Electoral Reform Project

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Contents

About

Read About the Electoral Reform Project goals.

Currently the project is providing some resource links.

It will also be placing some occasional diaries on DailyKos. See below.

Users Participating

Add your name here: ohwilleke - wegerje - pyrrho - powerbeyondreckoning - RobLa - DanKeshet - TheTrucker - anonymous trolls (just to add references)



Next diary entry?

U.S. Electoral Reformers

  • Elections Methods Wiki

Rob Lanphier

Andrew Meyers - Condorcet Voting Service

  • Set up your own Condorcet vote

James Green-Armytage

Brian Olson

Blake Cretney

Mike Ossipoff

  • Jan 2005 Recommendation

Dan Keshet

  • Dan Keshet

Green Party of the United States

The largest party in the U.S. that has a firm position in favour of electoral reform. And long (mostly unsuccessful) experience advocating for it.

Libertarian Party of the United States

A consistent third-party support of electoral reform.

Canadian electoral reformers

The effort for electoral reforms is much more advanced in Canada and there are many attributes of the Canadian public consultation, referenda, advocacy and instructional materials that can simply be adopted immediately to U.S. contexts.

Julian West, British Columbia, Canada

  • [1] led the "YES" advocate side in the recent B.C. electoral reform referendum which advocates of reform in the US should study carefully - many things were done right and wrong. Despite a lacklustre official effort the "BC-STV" (single transferable vote) proposal received 57% of the popular vote and over 50% in 77 of BC's 79 districts. This was not however enough to automatically pass as it required 60% of the popular vote. At present the BC electoral system remains in limbo, with the scheme having more mandate than the sitting goverment. Some form of it will likely be passed by the legislature. West is the key figure in this effort.

You can try the proposed BC system at bc.demochoice.org.

Martin Willison, Nova Scotia, Canada

[2] of Fair Vote Nova Scotia and the Green Party of Nova Scotia

Libby Davies, NDP MP (BC), Canadian federal

The Canadian New Democratic Party is a very loud advocate of electoral reform in Canada, as their present 19 seats in the Canadian House of Commons would triple to nearly 60 by the 2004 vote count. Some of their provincial parties resist this, but, as a monolithic organization, the federal NDP is probably the single loudest voice for electoral reform on the North American continent. Many of the party's members of parliament, including Davies, are known trolls - Davies is famous, among other things, for proposing in the Canadian House of Commons to search the USA for every weapon of mass destruction - on which list she included the U.S. health care system.

Green Party of Canada

The fifth party in Canada has several proposals for democratic reform of which the most directly applicable to the US is the Citizens Assembly proposal. See Citizens Assembly for the U.S. application of this idea.

Fair Vote Canada

Vote Canada, extensive documentation on process and specific reform initiatives that have been applied in Canada (notably in BC, PEI, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick) and what's wrong with them. As a process-focused organization much of this is relevant to the US too.


Recent dKos Diary Entries


Third party project V1.0 .


Illinois needs a Green Party

Bean and blago bird in hand fractured right 65/35 35/65 jan and jessee nnd emanuel? etc. electoral reform


donrose65 a o l 97 (773) 935-3432, 2025 N Sedgwick St, Chicago, IL 60614

Lauren Deuthsch


Ill Green

Reply to phrrho

See bolson's diary [here at SoapBlox. http://www.soapblox.net/blog/showDiary.do?diaryId=336]

But also see this exchange [over here where java is discussed. http://www.soapblox.net/blog/showComment.do?commentId=1117]

Bolson has done much in this area and it appears a lot is in java.

Here's bolson's [better polls site. http://betterpolls.com/]

He's been part of [Rob Lamphier's Election Methods http://lists.electorama.com/listinfo.cgi/election-methods-electorama.com] list and the [ElectoWiki effort. http://wiki.electorama.com/wiki/Main_Page]

Bolson and Technopolitical and I are approaching consensus on the importance of the mating of blogs with electoral technologies. See [this comment with TP http://www.soapblox.net/blog/showComment.do?commentId=1041] and see this comment by bolson in the Diary linked above:

But, now I see that the future must be in integrating such functionality into community/blog software such as SoapBlox or Scoop. Clicking on a link to an outside site sucks, much better to have things inline.

Soapy is slowly getting on board as well. He's finally implementing Approval voting in the poll module. We'll see if he anything comes out of the bolson connection.

I have also laid the groundwork with Soapy (I love MSOC's moniker for him. But I use it carefully), as far as my own personal interest in "Direct Democracy via Proxy" direction. Here's a longish thing on that by James Green-Armytage.

SotB

State of the Blog

We are now one month old.

Thank you Pacified for the SoapBlox software that powers this blog. Without it there is no way that this blog would exist. Besides the difficult to install Scoop software, I know of no other software with diaries, ratings, comments and nested comment replies. Those are just a few of the necessary software features that I felt were minimum requirements. It has been Pacified's hard and creative work that underlies all that we do here.

Thank you Carl Nyberg. Your early support and continued presence have been invaluable. I can't say enough about that presence and the encouragement I receive from it.

Continued after the Jump.

Thank you front page bloggers.

Ralph, your Illinois Politics Jonez gave us early creditability when we needed it. I look forward to more Jonez reports.

Ultrageek, thank you and we look forward to reading your diaries again.

Chicagolife, thanks for the Labor Union update. A progressive blog needs always to respect the historic contributions of Labor Unions and be prepared to build on those contributions. Will we be seeing a report from you about the major July labor meetings in Chicago?

Musing85, your diary on Durbin filled an important hole, and more importantly your steady stream of comments keeps us all on our toes.

Eloy, thanks for your Rod diary. We were able to pair that diary with one by:

Downleft, thanks, for highlighting the attention we need to pay to downstate. Your diary and the one by Eloy spring-boarded us via a promotion at dKos to our second 100+ visitor's day. Now that we know that downstate matters, we look forward to reading more matters from downstate.

Michael in Chicago, thanks for the update on Christine Cegelis. We were ready when the dKos Cegelis diary hit.

Lesley, thanks for the SCOTUS demonstration rallies notices. We will get a report on the rallies, yes?

That colored fella, thanks to your post and the promotion during the Sunday smack dab in the middle of a three day holiday we were able to hit the 100 visitor mark a third time. Indeed, that day holds our current record of 131 visits.

And last but not least, thank you Dan Johnson-Weinberger. When I say that you are my inspiration as a local progressive blogger, I mean it.

Without you FrontPagers we would not be here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


We have done a lot of fine and interesting work during this one month. From nothing we now have a blog that people are beginning to look forward to reading. We have about 38 registered members. I'm sorry that number is imprecise, but clumsey me botched some of the first few registrations so we have to subtract 10 from the highest current userid of 48.

At this point I should write some eloquent words about how we are part of an historic political netroots movement. But you all are the eloquent writers, not me. So lets hit the keyboards running (a difficult task physically, I know) and continue to fill this blog with first rate diaries and comments.

jun13

Around the Progressive local Blog-o-sphere DownLeft [Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore http://downleft.blogspot.com/2005/06/your-flag-decal-wont-get-you-into.html]

Sierra Club-Jack Darin [ Last Week For Comments on Shawnee Plan http://illinoissierraclub.blogspot.com/2005/06/last-week-for-comments-on-shawnee-plan.html]

WurfWhile-Hiram Wurf [Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley Announces Bid For Cook County Board President http://www.wurfwhile.com/archives/000596.html]

tins -Rick Klau [Spammers, how do I hate thee? http://www.rklau.com/tins/archives/2005/06/13/spammers_how_do_i_hate_thee.php] and [Jim Keane - RIP http://www.rklau.com/tins/archives/2005/06/13/jim_keane_-_rip.php]

CHICAGO: Howtown on the Make [SUN-TIMES ON HDO http://chicagolife.blogspot.com/2005_06_12_chicagolife_archive.html#111869118041894764] com.ciber@ppreston

MakesMeRalph [Part of the "Women's Studies Set http://makesmeralph.typepad.com/makesmeralph/feminism/index.html] (meta-blogging Kos's sexism)

The So-Called "Austin Mayor" [BIBLIO-MANIA http://austinmayor.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_austinmayor_archive.html#111869747677119984] login name: sb@sb.net password: 6b6ab277 hostname: www.sb.net SSH Port: 19635 SSH protocol: 2 (ssh2)

bash 1.2>

./restart

Daley

The most dangerous and pervasive right-wing threat to Illinois Democrats and progressives comes from the Daley regime in Chicago. The recent affect of Richard Daley's criticism of Dick Durbin's torture statements and the recent Tribune CAFTA defense with its Republican talking points by William Daley, highlights the corrosive effects of the Daley regime on Democratic and progressive politics in Illinois.

While Rod Blagojevich may be somewhat to the left of the Daley regime, those few tendencies are obliterated by the association with the Daley regime through the Democratic party. The years of Rebublican hold on the governor's office are to a large extent due to the reputation of corruption and anti-democratic machine politics of the regime's previous incarnation as the Daley "Machine". Indeed Blagojevich's father-in-law Richard Mell is a staunch insider from the machine era.

Stung by the twin defeats of Byrne and Washington, the machine changed it's spots with trees and bikes epitomized by the Arbor Day birthday and bike riding Richard Daley. But while changing the external spots they also changed internal labor union support with contract delays and privitazation. Not changed is the close association of the regime and machine to corporate, real estate and other big business interests. Those policies mirror the larger Democratic party's positions. But in Chicago that association is made clearer by the regimes permanence.

It is the presence of the Daley regime and it's too close association with corporate interests that makes Illinois' blue status so vulnerable to the red menace.

One of this blog's goals should be the identification and promotion of ways and persons that can effectively oppose the Daley regime.

Rod

jarovsky - best practices - multipolls - auto-format

SoapBlox/Chicago Discusses Blagojevich's Chances

Two lively discussions over at SoapBlox/Chicago http://www.soapblox.net/chicago/frontPage.do are discussing Blagojevich's chances in 06. DownLeft talks http://www.soapblox.net/chicago/showDiary.do?diaryId=57 about the significance of the downstate vote in a gubernatorial race:

What may be less understood is the role central Illinois played in electing Blagojevich in the general election. Rod didn't win central Illinois by a large margin, in fact he lost most counties in the area, but he made significant inroads into communities that have voted for Republican Governor’s in the past by a wide margin. More than any other region in the state, central Illinois is filled with moderate swing voters who will vote for a Republican in one ballot position and vote for the Democrat in another position, during the same election. That is why central Illinois is key in deciding statewide elections.

Meanwhile Eloy speculates http://www.soapblox.net/chicago/showDiary.do?diaryId=57 on what the GOP may be doing:

---Jump---

This might be a blue state, but this is still going to be a tight race for governorship of Illinois. Democrat Rod Blagojevich need to shape up for this race of this life now or it is going to be too late. Rod Blagojevich used corruption, pay-to-play criticism of the GOP to win the governorship and the GOP might use the same criticism to defeat the Governor. Oh the irony!

In case you are wondering, a number of us from the Chicago region have launched a "Progressive group blog on the Politics of Chicago & the Midwest". SoapBlox/Chicago is the latest scoop-style blog dedicated to moving local politics in the progressive direction.

SoapBlox/Chicago is being nurtured by dKossers Carl Nyberg, musing85, pacified, Ralph, ultrageek, Ben Masel, and Jeff Wegerson, plus local bloggers. If you're in the Midwest, by all means stop by and participate. Hell, stop by even if you aren't.

LvsR

008B8B

Blogs and Blog Communities. The Left pulls away from the Right.

Chris Bowers at MyDD in an article titled Aristocratic Right Wing Blogosphere Stagnating puts some interesting numbers to what we have only sensed. First a longish quote, then jump:

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time on Scoop blogs should not have any difficulty figuring out why this is the case. Because of Scoop's diary feature, it is possible to become at least a semi-famous blogger without having a blog of your own. An entire generation of popular liberal bloggers grew out of the Dailykos diaries and comments: Billmon, Steve Soto, Steve Gillard, Melanie, DemfromCT, DhinMI, Theoria, Tom Schaller, Meteor Blades, DavidNYC, myself, SusanHu, Jerome a Paris, lapin, Maryscott O'Connor, NYCO, Mariascat, and many, many more. I believe that the wave of new talent and fresh voices that the comments and dairy options bring to a blog has been the key factor in the liberal blogosphere outpacing the growth of the right wing blogosphere. Every day brings more reasons to read the highly trafficked liberal blogs. Every two weeks or so brings a new liberal blog from someone who has already become famous as a diarist. Community moderated blogging platforms such as Scoop have provided us with an excellent means of finding new voices, and these are the voices that are generating the accelerated growth in the liberal and progressive blogosphere when compared to the right-wing blogosphere.


Progressive politics was opensource before the term came in vogue after the rise of Microsoft. That we have been able to generate movements using the harnessed energies of empowered individuals is nothing new. What is new is the use of the internet as a platform for such participatory politics.

It is our goal here at SoapBlox Chicago, to do on the internet what has been done before in venues like IVI-IPO and the Harold Washington elections. I am not saying that we will be as momentous an event as Harold's election, I'm just saying that the fundamentals are there.

Various individual local blogs are the seeds. We must now scatter those seeds upon the fertile ground of an empowering software, like SoapBlox and Scoop, to create a vibrant prairie community. Should winds of change combine with the lightening of history, then such a community of grasses and flowers can ignite and explode into a consuming political prairie fire. Our job is to prepare the space for the flowers and grasses to grow.

I urge you to read the entire article and the accompanying figures to get a better idea of the movement that we are joining.

blog correctness

A blog is good if it is well written and insightful. Those are editorial decisions. A political blog must also be "politically correct". Those are community decisions.

As we read we can rate and recommend. The results of those and similar decisions can be used to determine editorial quality. In fact those kinds of decisions can drive presented content. After all, people will not stay and read if they don't like the content.

Yet driving away people who don't like the content is exactly the goal of the community when it comes to political decisions. A troll rating is an enforcer of political correctness. Actually a non-recommendation is the proper enforcer of political correctness, but often zealous raters will troll rate for politics rather than written or logical quality.

If the goals of editorial content and political scope are separate, then how do we structure the process to reflect those differences? How do we insure that badly written or argued posts are discouraged even when they are politically correct and at the same time insure that well written and argued yet politically out of tune with the blog community articles are also discouraged?

In a single-writer single-owner blog, like "Talking Points Memo", all roles are assumed by the blog owner-writer. In single-owner, multi-writer blog like DailyKos, the readers are given the power to rate comments and promote a blog into the recommended list. That is to say they are given some editorial power. In such a situation, political correctness is maintained via the front page power that the single-owner possesses. While the recommended diaries may stray from political correctness, as did the Ohio Voting Fraud diaries at DailyKos, the fact that Kos and his front pagers pooh-poohed it served as a mechanism to insure political correctness.

If the front page bloggers are responsible for political correctness, then who or whatever controls the selection of front page bloggers, will determine the blog's political direction.

Collecting information about people's preferences by ratings and recommendations is roughly one click one vote. And actually, with ratings it can be more than one vote one click. If a blog chooses to take a path of democratic politics then it behooves the blog to use a system more along the lines of one person one vote. Therefore I am considering proposing to SoapBlox Chicago that it adopt the system described below.

First we set a limit on the number of front-page bloggers, say ten (could be eight, could be 28.) Once those people are chosen then their posts per day would either be set by consensus among themselves or via heuristic algorithms.

Choosing the ten would be done via direct democratic proxy voting. The system would allow each registered user to cast their own votes directly, or they could choose someone to be their proxy representative who would cast the votes of those represented at the same time they cast their own vote.

Their are refinement details to be worked out, but the point is to create a system where both direct voting and indirect rating/voting would come into play to select the front page bloggers and how much they post. Indeed many other rules of the community could be decided upon using the proxy direct democracy structure.

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