Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
One wonders if the two legislators are aware of alternate election systems that would solve the problem they perceive, without adding to the expense and probable poor voter turnout in their proposed December run-offs.
The article mentions that the Attorney General’s race last month is an example of a race in which no one got 50% in November. In that race, the vote was: Democartic 43.1%; Republican 29.0%; Moderate Party 14.4%; two independent candidates, one of whom polled 9.6% and the other 4.0%.
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It is possible that Instant Runoff Voting could be a cheaper answer!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Education is important and vital, but not sufficient. We need to promote education AND promote policies which support our way of life where people have fair opportunities, and fair opportunities for participation. Just like there is more to democracy than elections, there is more to economic opportunities than a degree.
From the NYT article College, Jobs and Inequality
College is still the path to higher-paying professions. But without a concerted effort to develop new industries, the weakened economy will be hard pressed to create enough better-paid positions to absorb all graduates.
And to combat inequality, the drive for more college and more jobs must coincide with efforts to preserve and improve the policies, programs and institutions that have fostered shared prosperity and broad opportunity — Social Security, Medicare, public schools, progressive taxation, unions, affirmative action, regulation of financial markets and enforcement of labor laws.
The discussion about the difference between an elected representative and a spokesperson is a stretch for many of us, but something to consider deeply. The discussion about taking and internalizing and doing the work for democracy is important as well. We have become so accustomed to voting and waiting for the next election that all of this seems odd. But real democracy will be really challenging work.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In the sections on communal councils there is some discussion of the improvement over their old neighborhood association structure. This may be of value for people doing work on this level in the US. Neighborhood associations are important but often not inclusive or engaging. There is definitely work to be done on that front.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
And ironically the Georgia prison system chose to respond to a work stoppage by locking down the prison. When the imprisoned do not work they need to stay in their cells anyway. This seems like a cheap tactic for the benefit of the corporate media.
The prison system is showing its true colors by cutting out hot water and turning off the heat, even though the temperatures are in their 30s. According to Common Dreams, "Prisoners are demanding, in their own words, decent living conditions, adequate medical care and nutrition, educational and self-improvement opportunities, just parole decisions, just parole decisions, an end to cruel and unusual punishments, and better access to their families."
The Georgia Green Party is urging negotiations in order to resolve the situation. More solidarity is necessary to put pressure on the Georgia incarceration system.
Tim Storey has this comprehensive summary of the results of state legislative elections, including a map that shows which major party controls each state’s legislature. Unfortunately, the article does not mention that independents or minor party members were elected to state legislatures in ten states this year.
This article like many avoid dealing with the anti-democratic nature of the "winner take all" electoral system which limits choices for voters which is a huge part of the low voter turnout. And given that more and more people are feeling that the two parties are serving the rich at the cost of the working people of the United States, more are proposing a progressive split from the Dems.
It will be tough for any changes in power without structural changes in the electoral system. The question is how do we achieve those types of changes. We need either a major uprising of the population or truly pro-democratic, and inclusive elected officials to be a large enough group to make the changes. Until then we need to find cracks in the systems we interact with to practice real democracy that includes the excluded.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
If only the supposedly "progressive politicians" would get us to this type of democracy. It is obvious that electoral representation only is not enough!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Hopefully unemployment benefits will be raised for at least as long as the tax giveaways are!
The fact that "middle-class" is already being defined as $60,000 a year and above should let most of us know what we do not talk about most of the time. Many of us are working-class. Working people, working families, working-class. It is time that everyone has a fair chance to support their families. One way to make that happen is to stop redistributing wealth from working people to the rich!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
The group will continue to process the information and look for a project to follow through on. It was very exciting to discuss health from a social justice perspective. These youth may truly be the future!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Annie Lee Cooper fought figuratively and literally for her right to vote. She has been recognized in various ways. She passed on after turning 100.