A Return to Common Sense: Seven Bold Ways to Revitalize by Michael Waldman

By Michael Waldman

Written via a former speech author for President invoice Clinton, "A go back to good judgment" incorporates a sequence of feedback for the way to enhance democracy in the United States. His seven feedback are:

1. finish Voter Registration as we all know It.
2. Rocking the Vote. (issues corresponding to voter identity, altering election day, altering the first system.)
3. cease Political Hacking. (use digital balloting machines yet with scan-tron kind backups.)
4. crusade Finance Reform (public financing in response to the NYC model)
5. Gerrymandering (stop the construction of "safe" districts for either Democrats and Republicans)
6. Flunk the Electoral collage (recommends no longer altering the structure yet quite going round it at a kingdom level)
7. restoration exams and Balances (more Congressional oversight of the administrative branch)

I don't have any challenge with lots of those feedback yet Waldman is a section simplistic in a few of his suggestions. for instance, he indicates a countrywide voter registration approach yet has no plans for a way neighborhood election officers may still take care of neighborhood registrations.

He bemoans the truth that fundraising is so vital to the trendy Congress and the election method that calls for an never-ending provide of cash. He is also stricken that Congress doesn't do adequate to supervise the administrative department (with a few justification, in my view) yet on web page 128 belittles the efforts of Congress to enquire the Clinton Administration's use of White condominium Christmas playing cards to fundraise. Huh, you would imagine he'd be keen on oversight and restricting fundraising...

Interestingly, he's very eager about Congressional oversight over the administrative and not frightened in regards to the turning out to be energy of the courtroom method in "creating " law.

His tips on altering the election day, the way in which we create Congressional distructs, having paper backups for digital elections, crusade finance reform and lengthening Congressional oversight have worth. nevertheless, his feedback for the opposite difficulties are, ordinarily, foolish and may be brushed aside out of hand.

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Additional info for A Return to Common Sense: Seven Bold Ways to Revitalize Democracy

Sample text

At present, campaigns fillet the electorate into carpaccio-thin slices: soccer moms, office park dads, gun magazine readers, and so on—a refined and expensive process. Candidates don’t waste time or money trying to woo the disaffected or shake the torpor of nonvoters. Election Day registration gives campaigns the chance for a different strategy: persuade and mobilize a wide audience. There is always a risk that lastminute dirty tricks, gutter charges, or sheer emotionalism could play a bigger role than today.

What better way to fuse patriotism with the core patriotic act of choosing our leaders? But just as with Veteran’s Day or Labor Day, the original purpose of many federal holidays tends to fade into an opportunity to shop or barbecue. Election Day as a holiday may do some good, since more public buildings would be available as polling places, and some people would get the day off. But other problems might worsen. qxd:ReturnToCommonSense 5/1/08 ROCKING THE VOTE 3:33 PM Page 39 39 lower-wage workers at retail stores and restaurants and in service jobs—thus keeping them from voting and driving up overtime costs for businesses.

Early in 2006, the Brennan Center looked into how states were doing the clerical work. Many states simply checked the voter records against another list, say, the driver’s license registry. But in some states, if bureaucrats found any variation in the data, the voter was kept off the rolls. ” More accurately, it’s disenfranchisement-by-typo. Such goofs are surprisingly common. Women often change their names when they marry. ” The federal government checked, and learned it could find a Social Security match for voter information only half the time.

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