To protect the people and secure their rights

Liberty and Democracy are not opposing ideas. The political center is where all change is made. Let's embrace reason and civility.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saving American Democracy through Congressional District Organization

VIDEO:  (in production)

This video isn't about policy, it's about how to achieve policy. In my last video, I ended by saying that "government isn't the problem, corruption is the problem". I still believe this. It is my contention that if you want to "get the money out of politics", then we should take the money out of OUR politics.

I am proposing a national, independent, bi-partisan organization that can compete successfully in the Congressional primary and general elections. This national membership would be organized into CDO's (congressional district organizations) focused on recruiting and supporting district candidates.

Candidates with similar platforms could compete in the primaries of both parties within one district. In the event that both candidates won their primaries, then the voters would have an honest decision to make about who is the best speaker for them on the House floor. If only one candidate wins, then inroads have already been made into the other party to help swing votes in the general election.

We will require a national charter, some virtual infrastructure, and a declaration of principles to get us started. What those documents say, and what this virtual interface accomplishes for us, needs to be agreed upon by everone. The charter needs to define and secure Rights for all its members, and the influence of money in OUR politics needs to be removed.

Why the US Congressional District though? Why not state legislatures or even local governments?

America is the most powerful nation in the world, and the US Congress represents our nation. We are a democracy. We believe that political competition should be done with votes and not bullets. And exerting influence in the US House of Representatives makes policy relevant not only to America but to the world.

Congressional districs are highly gerrymandered into Blue, Red and "battleground" districts based on voter affiliation. In many districts like mine, there's at least a 2:1 ratio of one party to another.

Incumbent candidates have millions already in their campaign treasuries, and access to many millions more in "outside money". People don't have money, but the do have spare time, and that's what needs to be mobilized.

Democracy is a call for public participation. Active members need to form an organization they can trust to secure their own interests as members. Rather than spend millions on broadcasting and advertising, we reach out to neighbors, businesses and the community and get them organized. That's the plan.

Congressional districts consist of less than a million souls with about 500k registered to vote. A general election will draw between 250k and 350k votes total, and are won on margins of less than 10% or about 10k households. Most voters aren't directly involved in politics, but they do support the democratic process by voting and they are interested in the results.

Candidates are generally chosen in Primary Elections for both parties. The rules are set. We play by the rules of the game. Talk about alternative voting theory is fine, but it's fantasy and not politics. And it is the Primary where all the real fighting takes place anyway, where corruption really takes effect. (eg. Tea Party)

A CDO should be able to mobilize 100 active members supported by 1000 nominal members. Think about what 100 active members of a CDO could accomplish in just 2-3 hours on a weekend:

     10k fliers distributed in 2 hours
     1k signs put out or retrieved
     1k verified petition signatures for ballot access collected in 2 hours
     100 minimum attendence at a district convention or field event
     100 new voters registered
         ...along with 1000 houses receiving a business card with the national URL
     10 area meetings held support of candidates for state and local office

"Will it be enough?" I think so, based on certain sociological principles I've picked up over the years.

First, there's the 10% principle that a population will adopt a new idea if it can be accepted past this 10% "tipping point". This is half of the 20% ratio that Chomsky referred to as the "political class", so it seems like a good number, say 50k votes.

We need half this number of votes to swing a primary election, and half again in the general election to cross party lines. We of course need to rely on our campaign effectiveness, and really only need 20% of these voters to be directly organized.

That's ten thousand voters. Organized in tiers of 10, that's 1000 nominal (national) members, 100 active district leaders, and 10 candidates and staff. And if we can do this in one district, we can do it in every district in the country.

Anyway, that's the outline of my political strategy. I'll do policy videos and stuff later.

Whatever policy we agree upon, hopefully we'll take action to achieve that policy-- to call for public participation as voters, members, leaders and candidates. We can bring the voice of Liberty and Democracy back to Congress, to our Nation, and to the world. Together, we can save America.


follow up article based on my previous blog post: