Thursday, November 18, 2004

Homespun Ponderings about Electorial College

The first Homespun Symposium question: Is it time for the U.S. to end the Electoral College? If so, in favor of what alternative system? If not, why is it still relevant and beneficial to the nation?

I'm a huge fan of expanding our democracy and making a much more open public sector process. We need large measures of accountability. Our system is frail and ill. But, I don't want to mess with the electorial college. I'd say keep it as it is for the next 10 years or so as there are many more important things to tackle first.

I don't care about the pimple known as the electroial college. Rather, I care about the cancer that strickens our overall wellness in terms of (small 'd') democracy.

We should insist upon ballot access changes. In my city, the old parties get to put candidates onto the ballot with a fraction of the signatures on the petition vs. those in minor parties or as indies. Ballot access is a big, worthy issue in Pennsylvania.

We should insist upon a new entry on all elections of individuals: None Of The Above. NOTA! If candidates had to race against each other, and outscore NOTA, then we'd be much better along in terms of our public service. The 'lesser of two evils' dilemma goes out the window.

I'd be a strong supporter of the removal of the single-party lever. Yep, we still got them. And, lever-puller data should be made public at each polling place. I'd like to know how many people in each polling place voted with one action. I think that reporting could be very insightful, until those levers are removed.

Plenty of other great ideas exist as well. They are all going to be blended into my as I build a case for elected office in 2005. Referendums, percentage votes, and retention votes for authority appointees make great sense and should be enacted before the E.C. is scratched.

Another reason for keeping the E.C. -- Iowa and New Hampsire. A campaign is a dance. We've got voters in those areas, and others, that take their added responsibilities with great seriousness. Retail politics can thrive with today's system at certain, early periods. Without the E.C., candidates wouldn't hit the other areas much. The overall dance would change greatly. Meltdowns like that of Howard Dean might not unfold. Candidates could just set up in studios in major media cities.

PA Flag
Back in Pennsylvania, I am NOT in favor of moving our election day to a sooner period in the presidential primary time line. We shouldn't vote in a snow storm.

If anyone wants to inject democracy into their everyday email discussion groups, check out one of the other projects I'm engaged with: eVote, and the eVote blog.

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