Larry Bradley’s Ezine #411 The Supreme Court Decisions on Gerrymandering and the Census
Weekly Ezine Number 411
What Is Happening with Election Reform?
What Is Happening with Election Reform?
–This is the time of year when I begin to arrange speaking on college campuses. If you know of a campus you think would be open to having me come and speak, then please contact me (Larry@TheCenterStrikesBack.org ) so we can discuss specifics. My program is Non-partisan and (as you know from reading my Ezines) is focused on Election Reform.
–Look for me, along with other members of Better Ballot KC, at the Missouri State Fair (MSF) Thursday Aug 8, 2019 to Sunday, Aug 18, 2019 in Sedalia, Missouri. We’re seeking to spread the word on why Ranked Choice Voting is a better approach and to gather support for the 2020 election. We want to put people in office who will vote for enabling RCV. Thanks to the Missouri Libertarian Party for allowing us to be part of their informational booth.
–RCV Colorado offered the following information about the use of RCV in the coming Presidential Primary elections. “The famously influential Iowa Caucus will use RCV on February 3, as followed by the Nevada Caucus (Feb 22) and Wyoming Caucus (Mar). RCV primaries will take place in Alaska and Hawaii (both on April 4),and finally in Kansas (May 2). The primaries are a fantastic use of RCV because the field is so large. In other states (sadly like ours) votes will be split among similar candidates, yielding a less-representative win.” We think its especially significant that four of the states using RCV are states with a low population over a large amount of land. We also think the line from the World War I song applies. “How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?” Our application is, “How you gonna keep ‘em using the winner take all ballot after they’ve used RCV?”
We note with sadness the passing of Ross Perot this week. We are reminded that Perot’s Presidential candidacies (1992 especially) demonstrates the need for using RCV in determining Electors. Jacqueline Salit of IndependentVoter.org wrote a short obituary in the NY Times and also noted the following about Perot in his 1996 campaign for President—“The statement that he’s (Perot) making and the resources he’s putting on the table is enabling millions of Americans across the country who want to create an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans to do so…the American people aren’t concerned about protecting the parties. They’re concerned about finding solutions to the very serious problems that face us and our families.”
What About the Supreme Court Decisions on Gerrymandering and the Census?
Two recent Supreme Court Decisions on gerrymandering and including a citizenship question on next year’s Census are a reminder of the motto of Paddy Flint and the 39th Infantry Regiment he commanded in World War II.
You see, Paddy had a saying, an approach to life he brought to the Regiment. Regardless of the challenge, he met it by saying, “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere, Bar None.” He had a special symbol stenciled onto his helmet that expressed that attitude. We might refer to it as AAA-O, but that doesn’t do it justice. See it at the link above. All his soldiers had that same symbol stenciled on their helmets. Today we might say in response to the challenge of a rival, “Bring it on.” Bring your challenge on. What we have is superior and we will show you we are superior.
So, why is Paddy Flint a reminder of these two Supreme Court Cases? Answer: Paddy is a reminder because the cases show our elections are no longer a contest of “AAA-0”. They are rigged.
In particular, we see that in the proposed citizenship question for the Census next year. We have an admission from a deceased GOP operative that the purpose of the question was to skew election results in the GOP’s favor. Let’s be clear, the GOP itself has been caught red handed in the lie that the proposed question is about enforcing the Voting Rights Act.
In my own estimation of how things should be, elections should be a contest of ideas. We pit the ideas of political parties and their candidates against one another. Whichever party and its candidates offer the best ideas most likely to make it possible for the majority of us to achieve our pursuit of happiness should be the winner.
In other words, think of the question this way. If you clearly have the most compelling, logical ideas, then your ideas should appeal to the majority, regardless of age, race, gender, socioeconomic status or whatever other subdivision you can think of. Those ideas alone should enable you to win. If you’re having to resort to trickery to get your majority, then your ideas must be highly suspect. Some might even say your ideas suck.
What these two Supreme Court cases show us is how far we are from the ideal. Both of the two major parties gerrymander (and we’re opposed to that. We want Proportional Representation instead.), but one goes a step farther by trying to rig elections. They do so by attempting to keep those they suspect will not vote for their party’s ideas from voting. If they had AAA0 confidence in their ideas, then such tactics would be unnecessary. Their use of those tactics reveals their lack of confidence.
And the farther we stray from the ideal, the harder we will find the solving of our problems and the achievement of progress to be.
Instituting that ideal means we need to demand the institution of two things. One is the use of Ranked Choice Voting (especially in the election of executive positions). The other is the institution of Proportional Representation in the election of legislative positions. And we need to apply Paddy’s motto until we see those things done, bar none.
See you next time. We’ll talk more about why we need Ranked Choice Voting.