The following discussion clip is from the Occupy Wall Street demand discussion list.
Here is the lead in post from occupythegreenparty:
I’ve been thinking about our election system. I know there are many groups working on different things Like getting Corporations to not be people. And lowering the signature count to gain ballot access. I think we must do something to elevate the voting system to our most paramount activity in the country. So here is what I have in mind it’s just a start, not fleshed out but…
An EQUAL ACCESS AMENDMENT [ one of his topics ]
Whereas Voting is the most important activity in a civilized society. Whereas the Declaration of Independence states we are all equal. Whereas the substance of life can cause us to be unequal such as our location, finances, education, it is necessary to set in motion boundaries to keep our elections equal for all citizens.
While the comment providing details of an “Equal Access Amendment” presents some good approaches to addressing some known issues, I think a much different view needs discussion. I don’t think the initial assumption: “voting is the most important activity in a civilized society,” is as clear as it appears. While voting is the most visible activity, it has serious problems as well:
It is easy for people with power and money to influence votes;
Political maneuvers can be used to affect who is allowed to vote;
But most problematic, the use of “majority” or “plurality” or “representative” or other measure to select ONE outcome creates a situation where all those on the losing side do not get what they want.
In the case of representatives, who can be influenced by money, just a handful can dictate the outcome for millions of citizens. Where “rights” are concerned, a lynch mob can produce an almost unanimous vote, while an innocent person is killed, LAWFULLY, but WRONGLY.
The problem with conventional voting is that it maintains an AUTHORITARIAN outcome for each vote. While this works in simple cases where most people agree on outcomes, in a modern, complex world, it fails miserably at achieving the choices of most people. It is time for the world to move to more egalitarian forms of decision. One of these is called PROPORTIONAL voting. Another is called Plural Democracy.