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Electoral Reform is the “center of gravity” for any attempt to restore the Republic. The manipulation of state ballots to deny access to third, forth, fifty, and other parties, and to Independents now comprising over 44% of the eligible voters by some accounts, is how the two-party bi-opoly retains its control of the national treasury that it squanders on earmarks (while borrowing a trillion dollars a year “in our name,”) and the national legislative process, where it sells onorus regulatory impediments to small and main street enterprises to the banks and corporations that comprise the education, energy, health, military, and prison complexes, among others. In a word, Congress is CORRUPT to the core.
There are two strategies for achieving electoral reform, one partial, the other comprehensive.
The partial approach is explained by Richard Winger, founder and editor of Ballot Access News.
Responding to the Question:
Has anyone tried to get Congress to do a law putting all national party candidates on state ballots?
Richard Winger Responds:
Congress only has authority to regulate ballot access for federal elections (Congress and President). In 9 different sessions of Congress, bills to require easy ballot access for minor party and independent candidates have been introduced, but they only pertain to president and Congress.
First John Conyers (D-Michigan) introduced it. Then Tim Penny (D-Minnesota) introduced it. Then Ron Paul introduced it, four times. In 1998 it got to the House floor as an amendment, but only 67 members of the US House voted for it.
The authority is in Article I, Sec. 4:
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.
Robert Steele Comments:
There are four differences from the past when such legislation was introduced but easily blocked by the two-party tyranny:
01 Occupy Congress is now rising. Congress will not be able to stand up to 80% of the population demanding it be responsible.
02 The Internet now makes organized people more effective in shorter time than organized money.
03 The mystique of Congress is gone — everyone now recognizes the two-party tyranny for what it is — one bird, two wings, no difference.
04 The tangible financial crimes of Wall Street enabled by Congress, coming on top of the two elective wars that cost trillions to no good end, has exhausted public tolerance of Congressional corruption.
The partial approach can also include a legislative mandate to the effect that Electoral College votes must be retained by the respective national parties, ending the winner take all practice that is abused by the two-party bi-opoly.
A more comprehensive approach has been crafted by a combination of Robert Steele as a catalyst, Occupy activists, and a convergence of long-standing election and electoral integrity activists brought together by the viral video of Robert Steele briefing Occupy NYC’s working group on Politics and Electoral Reform.
The system is now rigged for the 1% against the 99%. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by the restoration of integrity and representativeness to our electoral process, and hence to our government.
– Robert Steele
Below in sequence are the full text of the Electoral Reform Pledge that we seek to have every national Senator and every national Representative sign before mid-January 2012; the Statement of Demand that we hope to have read publicly in each of the Congressional Districts by mid-January 2012, and an outline of a crowd-sourced Electoral Reform Act of 2012. As David Swanson has documented so ably, in his book When the World Outlawed War, there is one prior instance of the public forcing Congress to do the right thing. The description of the book at Amazon merits attention:
This is a masterful account of how people in the United States and around the world worked to abolish war as a legitimate act of state policy and won in 1928, outlawing war with a treaty that is still on the books. Swanson’s account of the successful work of those who came before us to insist that war be outlawed points us toward new ways of thinking about both war and political activism.
We the People Reform Coalition seeks to mobilize the 80% of our eligible voters not now properly represented by a two-party bi-opolgy in which each party relies on an extremist “base” to get elected, while disenfranchising everyone else through ballot access, voting machine fraud, gerrymandering, and a wide variety of false advertising and theater. Several books capture the essence of how dysfunctional and corrupt the US political system has become.