, and random audits of, electronic voting machines. It also includes a guarantee that we the people, through our government, will control our voting machines - not private companies.

        2. Make voting easier

        We should enact election day registration [nationally], removing the
        barrier of registration prior to Election Day. Six states have election
        day registration. They have a higher voter turnout in their elections
        and have no evidence of voter fraud. We should be encouraging greater
        participation in the political process, starting with election day
        registration.

        We should also ensure absentee voting for all, allow for early voting,
        and remove other barriers that make it difficult for people to vote.

        3. End the big money dominance of our electoral process

        In a democracy, public elections should be publicly financed. In Maine
        and Arizona, publicly financed elections has enabled people to run for
        office who would never have dreamed of running under a system dominated
        by big money interests. We, as voters, need to own our elections, rather
        than allow the process to be controlled by the wealthy few.

        We also need to enact mandatory limits on campaign spending. In 1976,
        the Supreme Court wrongly struck down mandatory campaign spending limits
        for congressional elections. A federal appeals court in New York has
        recently revisited that decision and ruled that campaign spending limits
        in Vermont can be constitutional. That case is now pending before the
        U.S. Supreme Court. Massachusetts should help lead the way with campaign
        spending limits for our elections.

        4. Expand voter choice

        Instant run-off voting: Voters should be able to rank their choices of
        candidates, ensuring majority support for those elected and allowing
        greater voter choice and wider voter participation.

        Cross Endorsement Voting (Fusion voting): Voters should be able to cast
        their ballots for major party candidates on a minor party's ballot line,
        placing power in the hands of the people and broadening public debate on
        the issues of the day.

        Proportional Representation: Voters should be allowed their fair share
        of representation, ensuring that majority rule does not prevent minority
        voices from being heard.

        5. Ensure access for new citizens and language minorities

        The right to vote does not speak one specific language. It is universal.
        No one should be denied the right to vote because of a language barrier.

        6. Level the playing field for challengers

        Redistricting reform - Incumbent legislators should not have the power
        to draw their own district lines. We must transfer this power to
        independent non-partisan commissions and create fair standards for
        redistricting, thereby promoting competition in our electoral process
        and improving representation for the people.

        7. Ensure non-partisan election administration

        Each Secretary of State or Commonwealth must be a Secretary for all of
        us, regardless of party affiliation. The Secretary should not be allowed
        to serve as a co-chair of campaigns of candidates. To ensuring the
        people's trust in the integrity of our elections, the Secretary must
        conduct the administration of elections in a non-partisan manner.

        8. Make government more accessible to all of us

        Democracy is not just about our participation on Election Day. We need
        to participate every day and our government needs to be accessible to us
        every day. This means a government that is open and transparent, that
        encourages people to make their voices heard, and that enlists citizen
        participation in addressing the major issues of our time.

        9. Re-authorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965

        We must continue the fight to protect the right to vote and to end
        voting disenfranchisement schemes. Each Secretary of State or
        Commonwealth must fight for congressional re-authorization of the Voting
        Rights Act of 1965.

        10. Amend the US Constitution to ensure an affirmative right to vote

        One hundred and eight democratic nations in the world have explicit
        language guaranteeing the right to vote in their constitutions, and the
        United States - along with only ten other such nations - does not. As a
        result, the way we administer elections in this country changes from
        state to state, from county to county, from locality to locality. Each
        Secretary of State or Commonwealth must fight for a constitutional
        amendment that affirmatively guarantees the right to vote in the US
        Constitution.

        ( adopted from http://www.johnbonifaz.com/votersbillofrights )

        Mike Hersh

        - MikeHersh.com - http://www.mikehersh.com
        - Coordinator, Progressive Democrats of America http://www.pdamerica.org
        - Chair, Montgomery County Progressive Alliance
        http://www.mc-progressivealliance.com
        - Organizer, Democracy for America / Maryland
        http://www.democracyforamerica.com
        - Become a Sustaining PDA Donor: https://www.pdamerica.org/donate.php
        - The After Downing Street Coalition - http://www.afterdowningstreet.org
        - Convict Bush and Cheney - http://www.convictbushcheney.org
        - The Media Watch Project - http://www.democrats.com/media
        - Support Cindy Sheehan - http://www.meetwithcindy.org/
        - BushOccupation.com - http://www.bushoccupation.com

        Jim Dorenkott <jimdorenkott2@...>
        Subject: Daily Kos: Will We Ever Vote for Who We Want: Dems Block IRV

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/5/163227/4518
        Maryland could have been a historic breakthrough on the spoiler
        effect, e.g. blaming Nader for Gore losing in 2000. This is one of the
        main blocks to corralling all progressive votes together to drive out
        the Bush neo-cons. See Zeese testimony to the committee:
        http://kevinzeese.com/content/view/111/40/ Kevin Zeese is running as an
        independent anti-war candidate for US Senate in Md and can be expected
        to get a lot of votes.
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