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Gibson writes: "Lots of people feel understandably hamstrung after the midterm elections. It's obvious the Republicans don't represent anyone but the billionaires who bought their seats for them, and everyone is sick and tired of Democrats taking bribes from those same billionaires, and curling up in the fetal position to get kicked around without putting up a fight."

Carl Gibson appearing on MSNBC to discuss the Affordable Care Act. (photo: MSNBC)
Carl Gibson appearing on MSNBC to discuss the Affordable Care Act. (photo: MSNBC)


ALSO SEE: Ranked Choice Voting Could Break the Hold of the Two-Party System

How to Scrap the Two-Party System in Three Steps

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

11 November 14

 

ots of people feel understandably hamstrung after the midterm elections. It’s obvious the Republicans don’t represent anyone but the billionaires who bought their seats for them, and everyone is sick and tired of Democrats taking bribes from those same billionaires, and curling up in the fetal position to get kicked around without putting up a fight. As a matter of fact, 42 percent of Americans identify not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Independents. Even though the media doesn’t make it seem that obvious, we really are the majority.

But on the flipside, everyone is afraid to vote for Independent candidates who actually propose real solutions and refuse to be compromised by big money. So how do we get around that? It’ll take three steps. They aren’t easy, but if we can accomplish these steps by 2020, our country may start to finally look like a real democracy.

1. Pass Ballot Initiatives Demanding Instant Runoff Voting

Instant runoff voting is great, because it allows you to rank all candidates in order of preference, rather than having to choose just one. If there are five candidates from five different parties, each of them get ranked one through five. At the end of the day, the candidate with the most "1" rankings is the winner. It may seem confusing at first, but think of it like scoring a golf game. This puts Socialists, Greens, and Libertarians on the same playing field as Democrats and Republicans. And the two parties will no longer have a monopoly on our political process and will actually have to work hard for our vote.

While it may seem like an impossible task to pass at the federal level in a two-party-owned Congress, the people can put pressure on Congress by passing ballot initiatives to do it in their own states. Currently, 24 states allow for statewide ballot initiatives and popular referendums. And the initiative process yielded surprisingly progressive results in the last election, even in the reddest of states. And having more candidates to choose from on the ballot is something that everyone can get behind.

2. Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Say Corporations Aren’t People and Money Isn’t Speech

When 42 billionaires can fund a third of all political ads, there’s something clearly wrong with our democratic process. And when looking at voter turnout trends, there were more voters in 2008 than there were in 2012, despite 2012 being a multi-billion dollar election. In 2014, when $4 billion was spent, voter turnout hit a historic low, with only 36 percent of the electorate participating. One could argue that the more money there is in politics, the less motivated people feel about voting. To make our political process accessible to regular people again, we have to stop the torrent of money infecting our politics. Most would say we need to overturn the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision of 2010, and point to a failed attempt by the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment a few months ago that would’ve done that. However, Citizens United is actually a distraction. The core problem is over a century old.

Since the Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad case of 1886, when a court reporter inserted a few sentences about the court asserting that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people into the header of the case filing, corporations have been treated as legal persons by the court. While Santa Clara was just a tax case, it’s been used as the precedent for corporate constitutional rights ever since. In the Buckley vs. Valeo decision of 1975, donations to political campaigns were ruled to be the same as free speech. And the First National Bank of Boston vs. Bellotti Supreme Court case in 1978 allowed corporate money to be used as free speech not only for political campaigns, but for any issue campaign. The floodgates have been open ever since. Citizens United and the McCutcheon vs. FEC decision of 2014 just made a bad problem even worse.

However, Move to Amend’s We the People Amendment stating that only human beings have constitutional rights, and that money is property and not free speech, has already been passed in over 200 communities. An additional 400 communities have passed amendments with similar language. And no matter how red or blue that community is, every time the amendment has been brought up for a vote, it has passed. In this past election, 12 Wisconsin communities passed the We the People amendment. After communities pass the amendment, it puts pressure on state legislators to pass the amendment in the statehouse. And after enough statehouses pass the amendment, it puts pressure on Congress to act. Then we can finally rid our elections from the influence of billionaires and corporations.

3. Pass a Constitutional Amendment That Makes Voting an Inalienable Right and Election Day a Holiday

After removing the corporate cancer from our elections, we need to remove all current barriers that get in the way of voting and prevent any future barriers from being built. These barriers include cumbersome voter ID laws allegedly aimed at stopping the mythical problem of “voter fraud” – which actually only occurs 31 times out of every 1 billion votes cast – as well as restrictions on early voting and people being forced to work and go to class on the first Tuesday of November. A new constitutional amendment could fix that for good.

This new amendment needs to explicitly state that voting is the inalienable right of every citizen, that every vote cast will be counted, that citizens will only vote on paper ballots, and that no election will be called for any candidate until every last vote is counted. The second part of the amendment will state that Election Day is a federally-recognized holiday, that all schools will be closed, and that no business can force their employees to work on that holiday.

By default, all the laws passed requiring citizens to get a photo ID with their current address, which often costs more than the unconstitutional poll taxes of the pre-Civil Rights era, will be rendered unconstitutional. All the restrictions on early voting passed in states like Ohio and Florida will be undone, and everything will be closed on Election Day except for polling places. All electronic voting machines, like the voting machines that somehow tallied -16,022 (negative) votes for Al Gore in Volusia County, Florida, in the 2000 election, will be removed and all votes will have a paper trail.

Can you imagine an election cycle without a constant barrage of negative attack ads funded by anonymous billionaires? Can you imagine all voters having ample time to vote, with no cumbersome and bureaucratic obstacles to jump through just to be able to cast a ballot? Can you imagine an election decided by paper ballots, in which work or school is no longer a barrier between you and your polling place? Can you imagine having multiple parties on the ballot, and being able to vote for someone who isn’t a Democrat or a Republican knowing they have an equal chance to win?

That’s what democracy looks like.



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+50 # randi1randi1@yahoo.com 2014-11-11 11:51
Yay!
 
 
+13 # RevOleson 2014-11-11 16:42
Ummmmm I think he means the one party system....One party that has two right wings..
 
 
+53 # A P 2014-11-11 12:38
Now let's all click our heels together and say 3x, "There's no place like Democracy".

Seriously, the man is right, 100%. Will US citizens get the message they have the power, but only if they take it?
 
 
-78 # MidwesTom 2014-11-11 14:27
All small businesses are run by and normally owned by one person, or one family; and they are people. In Illinois corporations or their owners cannot speak for themselves in court, they must speak through a lawyer. The major reasons for corporations is the legal protection that they offer the owner(s); and the legal requirements of governments.

Big corporations are nothing more than many people owning something and choosing someone to speak for them, the President of the company. Most of the evils we all dislike come from the banking community, not the Adams Corporation which happens to own the local garden shop.
 
 
+79 # reiverpacific 2014-11-11 14:41
Quoting MidwesTom:
All small businesses are run by and normally owned by one person, or one family; and they are people. In Illinois corporations or their owners cannot speak for themselves in court, they must speak through a lawyer. The major reasons for corporations is the legal protection that they offer the owner(s); and the legal requirements of governments.
Big corporations are nothing more than many people owning something and choosing someone to speak for them, the President of the company. Most of the evils we all dislike come from the banking community, not the Adams Corporation which happens to own the local garden shop.


Fuckin' Badger-Pucky (is your other name "Roland" perchance?).
My wife and I own a small business and are neither a Corporation nor do we feel like we have any kind of voice.
It's small businesses who take it in the chops every time a large Corporation, often with Federal "Welfare" backup, monopolizes another branch of Industry, Communications or Food Production and distribution and their "Voices" are bag-carrying (carrion?) lobbyists whizzing though the ever-revolving doors of most alleged "representative s" who are getting rich in office and who'll eventually become a revolving door purveyor of corporate lucre in turn!
 
 
+23 # RLF 2014-11-12 07:30
Reiver...I feel the same way...when the local government gives Walmart huge tax subsidies to move into town...suddenly my one man shop is paying for Walmart's infrastucture needs and their part time employee's food stamps, etc. WTF!!! small businesses paying for stadiums for NFL teams that make billions and pay no tax. WTF!!!
 
 
+13 # universlman 2014-11-12 17:42
Quoting reiverpacific:
It's small businesses who take it in the chops every time


Absolutely. Every time a large business wiggles out of paying taxes or gets a boost in market share through legal maneuvers or political influence, guess who pays the freight instead? These strategies are not available to the bulk of small business owners.

Lately I have noticed over the last 25 years I have been self employed, how my overhead has increased, and raising my rates results in less work. Ma & Pa businesses are no longer in charge of much of Main St.
 
 
+58 # Working Class 2014-11-11 15:20
Tom - small corporations are not the big problem, The large multinationals have sent our jobs overseas (with the help of both parties I might add) and now "buy" the "democracy" that suits them. Most shareholders have no say whatsoever on the decisions large corporations make. If you doubt this attend a stockholders meeting and try to influence the discussion at the annual meeting. The Club of Inter-locking Directors will squash you like a bug - I have personally watched this happen. If our kids and grand kids are going to have any future we must take our government back from those who use wealth to exercise power over government. The alternative is a return to a modern version of a feudal system.
 
 
+43 # lfeuille 2014-11-11 18:02
Those many people who own corporations can express their views as individuals using their own resources just like everyone else who does not own stock. They should not get double representation because they are rich enough to have stock holdings. Corporate money should have no part in elections or lobbying.
 
 
+12 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-11-11 20:26
Think you are confusing a legal document which a state or community issues to a business as nothing more than a permit to engage in a business if that business is in compliance with the law. That document is not a person. Just a document. To say that a document is a right to do business is fine, but that document is simply not a person or a group of people. So, your argument is "Fairy Dust." When I see a legal document to do business eating pancakes for breakfast and walking a dog, I'll agree with you. Yet, laws are passed to serve motive(s). A famous and funny politician once said, "if you like the laws of your country ans sausage, watch neither of them being made."
 
 
+16 # ChrisCurrie 2014-11-11 20:50
The problem with stock-owned corporations is that they are legally required to "have no god but money." So it is little wonder that many of them really do act as if they were "Satanically inspired." Mutual corporations (companies that are owned by their customers) rarely ever act that way, because they would be "screwing their owners" if they did. We need to revise to revise how we define stock-owned corporations in America.
 
 
+18 # Seadog 2014-11-11 21:27
"Big corporations are nothing more than many people owning something and choosing someone to speak for them," This is the kind of simplistic understanding of what were up against that keeps the Corpocracy humming along.
 
 
+28 # reiverpacific 2014-11-11 14:33
Mr Gibson; y'r heart is in the right place but if this Senate, Congress and SCOTUS sticks around long enough, we ain't seen nuthin' yet, as their late hero Reagan was wont to say (usually as a threat).
And it's a 1.5-Party system.
 
 
+21 # economagic 2014-11-11 14:34
As usual, Mr. Gibson is right on many levels, in this case most emphatically regarding the Citizens United ruling. In order to restore the principle of "one human, one vote" in place of "one dollar, one vote," one must get radical: Santa Clara is the root of the problem, which must be overturned along with all of the branches that have arisen from it, especially Buckley v Valeo. The Move To Amend organization recognized this shortly after the Citizens United Ruling, and the amendment it has promoted does exactly that. Amazingly, none of the other proposed amendments is as strong or as clear, least of all the one recently rejected by the Senate.

As always, the devil is in the details, of how we organize even at the state level to pass any of this sort of legislation against the onslaught of the billionaires. Perhaps we should start calling what they advocate "Billionairism, " Since the other appropriate terms have such unsavory connotations for so many people!
 
 
+36 # uackbari1@yahoo.com 2014-11-11 14:49
I suggest we also do away politicians transitioning to lucrative corporate positions once thier terms are over. A law: anyone who becomes a public figure is not permitted to enter the corporate world with a salary and benefits totaling no more than 200k annualy. totally sever the collusion between public service and and the corporate world of sellouts. there is a lot more to do:
1. Break up the banks
2. Break up the media monopoly
3. Cut the militry in half--its draining America
4. Use that money to eliminate the debt
5. Start an emergency national program to deal with climate change. (See VW's car that hovers, their 300mpg production vehicle.
So much more.
 
 
+10 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-11-11 21:30
There is one point that is very important that has not been mentioned. How about a law that mandates that our elected Representative must vote as directed their constituents? The elected official puts on a web site a list of all the bills coming up for a vote in Congress. On the site is the whole bill and a summary of it, as well as arguments both for and against the proposed new law. Then, in the week before the vote comes up, verified constituents may go on line to direct their representative how they want that person to vote on the bill. The count is open for the public to see. If the majority says vote yes--the rep must vote yes. If the count shows that a majority of the constituents oppose the bill the representative must vote no.

On the matter of an election to choose a representative, we must demand that at least half of the registered voters vote for the election to be valid. This last election under 40% of the people bothered to vote. Those non votes should mean the election must be done over with NEW CANDIDATES. Such rules would make bribing the elected official not to effect the election. The official must vote as the people direct. That is direct democracy. The official is a servant of the people and the vote is not up for sale.
 
 
+6 # arquebus 2014-11-11 14:55
Some good ideas here, but I fail to see any real benefit in "early" voting. I've voted in CA for 50 odd years and never had a problem voting. Polls open at 7, close at 8PM...lots of time. I usually voted on my way to work or on my way home from work. Granted I now use an absentee ballot (I presume available in all the rest of the states) because it is just more convenient NOT because I ever had a problem getting to the polls.
 
 
+11 # Working Class 2014-11-11 15:56
And to follow up on arquebus' comments - one way to get around the elimination of early voting is to do what I do - vote by mail - absentee ballot. I have done this for years.
 
 
-18 # Rain17 2014-11-11 15:02
I don't have time to waste on third parties. The US is extremely unlikely to ever adopt instant runoff voting or proportional representation anytime soon. I can't afford the luxury of throwing my precious vote away.
 
 
+29 # futhark 2014-11-11 15:44
You throw your vote away every time you cast it for a candidate who is not truthful in fulfilling his/her campaign pledges, which includes many, if not most, Republican and Democratic Party candidates in recent years. Your vote is only really of value if it is cast for a politician who has a high probability of following through on such pledges.

Party loyalty is a tool of tyrants and a shortcut to tyranny.
 
 
+17 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-11-11 15:16
Finally, some COMMON SENSE. Wake up America. Take back "our" government.
 
 
+17 # fredboy 2014-11-11 15:18
Many of us have already scrapped the two party system, as both parties suck.
 
 
+9 # ericlipps 2014-11-11 15:34
Quote:
As a matter of fact, 42 percent of Americans identify not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Independents.
What people tell pollsters is one thing. How they ACTUALLY VOTE is another. My guess is that a lot of so-called independents vote overwhelmingly for one party or the other, the same party election after election, with only occasional ventures outside the fold, and that those occasional ventures are what allow them to claim "independent" status.
 
 
+4 # lfeuille 2014-11-11 18:07
Quoting ericlipps:
Quote:
As a matter of fact, 42 percent of Americans identify not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Independents.

What people tell pollsters is one thing. How they ACTUALLY VOTE is another. My guess is that a lot of so-called independents vote overwhelmingly for one party or the other, the same party election after election, with only occasional ventures outside the fold, and that those occasional ventures are what allow them to claim "independent" status.
A person claims independent status by registering as such. Not by voting. And people registered as party members are still free to vote outside the fold.
 
 
+10 # futhark 2014-11-11 15:49
Getting rid of the "jungle primary" system, in which only the top two vote accumulators in the primaries have their names printed on the general election ballots is also a fundamental step in reclaiming democratic government. The jungle primary system stamps out alternative parties that may actually offer needed solutions to challenges as they arise.

Historically, the Republican Party grew out of the need to constrain the spread of slavery in the American West. If jungle primaries had been used in the 1850s, we would quite possibly now have a political system dominated by Democrats and Whigs.
 
 
+8 # swimdoc 2014-11-11 15:52
I live in Washington state. We have had 100% ballots by mail for several years. The ballots arrive in the mail several weeks ahead, and the voter can fill it out and mail it back any time. Or, there are certain drop-off places with boxes for people who don't want to pay for a stamp to mail the ballot.

We have no problems with voter fraud, and no one is complaining about early voting. Mailed ballots also solve the problem of needing a national holiday for voting at a polling station.

The one problem we still need to solve is late arrival of mailed ballots. Our law only requires that the ballot be postmarked by election day, and we should change to requiring that the ballot arrive at the county election office by election day.
 
 
+15 # butchblack 2014-11-11 16:15
I generally agree with the article. My one concern is the inclusiveness of the National Holiday. There are certain business like hospitals and occupations like police, transportation like bus and taxi drivers, etc that would need to work. I would recommend a small list of exempt occupations with a provision that they have an adequate opportunity to vote.
 
 
+10 # Seadog 2014-11-11 17:28
As an Indie myself I mostly agree with Carl, the problem is BIG $$ now has a lock on the system top to bottom and that's exactly where it wants things to stay..forever. What's the way out, when these same big $$ bags are now disenfranchisin g millions, so that eventually we'll be back to how things were in the late 18th century. When only land owning white men were allowed to vote.
 
 
+10 # dbrize 2014-11-11 17:41
While we are running around in Wonderland, let's pass a constitutional amendment that requires our DC beltway politbureau to obey the one we have.

That would be a great start.
 
 
-12 # moafu@yahoo.com 2014-11-11 18:34
Some good thoughts Carl,

However, every citizen has the "right to vote". there's nothing wrong w/ having to prove someone is a citizen in order to vote. You had to prove your id to get your driver's license and you have not written an essay against that.

for the purposes of taxation, a corporation (corpus = a body) is regarded as a person in order to get more revenue for governments. You'll be hard pressed to get that one through.

Good essay, thank you. Another reason that I, as a Conservative, support RSN.
 
 
+17 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-11-11 20:41
Think you forgot one crucial idea. Republicans are scared of Democracy. Except for a few incidents, there is virtually no evidence of voter fraud in the U.S. Exception: When in certain cases, the electronic voting equipment in the U.S. has been tampered with, compromised to yield a false result. The Republicans, being scared of Democracy, have done their cruel best to disenfranchise countless eligible voters. So, let's cut the B.S. and see what the real Republican motives are for
implementing new Jim Crow laws. OK? Democrats have simply not publicly made their case to effectively communicate to the citizens of the U.S. how the Republicans are so gripped with fear that they will do whatever they can to destroy Democracy. Until Democrats get a handle on this matter, that is mass protests in the streets, picketing the Supreme court, citizens will suffer the new Jim Crow laws. Only in America. Or, as the Republicans say, "the greatest country in the world." All Fairy Dust. Frankly, the biggest issue that is not usually talked about:Republica n and Democrat campaigns are financed by the 1 %. Until that changes, this country "ain't go'n no place."
 
 
0 # Robbee 2014-11-11 21:35
#1 referenda are yes or no. you cannot extrapolate from referenda to instant runoffs. why it's a 2-party system is because the strongest independent drains support from the similar dem or repug, just like perot killed the repug candidate and nader the dem. i predict you will get a lot of support for this from repugs, who expect to exert more pressure on their buddies than dems can. witness the secretary of kansas refusing to remove the dem from the ballot

#2 is great, #3 is great and consider mail-in ballots to build turnout, works in oregon
 
 
-3 # Richard Raznikov 2014-11-11 21:38
None of those are possible. First, you mis-characteriz e ranked-choice voting when you say the candidate with the most '1's is elected; that's not how it works. Second, expecting a constitutional amendment which takes away corporate power to control elections is, I'm afraid, dreaming. We couldn't even get the ERA passed by enough states. The process itself is cooked and the ability to even figure as a candidate costs so much money that ipt's not realistic for really good candidates, especially those not affiliated with a major party, to even reach public consciousness. I don't want to discourage the dialogue. We do need to figure something out. But this isn't it.
 
 
-5 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-11-11 21:41
TO: Carl Gibson
RE: Your article, How to Scrap the Two-Party System in Three Steps

The "We the People Amendment" is risibly incompetent. Worse, it would destroy the ordinary citizens’ interests that its proponents would seek to protect. See HOW NOT TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED, http://readersupportednews.org/pm-section/78-78/24423-how-not-to-overturn-citizens-united

Stop plugging that dangerous idiocy.
 
 
-1 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2014-11-14 20:44
To those who thumbs-downed my wee comment:

Your brain lives in your knee-reflex.

Likely your knee-reflex did not encounter the article my comment cited. Likely also, if your knee-reflex encountered any of the article, its neurons could not even sense the content.
 
 
+4 # C-SIK 2014-11-11 22:55
THE THREE STEPS MAY NOT BE PERFECT
BUT THIS IS RIGHT THINKING !
AND WE THE FORUM -
NEED TO HELP CARL FINE TUNE AND PERFECT THIS KIND OF THINKING !
AND WE ARE DOING IT
THANKS TO READER SUPPORTED NEWS
THINGS ARE BECOMING CLEAR !
"BILLIONIARISM" IS BECOMING OBVIOUS
PLUTOCRATS IS ANOTHER
THE EMPERORS CLOTHES ARE SLIPPING
IT IS GOING TO BE A PEACEFUL REVOLUTION THIS TIME HOWEVER MOSTLY -
BECAUSE WE ALL REALLY WANT THE SAME THING
EVEN THE PLUTOCRATS -
I AM LOOKING FOR A KING ASHOKA AMONG OUR BILLIONARE PLUTOCRATS
ANY IDEAS ?
THANK YOU
 
 
+6 # WestWinds 2014-11-12 02:23
I think we need mandatory voting with hefty ($500.00) fines for anyone not complying. I think paper ballots should be the way around tricked out voting machines and long lines. Everyone gets two weeks to get their ballot in.

I also think every Board of Elections should have ongoing classes in government and civics. These non-partisan classes would consist of educating people to the structure of their government, all of the then existing parties, what each party stands for, who the politicians are, their voting records, what the candidates stand for and their backgrounds. This way, the average person gets up to speed and is ready to vote.

Mandatory voting would eliminate redistricting problems, no turn out problems, voter ID problems and supression problems. We are supposed to be a representationa l government. We can't know who truly should represent us with all of the criminal conduct going on with voting, and we can't know who truly should represent us if people don't vote.

People don't vote for one of two reasons:
(1) bc they don't understand the process or the differences between candidates; therefore are intimidated by the process, and
(2) be they blow it off and don't bother.
Mandatory voting would address both reasons and we'd get a better picture of things, to say nothing of better leadership. We can't go on operating in a vacuum.
 
 
+5 # Gypsyheart 2014-11-12 06:31
All for these suggestions! Out political system is out of control! Otherwise intelligent people think there is really voter fraud despite evidence to the contrary. Mailed paper ballots would reduce the cost of election. Polls should also be open for 24 hours to accommodate everyone!
 
 
+7 # colddecking 2014-11-12 07:04
I'm thinking this too wouldn't be enough. Don't get me wrong, love the suggestions, but I feel that we must also eliminate the electoral college for that is what is used to keep a vice grip on the two party system.

Couple that with publically funded elections, making voting day the first full weekend in November with the following Monday a federal holiday... three days to vote. This first tuesday in November thing is crap.
 
 
+4 # geohorse 2014-11-12 07:43
Not a new yet still the best idea on how to run the country. Fat chance of it happening though. We need a game plan. Nader trying to break through the ranks was the only serious effort on a national scale for a long time yet look where that got us. He's not even given tiny spaces in mainstream media nowadays. The institutions that run the country are so tied up politically I don't see how to fix that either. For instance: look how Cheney packed the govt bureaucracy with people who can't be fired prior to leaving office making it even more difficult to get any progressive policy enforced if it did pass.It'd take a really informed properly positioned leader, like nobody sees anywhere, much less on on the horizon, to actually get elected to power.
 
 
-7 # Youtube-GlobalPrison 2014-11-12 08:42
Politics.....bo ring
 
 
+3 # Shartiblartfat 2014-11-12 10:50
I have been voting for Democrats since 1970. My first ballot was for Nixon in 1968 because I wanted the Vietnam War, in which I was involved, to end. I understand that not voting is wrong, but what's left?
 
 
+6 # mcsable 2014-11-12 20:41
Thank you all. This is the first comment section I have read that actually had good to great ideas on how to fix things.
I would like to add to this new amendment that all laws are only 1 page long and written in English not legalese so it cuts down on all the "riders" that get passed with a law. Also that any candidate or elected official that takes anything from a lobbyist has written his/her resignation letter. I also think elections should be limited to say one month before the election date - declare as a candidate, campaign, then vote. This would save time and money and elected officials could spend more time doing what they need to do rather than campaign.
I also agree Citizens United needs to be eliminated.
 
 
+2 # John Puma 2014-11-12 21:35
Besides the fact the amendments need to go through the very legislative bodies causing our main problems ... for that voting as inalienable right amendment, make it a four day Sat-Tue national holiday.
 
 
+1 # artwit 2014-11-13 19:45
A Constitutional Amendment requires 2/3 of both houses of Congress and 3/4 of State Legislatures, many of them owned by ALEC. Statewide initiatives can get us some of the way to Instant Runoff Voting (see fairvote.org) and can also pass public financing. Voter suppression can more easily be obviated by going to vote-by-mail, which is now the case in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado.
 
 
+1 # jazzman633 2014-11-14 15:37
Good thoughts -- and good luck in getting the people in charge of the system to change the system. It'll take an enormous amount of pressure from the State level, and right now there's a lot of hopelessness and apathy.

Chomsky says that people know so much about sports and so little about politics because the latter is of no consequence to them, and they are powerless to change anything. He notes that folks bring a great deal of knowledge and insight to their sports discussions, but not their political dialog.

Still, I'm optimistic that voter turnout will improve if there are more choices.

Oh yeah, and...

Step 4: A law requiring legislators to read every page of every bill they vote on. Maybe then we won't have these impenetrable 2500-page bills that are passed without being read. Unconscionable in a democracy.

Step 5: TERM LIMITS.
 
 
+1 # Corvette-Bob 2015-01-04 18:22
How could you pass a law that reigns in corruption when the people who vote are the people who have been paid off?
 

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