Electoral Reform: Converging the Tribes to Achieve Extreme Democracy
This proposal is rooted in both practical experience as a member of the Occupy Working Group on Electoral Reform followed by a brief run for the US presidency, accepted by the Reform Party at a candidate, both in 2011; and in broad reading as the top Amazon reviewer for non-fiction reading in 98 categories, many relevant to the obstacles to and possibilities of achieving extreme democracy. I have also published multiple articles and three Amazon Kindle books that have been highly-rated in the Civics category, but I have not had a global-level intervention reaching a global crowd across all boundaries.
An article, a Kindle book (as well as a free e-pub) and a professionally-done video “call to arms” for civic engagement are proposed. This would be a partnership with the editorial staff in order to assure that my practical knowledge is crafted for maximum effect, creating a meme and a tutorial that might spread, ideally in multiple translations. This could include a trip to London or elsewhere to make a live public presentation that could be televised and posted online.
There are four insights that are escaping most activists:
01 Electoral reform is the “root” objective. No issue, no matter how important or well-funded (e.g. climate change such as Tom Steyer spent $74 million trying to influence) will receive an honest hearing as long as we live in world of false democracies where two-party tyrannies have merged with financial oligarchies to create what Matt Taibbi calls Griftopia – legalized crime that benefits the 1% at the expense of the 99%.
02 Parties are toxic. In the USA for example, the two-party tyranny has captured the progressive press and shut out the other six accredited parties and all independents. The two parties actually conspire together to block Independent and small party candidates. The core purpose of electoral reform must be to displace parties and restore individuals thinking for themselves, as the foundation for “extreme democracy.” Parties insist on party tickets, a winner-take-all approach to the Cabinet, a candidate’s acceptance of the party platform above all others, and a candidate’s commitment to fulfilling party promises to big donors. All four of these are inherently corrupt and diminish true democracy.
03 Activists are incoherent. They lack both the culture and the tools needed to converge on the “one thing” that would re-empower all of them: electoral reform. No one has made this case better than Micah Sifry with his book, The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet). My own contributions point out the futility of being an activist on any single issue – proper self-governance demands holistic analytics, true cost economics, and a commitment to open source everything engineering both to achieve intelligence (decision-support) with integrity, and to escape the looting of the commons that is made possible by proprietary legal regimes and the “big” monopolistic industries they empower.
04 Electoral reform demands twelve integrated reforms. From Lawrence Lessig to Christina Tobin to the UK electoral reformists and others, the most common mistake is to focus on getting money out or politics or ballot access or gerrymandering or free media access. There are actually twelve distinct reforms that must be enacted together, as a whole, if political corruption is to be eliminated and
Below are some references that I have created at my own expense, as a voice in the wilderness. The Shuttleworth Foundation recently surprised me with a flash grant of $5,000, totally out of the blew and the first grant I or Earth Intelligence Network (an accredited educational non-profit) have ever received. Individual donors have given us our annual $20,000 average operating income and I have never applied for grants before. This is my first-ever grant application.
Democracy Lost Essay & Book Review: http://tinyurl.com/Steele-Reform
Open Power videos and posts: http://tinyurl.com/OpenPowerAll
Kindle Books at Amazon:
OPEN POWER: Electoral Reform Act of 2015 – Open Source Activist Tool Kit
A Fantasy: On The Seventh Day: How a Burning Babe and Lynn Rothschild Saved Democracy in America
Sanders for President as an Independent? The Game Plan
Here is my larger vision for empowering citizens with access to all information in all languages all the time. Note the profiles including one from The Guardian, at the bottom of the post.