Monday, November 10, 2008

Where do we go from here

So we managed to elect an adult as president and hopes are high but although we sweat blood and tears to get this far, the real work to take back our country is just beginning. President Obama is not going to be able to wave a magic wand and make the damage of the last eight years just go away. Cup of Joe has an excellent post on how we as responsible citizens can help. It should certainly be read in full, but here's two points I think are especially important.
Free And Fair Elections

The biggest, but not the only, reason for expanding the 50-state strategy is to take control of the machinery of how elections are run in this country. As liberals, we believe that the right to decide who our leaders are is the most fundamental principle of a democratic society, and we should work to get as many people to participate in that process as possible by simplifying it and making it less intrusive. Making election day a federal holiday, moving it to Monday and having voting on the weekend before, early elections, these are just a few ways to accomplish this.

We should also get rid of all electronic voting and counting machines and establish the secret, paper ballot as the official ballot of record. We should count the ballots by hand, in full public view, at the precinct where they were cast, and establish a clear and open chain of custody for the paper ballots throughout the entire procedure. Accuracy and accountability are the primary goals.

Break Up The Media Monopolies

Another reason we got into the mess we are, and why people often vote against their own self-interests or for politicians that place corporate interests over the good of the nation, is the massive amounts of corporate propaganda that stifle free and open debates. The role of the news media is to keep people informed, and when that is subverted by the desire for profits, no one is served. Re-regulating the industry so that the power of corporate interests is diluted will go a long way into improving our political discourse.
In essence most of Joe's suggestions boil down to breaking the corporatocracy's control of the system. Our country has served corporate interests over the common good for far too long. At a time when many multinational corporations have a annual revenue greater than the total GDP of at least a third of the world's countries, the task seems almost impossible. But we have to at least try if for no other reason, to leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren. Joe's list is a good place to start. [Via Avedon]

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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