Joel Hirschhorn (Author)
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs Updating, A Fine Start, Some Serious Mis-Steps,November 25, 2011
This is an important book, one of many about the downfall of democracy in the USA with some suggestions for action that are a mix of great ideas, out of date items, and a couple, such as Instant Run-Off, that I also fell prey to and have now been corrected on by the crowd-sourcing of the Electoral Reform Act of 2012 (easy to find online).
First off, the author was well-ahead of his time and this book joins four books in particular:
Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
The Broken Branch : How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
Here is what the author himself summarizes as the key changes we need to make–I agree that Electoral Reform is the ONE THING that we can all agree on, but he has not availed himself of all of the expertise possible as I have in my open call for input, so we each lose one star–I wrote a book that was not focused on solutions, and he has written a book that needs to be updated and fleshed out.
A number of electoral reforms are necessary to rescue American democracy:
1. Expand the use of Clean Money, Clean Election programs.
2. Provide a None of the Above option on ballots.
3. Permit fusion candidates to promote third-party candidates.
4. Reform the Electoral College or its use by states.
5. Provide Instant Runoff Voting.
6. Pass the “Our Democracy, Our Airwaves” federal law.
7. For primary elections, support an open or crossover primary that
8. Make voting compulsory after other reforms
The Electoral Reform Act of 2012 introduced to OWS and now across America has eleven sections that have been exhaustively reviewed by many including non-profits focused on electoral reform matters:
1. Process [Election Integrity Principles from Gail Work, Eva Waskill, others]
2. Ballot Access
3. Voting for People
4. Voting for Issues
11. Constitutional Amendment
I absolutely urge one and all to buy this book, carry it around, wave it around, and get folks talking about Electoral Reform as the ONE THING we can all agree on. Check out the viral video someone make of me, the last words are “there’s nothing wrong with America the Beautiful that cannot be fixed by flushing Congress down the toilet.
Time is the one strategic variable that cannot be bought nor replaced. We not only cannot afford to lose 2012, in my view, but this is a unique moment in time when Obama could not veto such legislation, and no majority of Senators or Representatives could take the heat from a full-up 2 out of 3 angry eligible voters. IMHO.