Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 12, 2011, 3:28 p.m. EST by ulTRAX
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Our political system is designed not just to be anti-democratic but resistant to change. Any meaningful reform movement must have a clear vision and an strategy to overcome these legalistic obstacles. It must also have a good understanding of the dynamics in the political system that will keep dragging such movements back into the fold of one of the two major parties. In terms of a vision, I'd like to propose an on-line Think Tank. It's an old idea and I posted on it at DU back in 04…
Creating a Vision might be the easy part. Not being co-opted by the dynamics of our dysfunctional political and electoral systems will be more difficult. They create a Catch 22 that drags dissidents back into the fold. To create a third party allows one to vote their conscience yet never get representation, and it often throws the election to the GOP. Yet to vote Democratic is to have progressive values watered down until they are unrecognizable. Is there a third way to work for long term political/electoral reforms while not throwing elections to the GOP and not getting sucked into the dysfunctional Democratic Party?
I think a balancing act can allow votes for progressive Dems so not to throw elections, but remembering that the Democratic Party is where we'd expect democratic reforms to come from… yet they stand in the way of real reforms. They'll pass Motor Voter. They'd never reforming all the anti-democratic aspects of our Constitution. For example the 12 smallest states that can block any amendment contain less than 4% of the US population. A mere 18% of the population gets 52% of the Senate seats. Some here will object the government MUST be this way to protect small states. But there are other ways to do so WITHOUT resorting to anti-democratic vote weighting/dilution schemes. The Bill of Rights proves it.
I'd like to see democratic movements arise in the states to reform their state constitutions to permitting proportional representation (PR). If an OWS party gets 10% of the statewide vote, they'd get 10% of the seats. PR would not just free OSW from the Democratic Party but provide an examples for eventual federal reform. With true progressives able to take positions of power, their message can't be blocked out by the Democratic Party or the media.