Thursday, September 29, 2011

Voting Matters Blog

A blog that is keeping up with voting issues in New Mexico. See what is going on with voting reform in Santa Fe. The City Councilors are the ones holding up electoral reform! Learn more at VotingMatters

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MLK on Poverty (9/28/11)

"There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it. There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is human will. The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. The poor in our countries have been shut out of our minds, and driven from the mainstream of our societies, because we have allowed them to become invisible."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Proportional Representation and Poverty

David Brady argues that the welfare state structure and generosity are what strongest impacts poverty. For the welfare state to be strongly in favor of the poor requires a strong Left. Left is defined here as left political parties (socialist, social-democrat, and labor) and unions connected with the left. I would also argue that for the US organizations and movements dedicated to working to improve the situation where classism, racism, and sexism intersect will be important.

We also have to look at the reality that unions in the US tend to support a center-right party instead of left parties. Some people argue that the trick is to take over the Democratic Party and make it a left party. This seems to just accept the structure as is.

In most "winner take all" electoral systems there is a tendency to reduce to two parties. In theory we could have benefited from a right and left party. Instead the US has developed two right parties. Supporting Democrats with real left values is important and not enough.

Working toward proportional representation will be important. This can start with Instant Runoff Voting. This is not openly proportional representation. It does allow, however, for a voter to vote for their real interests without fear of "wasting" their vote.

Brady showed that the two things that influence the strength of the welfare state are a strong left and proportional representation. While there are some of us who have drank the "rugged individualism" kool-aid, not all have. We need to build these two institutions and also keep fighting on issues as possible.

Ultimately it may be that the goal is not to focus solely on issues. We will need to focus on changing systems. Learn about and promote Instant Runoff Voting! This will allow voters more choice and create political options.

We may have to start city by city. That is better than waiting for the right "change" candidate to come along. No one person can move the system. It will take all of us.

Amor y Rebeldia!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Politics of Poverty (9/26/11)

In 2009 David Brady wrote Rich Democracies, Poor People: How Politics Explain Poverty. This is a useful book for all seekers of social justice as poverty is one of the most pervasive forms of violence in a country like the US. He breaks it down into both academic and straight forward language.

He uses statistics to show that the biggest influences on poverty are the welfare state, Left politics, and proportional representation. He talks about other things that are necessary and shows why politics influences the reasons behind some countries having 5% poverty and the US having 15% or more.

As an independent political party we will continue to discuss the political approach on our blog.