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Post Reply An Idea Forwarded By An EX CIA Man To Push For Electoral Reforms
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Posted 2/3/17 , edited 2/4/17
This is the link to his proposal.

http://phibetaiota.net/2015/09/robert-steele-open-power-electoral-reform-open-letter-to-tom-steyer-with-proposed-action-plan-for-re-asserting-public-sovereignty-2/

I started a new thread, because the last thread was derailed be the leftist's insistence of taking the thread off topic. It was partly my fault, because I added an edit that was, itself off topic.

It is my hope that we can discuss his proposal, which is itself a list of popular proposals that have been aggregated into a 12 point comprehensive reform package.

Here, Robert Steele lists the different groups that have forwarded proposals for electoral reforms, over the years. Some focused on cleaning up the source of money, and how much money eligible campaigners each get. Other's focused on term limits. While others still, looked only at electronic voting machines.

What he has done is to pick 12 of these proposals, and package them into a whole set piece reform act. The goal, being to completely overhaul the electoral process in one act, instead of doing it piecemeal. He believes that electoral reforms have failed in the past, because they only focused on one dimension of the the whole problem. He proposes that the problem can be solved by addressing 12 key issues that are at the root of the deficiencies of our electoral process.

The list of groups that have forwarded electoral reform proposals over the years:



That's a long list!

The following are the 12 points, Robert Steele proposes, are what we need to address to solve our electoral woes.



So... These are the individual points, he states, that need to be addressed, with my interpretation of what I think they mean.


01 Universal Registration
• Opt-Out Option
• Prisoners Remain Voters


Does that mean that when you turn 18, you are automatically registered to vote, and that you have to opt-out if you don't want to register?

Convicted prisoners get to keep their voting rights. I'm not sure if he means they can vote while in prison, or if he means, when they get out, their voting rights are restored.


02 Free & Equal Ballot Access


He explained that, the way things are now, third party campaigners are kept off of the ballot card. He believes this is unfair to the campaigner, and to voters who wanted to vote for that office seeker.


03 Tightly-Drawn Districts


I think he means that, the way things are now, the political party in domination, have figured out a way to redraw the district boundaries, so that they are practically guaranteed to never lose an election.


04 Free & Equal Public Funding
• Overturn CITIZENS UNITED


In this point, I think he's talking about getting rid of campaign donations, and give candidates public funds to finance their campaigns. Citizens United was that Supreme Court ruling that said, it was unconstitutional to limit how much money corporations could give to campaigns. So, he's advocating the reversal of that ruling.



05 Free & Equal Media Access


Along with public funding for campaign finances, free and equal access to media outlets for campaign ads.


06 Inclusive Debates
• Restore League of Women Voters
• Debates in Every State
• Cabinet Announced in Advance
• Cabinet-Level Debates


When the League of Womens Voters used to hold the Presidential debates, it had the presidential candidates of all parties, not just Republicans and Democrats. However, the Republicans and Democrats somehow ended up hosting their own debates, while excluding all third party candidates from the debates.

He also thinks that cabinet members should be announced in advance and that the cabinet members should also debate.


07 Open Primaries


Open primaries.


Ranked choice voting — see Fair Vote


Link to FairVote's website, which explains how this works.

http://www.fairvote.org/rcv#rcvbenefits


08 Election Day Holiday
Visitors to Disabled
Free Public Transportation


Yay! A new paid holiday! And free transportation to and from the poling station.


09 Paper Ballots
Counted Publicly On Site
Military and Embassy Sites
Exit Poll Validation at all Sites
Mail/Internet Triple Validation


Like it used to be done in the olden days, because it's harder to hack paper ballots, and a whole lot easier to hack electronic voting machines.


10 End Winner-Take-All Voting
Instant Run-Off or
Range, Concordent, Other


In other words, electoral college votes will be apportioned based on how many votes you won. Winning a simple majority will not net you all of the electoral college votes for a state.


11 Legislative Process Integrity
End Party-Line Voting
All Legislation Published in Advance
No Secret Provisions
Process for Citizen Guidance to Representatives


I'm not sure what all of that means:

Legislative Process Integrity: Keep the process honest?

End Party-Line Voting: In some states, you can check a single box, and it will automatically cast a vote for everyone in that party that you are eligible to vote for, without another thought. I guess he wants us to think about each vote...

All Legislation Published in Advance: So, any legislation the Congress is thinking about voting on has to be publicly published in its entirety ahead of the vote.

No Secret Provisions: No hidden amendments added to a bill. All amendments have to be in the open. Also, treaties have to be openly published. No secret treaty deals to be made. The TPP treaty was jammed packed with secret clauses, that the public AND the Congress could not see before hand. They had to vote on it without having a chance to read the secret parts of the treaty. Crazy, huh?

Process for Citizen Guidance to Representatives: Make a pamphlet that shows people who are their representatives, and how to reach them? Or maybe it means, to create a way for people to instantly let their representatives know how they feel about something their representatives are about to vote on.

I have to admit, Congressmen and Women sure work hard to make it hard for you to let them know how you feel. All of their phone calls are screened, emails, are screened, letters are screened by their aids. And what their aids screen is left up to their interpretation, or they may tinker with the numbers, so that the representative doesn't get the true picture of what their constituents are thinking.



12 Article V Constitutional Convention
• 1st Religion & Freedom of Expression
• 2nd Right to Bear Arms
• 12th Electoral College
• 14th Birthright
• 17th State Appointment of Senators


Sure.... What he said? It's a list of stuff. I'm not sure what he wants to do about those. Except, perhaps, to rigorously enforce and defend those?

EDIT:

Earlier I had accidentally posted the thread when I clicked on Post, instead of Preview Post. Now, however, I'm done editing this post. I know it's a long read, but our country is in turmoil right now, because of distrust of our electoral process. That means we need to fix it.

What do you think? Let us debate the merits of his proposal to reform our electoral process.
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Posted 2/3/17 , edited 2/3/17
Constitutional Convention is a bad idea, leads to "mob rule", which we saw two examples of
at UC Berkley and New York.
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Posted 2/3/17 , edited 2/5/17
The Founding Fathers were brilliant when they invented the voting system with the electoral college.
The left wing only hates the electoral college when they lose the election.

The reason for the electoral college is so that each state is important in its own way.

If we decided elections by the popular vote, candidates would only campaign in states such as California, and New York.
Also the left all of the sudden cares about the constitution. They didnt care about it when they were ramming obamacare down our throats.
Such hypocrites
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Posted 2/3/17 , edited 2/3/17

Jamming777 wrote:

Constitutional Convention is a bad idea, leads to "mob rule", which we saw two examples of
at UC Berkley and New York.


This isn't a proposal to make a new constitution. It is a proposal to reform our electoral process. How a candidate gets financed (a chance to remove giant corporations from the game), getting rid of electronic voting machines (we'll never be in doubt if a black-hat cracker stole our votes, because paper can't be hacked), and for the first time, being an Independent will really mean something, a Green party candidate might actually get a seat in the Senate, and or in the House of Representatives.

I think there are some really good ideas, here.

Have you seen the Ranked Choice Vote link? This is actually being used in several cities in the United States, and they LOVE IT!! It deserves serious study.
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AkatsukiDoc wrote:

The Founding Fathers were brilliant when they invented the voting system with the electoral college.
The left wing only hates the electoral college when they lose the election.

The reason for the electoral college is so that each state is important in its own way.

If we decided elections by the popular vote, candidates would only campaign in states such as California, and New York.
Also the left all of the sudden cares about the constitution. They didnt care about it when they were ramming obamacare down our throats.
Such hypocrites


Under this proposal, the electoral college DOES NOT GO AWAY. What is being proposed is that we change how electoral college votes are divided. Based on how many votes a candidate wins will determine how many electoral college votes they get. Some states will give all of their electoral college votes to someone who wins by a bare majority. That means that everyone who voted for the other candidate, their votes meant squat.

This also means that candidates will not concentrate all of their campaigning in just a few states. Remember how Hillary and Trump just concentrated their campaigns in a few states at the end? That's because those were winner take all states.

Remember this?

http://www.270towin.com/

Hillary won the popular votes even though she won fewer than half the states in the country. Donald won fewer popular votes, even though he won many more states than Hillary did.

This is because some states have more people than others. Trump won the electoral college vote because he won more states. Clinton won more popular votes, but she won fewer states.

Why? Because of the "Winner take all" states. Trump won the important "winner take all states."

If "winner takes all states" goes away, then the electoral college vote will be more in line with the popular vote.
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Posted 2/3/17 , edited 2/4/17
After giving it a read it, I quite like what has been proposed. I enjoy reading all political posts from all sides, gives me stuff to think about. +1
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Posted 2/3/17

DeadlyOats wrote:


Jamming777 wrote:

Constitutional Convention is a bad idea, leads to "mob rule", which we saw two examples of
at UC Berkley and New York.


This isn't a proposal to make a new constitution. It is a proposal to reform our electoral process. How a candidate gets financed (a chance to remove giant corporations from the game), getting rid of electronic voting machines (we'll never be in doubt if a black-hat cracker stole our votes, because paper can't be hacked), and for the first time, being an Independent will really mean something, a Green party candidate might actually get a seat in the Senate, and or in the House of Representatives.

I think there are some really good ideas, here.

Have you seen the Ranked Choice Vote link? This is actually being used in several cities in the United States, and they LOVE IT!! It deserves serious study.


Then there is no need for a Constitutional Convention, it can be handled by amendment. The fact is the will to change is stronger than its been in fifty+ years. Which is exactly why we should amend the Constitution and not abrogate it .
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Posted 2/3/17 , edited 2/4/17

AkatsukiDoc wrote:
The left wing only hates the electoral college when they lose the election.

Such hypocrites






>.>
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Posted 2/4/17

AkatsukiDoc wrote:

The Founding Fathers were brilliant when they invented the voting system with the electoral college.
The left wing only hates the electoral college when they lose the election.

The reason for the electoral college is so that each state is important in its own way.

If we decided elections by the popular vote, candidates would only campaign in states such as California, and New York.
Also the left all of the sudden cares about the constitution. They didnt care about it when they were ramming obamacare down our throats.
Such hypocrites


Except the electoral college is now a very outdated idea that simply rubber-stamps the majority vote per State rather than providing a new layer of protection from electing someone as corrupt and devoid of logic as Donald Trump, who does not even possess the support of the majority in the country. With the current electoral college in place, the voting power of people with the critical thinking capacity of a pet rock equates to 2~4 times that of other voters. I still have no idea what kind of rationale can be used to justify making my voting power (as someone from NY) to have only (less than) 1/4th the impact of someone from Wyoming.
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Posted 2/4/17 , edited 2/4/17
Chances of getting rid of the levtoral college are zero - the smaller states won't approve; without the college New York, California, and maybe Texas pick the president; now THAT is unfair. I think if you win the state you get the 2 senate votes, rest by district.

I'm against public funding or overturning citizens united. Some good ideas, mostly bad ones ...REJECTED! Top 2 primary would be a good idea. No on the prisoner vote.
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Posted 2/4/17 , edited 2/4/17

AkatsukiDoc wrote:

The Founding Fathers were brilliant when they invented the voting system with the electoral college.
The left wing only hates the electoral college when they lose the election.

The reason for the electoral college is so that each state is important in its own way.

If we decided elections by the popular vote, candidates would only campaign in states such as California, and New York.
Also the left all of the sudden cares about the constitution. They didnt care about it when they were ramming obamacare down our throats.
Such hypocrites


There are obvious flaws in the Electoral College System that the Founding Fathers failed to foresee...

1. The three branches of Government are meant as checks and balances to each other, when one party controls all three (I'm speaking of either party) those checks and balances cease to exist. As Paul Ryan himself put it during the election, "We can't hand them a Blank Check!". He warned against it but now is embracing it himself just as many others from both parties have on the few occasions a party's full control of the Government has happened.

2. The Electoral College, itself, was established in 1787. It wasn't until 1812 (25 years later) that the first attempt at Gerrymandering took place. Both parties have in the past used Gerrymandering as a way of abusing the flaws of the Electoral College System.The Founding Fathers obviously never saw it used the way it has been in recent years.

I'm actually intrigued by the article DeadlyOats has posted. The creator seems to have thought this out quite well with a mind on the Constitution first and any party a distant second. This is more faithful to the way the Founding Fathers "did business" way back then. It makes so much sense that we obviously will never see anything even close come to be. We're trapped in a system where all parties put their own interests ahead of those of America, it's people or the Constitution.

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Posted 2/4/17 , edited 2/4/17
I actually agree with this proposal. I especially like #10. As things are now, Republicans in a blue state like California or Democrats in a red state like Texas often feel like their votes don't count (and often times don't even show up to vote, because "why bother? The other side will win my state"). However, if made more of a "percentage vote" instead of a "winner takes all vote" then not only will it ultimately be more fair, but those people whose ideologies conflict with the ideologies of the majority of those around them feel like they have more of a say and will be more likely to vote.
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Posted 2/4/17
Oh cool, my suggestion kind of sort of got through.


DeadlyOats wrote:

So... These are the individual points, he states, that need to be addressed, with my interpretation of what I think they mean.
.


1. Voter registration is on a state level. To have automatic registration a state would need some way to track the records and location of every child under 18 to accurately register them. I'm not aware of any registry currently that could adequately handle that, and the security would have to be particularly tight to protect that kind of private information involving children.

2. If a candidate feels they've been unfairly not included on the ballot, they can still be written in by voters. Without some sort of constraint on who can be on a ballot, it'll be even more of a headache to read than it currently can be.

3. Gerrymandering is certainly a problem, and has yet to see an adequate solution.

4. Citizen's United has certainly been a disaster as far as campaign finance goes.

5. What the fuck does 'free and equal media access' even mean? Candidates buy add space from all sorts of broadcasting outlets. Is this a proposal to require broadcasters to be platform to any candidate on the ballot free of charge? Combined with #2, that could be an absolute mess as far as advertisement scheduling goes, and tank revenue from paid advertisement space. Never-mind that requiring media outlets to be platform to advertisements that may not be in line with their brand is a colossal waste of time for a serious candidate whose target audience probably doesn't watch that outlet to begin with,and in the process possibly damage the brand of the outlet. Sounds great on paper, but would be an utter mess in implementation.

6. It appears that the League of Women Voters opted to not host debates on their own https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Women_Voters. Not sure how you're going to convince them to start that up again.

Debates are currently hosted by media outlets and typically invite based on percentages of public polls. Like #2, turning debates into a clown car of candidates and cabinet members would do the public any favors. The RNC primary last year was enough of a mess as it was without crowding more names and faces into the mix. Plus cabinet members are appointments to be approved by Congress, cramming them onto a debate stage sounds absurd.

7. I'm in a state with open primaries, that's a party's decision to make. The 'fair vote' thing sounds obtuse.

8. While voting holidays would not necessarily a bad thing, primary dates could get confusing. Mail-in ballots are already a thing, I don't see a point in going to the expense of bringing voting stations to home-bound people.

9. It's also much easier to misread, mar, damage, or lose paper ballots.

10. Winner-take-all for electoral candidates is definitely a mess.

11 & 12. No idea what most of that is even supposed to do that isn't already available or otherwise redundant. The only thing that stood out on those points was the lack of public availability to clauses and amendments to laws and treaties, which I don't oppose public scrutiny of the law making process.



Most of those proposals don't seem to have any thought in how they would be reasonably implemented.
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Posted 2/4/17 , edited 2/4/17

qwueri wrote:

Oh cool, my suggestion kind of sort of got through.


DeadlyOats wrote:

So... These are the individual points, he states, that need to be addressed, with my interpretation of what I think they mean.
.




1) Remember that this is my interpretation of what the list means. I don't actually know what Robert Steele was thinking when he put this list together. All I know is that he studied the proposals forwarded by those groups, and picked what he thought were the best 12 from their proposed reform ideas.

2) I think, he listed bullet points, without any details, because the details have to be worked out by committees.

3) Maybe Universal could be, when a person applies for a driver license, at 16 years of age. Then on their 18th birthday, the Department of Motor Vehicles will send them a letter telling them they have been automatically registered to vote, "please fill out this form with the party you want to register with, or opt out." That's just one idea, there may be other ways to do this.

4) I actually liked the Ranked Choice Voting idea. I think, if this were implemented, it would cause the other parties to really focus on better organization and funding for their own primaries, and they would be more serious in supporting their candidate. With tax payer supplied campaign funds, and with....

5) ...tax payer paid media time (maybe a combination of a fixed price and tax incentives), third party candidates will be able to reach the masses like they've never been able to, before. For certain, we'll start seeing more third party Congressmen and women. And maybe after a few elections, we'll see the first president that's not a Democrat or a Republican.
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Posted 2/5/17 , edited 2/9/17
What would be good reasons to let ex-convicts recover their voting rights? How about an ex-convict that, while in prison, studied law and when he/she got out, took the bar exam and passed, becoming a lawyer? Would someone like that deserve to have their voting rights restored?

Why shouldn't someone who has already paid for their crime, and had finished their sentence, not be allowed to take part in society? Why can't someone who's kept their nose clean, and cleaned up their act, not be allowed to vote? Wouldn't a lifetime bar from voting rights be the same as a lifetime sentence? Would denying voting rights to ex-convicts who completed their sentences, cleaned up their act, and became productive members of society, be considered a human rights violation? A Civil rights violation?

Why or why not?

EDIT:

Everyone, on both sides of the political spectrum has cried out that the electoral system is broken and needs fixing, but no one wants to talk about it?
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