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Re: [InstantRunoffGA] Introduction. Hi y'all.

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  • John Huie
    Jerry, welcome to the list. There were last time I checked just a few people on this list--including I believe Hugh Esco of Ga. Green Party. Georgia s Greens
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 20, 2004

      welcome to the list. There were last time I checked just a few people on
      this list--including I believe Hugh Esco of Ga. Green Party. Georgia's
      Greens and Liberterians have supported loosening Georgia's ridiculously
      steep ballot requirements for third-party access. Some legislators are
      supportive but it is not shall we say a burning issue--altho Republicans
      until recently were crying about being ignored. Even multi-member districts
      are being criticised, so we have a long way to go. Most voters don't
      realize how the structure of elections disenfranchises them... altho I think
      more and more people are feeling disenfranchised, especially by the
      Washington bunch.

      You make a good point that people are looking for ways to be effective. I
      agree--and have thought for some time--that electoral reform could make a
      difference. We don't have an ethic in the US, or if we do we've forgotten
      it, that politics isn't about tyranny by the 51% majority, but should
      involve listening to everyone and at least trying to compromise. We are now
      in a period of extremism; that won't last, but maybe it is a good time to
      lay the ground work for some changes. One problem is that these issues
      aren't obvious to most people--altho their effects may be... IRV doesn't
      "explain" well in a sentence or two, altho I've tried to do it a letter to
      local paper (below). A lot of people don't realize, for example, that in
      each of the past three presidential elections, more people voted AGAINST the
      eventual winner than for him. Less than half of eligible US voters vote in
      election, a figure that, in Russia, would automatically invalidate an
      election. According to the Washington Post, redistricting that makes House
      seats "astoundingly safe for incumbents" has made members more partisan and
      moderates "almost an extinct species".

      A useful start might be a simple brochure suggesting
      what democracy MIGHT be and alternatives to winner-take all---basic facts,
      but not slanted to any political party or philosophy, that different
      organizations might want to hand out. There are after all a lot of
      disenfranchised folks out there. This is the sort of thing I could help
      write and maybe get printed.
      John Huie / Athens, GA

      Here's my letter to the Athens daily (ran in 2001):

      I wish your editorials on redistricting had mentioned the proportional
      representation system of elections, which are widely used in Europe in one
      form or another. One method allows voters to vote for more than one
      candidate by ranking candidates in order of preference. If your top choice
      doesn't win, your second choice still counts but not as much. Runoffs are
      eliminated, and your vote isn't wasted if you didn't pick the leader.
      Our two dominant political parties find it convenient to keep others out
      of the running. In Georgia, ballot access for third parties has virtually
      been eliminated. A Democrat or Republican candidate gets his or her name on
      the ballot automatically -- no other parties need apply. If you are a
      Libertarian, a Green or Reform party candidate, you have to collect an
      unreasonable number of petition signatures to get onto the ballot.
      Democracy doesn't have to mean rule by politicians who manipulate the
      lowest common denominator of voter fears. Should elections be ''free
      marketplaces of competing ideas,'' or closed contests in which real issues
      never get aired? Democracy doesn't mean everybody gets their way, but
      everyone's voice can be heard as solutions are hammered out. Check out
      www.fairvote.org for constructive alternatives to our present
      ''winner-take-all'' system.
      John Huie

      --- Original Message -----
      From: "J. Tyler" <beatniks@...>
      To: <InstantRunoffGA@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2004 10:43 PM
      Subject: [InstantRunoffGA] Introduction. Hi y'all.

      > Is this list still active?
      > I recently became aware of IRV, and after some research, I am now an
      > activist/supporter. I will be spreading the word, and hope that we can
      > some momentum to get this implemented not only in Georgia, but nationwide.
      > Everyone knows by now that this year's Presidential campaign has been
      > marked by a substantial increase in internet organizing and fundraising,
      > empowering millions of voters who previously felt powerless. The
      > of those candidates who have dropped out are now looking for issues and
      > organizations through which they can continue to assert themselves. IRV is
      > perfect fit.
      > I would think that any third party or non front-runner candidates would be
      > advocates for this initiative, so perhaps we could target them for
      support. Their
      > existing get-out-the-vote (GOTV) and canvassing operations could be used
      > get the message out.
      > Jerry Tyler
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
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