Trip Report: OWS NY Meeting on Electoral Reform

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Robert David STEELE Vivas

I spent the day getting to and from a two and a half hour meeting of the NYC General Assembly working group on Politics and Electoral Reform (P&ER). The skeleton minutes of that meeting are online.

With respect to Electoral Reform, first the group considered Summary of NYC GA Working Group on Politics and Electoral Reform Preamble and Specifics for Electoral Reform provided as a two-page hand-out.

MGB in Front of 60 Wall Street

Later in the meeting the group received a personal presentation [will be linked here as soon as it is loaded by the professional who did the taping]  of about seven minutes from me on why Electoral Reform is the one thing that can unify every US voter and eventually all other voters in their own countries, and two handouts:

Proposed Statement of Demand for Electoral Reform Act of 2012 – this blends in everything from the group list

Electoral Reform Act of 2012 – Version 3.2 This blends in all the points from the existing group list recorded by Tim.

There was a great deal of discussion, with two general views: first, that Electoral Reform is NOT sufficient, needed is a Constitutional Convention to overturn the entire system and install Direct Democracy everywhere; and second, that Electoral Reform is one thing we can all agree on and move forward with, while everything else develops on its own schedule.

MGB Cold Weather No Heater Gear

I tried to emphasize that the formulation of the Statement of Demand and the project reading date of 5 January 2012 would take all the pressure off OWS encampments (their “Valley Forge”) and shift the focus to confronting Governors (who have to lead Open Ballot Access changes that are at the state level), Senators, and Representatives.  Below are two relevant lists.

#OWS: List of Governors Up for Re-Election in 2012

#OWS: List of Senators Up for Re-Election in 2012

The P&ER working group is hoping to elevate the electoral reform issue, a viral campaign for a constitutional convention, and a new pilot project on direct democracy to the full NYC General Assembly within ten days.  I urged them to use whatever they decided upon in the way of a Statement of Demand and the specifics of an Electoral Reform Act of 2012 as a model to share with all other Occupy groups in the USA and world-wide, to stimulate two months of deep discussion on what I regard as the one non-violent option we have of getting America the Beautiful back on track through the restoration of electoral integrity and the eradication of institutionalized corruption in the two-party tyranny (one bird, two wings, same shit).

Intellectually what I find most stimulating about all this is the convergence of Marxism properly understood on the left, and Libertarianism properly understood on the right–BOTH are about the sovereignty of man over the state, the eradication of state power as an autonomous out-of-control and therefore virulent entity.  Below explores that territory.

Karl Marx, Libertarians, & OWS: End STATE Power RECAP