Monday, March 6, 2017

Integrity over strategy

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville says she hears a lot about how Democrats need to do more to reach out to those who voted for the nasty guy. She’s not buying it.
The last two Republican presidents (Bush and Trump) only won because of extraordinary circumstances. If Republicans can't win without a hanging chad or a meddling Vlad, I fail to see why I should be more concerned with *strategy* than I am with *election integrity*.

I am very concerned indeed with the integrity of our elections.

That includes, but is not limited to: Voting rights, voting accessibility, voter purges, felony restrictions on voting, prisoner disenfranchisement, machine tampering, gerrymandering, foreign meddling, and responsible journalism that centers policy.

The best strategy in the world, no matter one's opinion on what that may be, isn't going to win elections if they're corrupt.

A recent report on Michigan Radio was about gerrymandering. A new group has formed in Michigan, Voters Not Politicians, with the aim of getting a proposal on the ballot in 2018 to amend the state constitution to put redistricting into the hands of a nonpartisan commission.

In another Michigan Radio segment their senior political analyst, Jack Lessenberry, explains what is wrong with the redistricting process and why a constitutional amendment is the only possible solution. In a third segment, Kate Wells explains the daunting task in getting such an amendment passed. The group needs to gather more than 315,000 signatures within a six month block of time. The group also needs millions of dollars to get the signatures and to campaign for passage.

Back in October of 2015 I wrote about attending a League of Women Voters information session about gerrymandering. At the time the LWV said they do not have the manpower or financial backing to run the petition drive and campaign. Sometime after that I heard there was another issue – the huge amount of voter education necessary for such a drive to succeed. Such an education effort would need to tell voters what gerrymandering is, why it matters, and why their signature and vote are important. Gerrymandering is not something the typical voter experiences. Citizens understand bad roads and bad schools, but it takes a bit of meandering logic to explain bad roads and bad schools are caused by gerrymandering.

I went to the Voters Not Politicians website. This page is pretty good at explaining what is involved. At the bottom is a calendar listing their upcoming information sessions around the state. The closest suburban sessions are on dates I can’t attend, though I put the session to be held at the Detroit Public Library on my calendar.

I also looked at the volunteer page. I’m not sure I want to gather signatures, though I will at least get the signatures of many of you. There are other ways I could serve. I think this is a way (likely one of many) I can resist the nasty guy’s agenda. We may not succeed. Even if we don’t I’m sure by the time we’re done the citizens of the state will know more about gerrymandering and its harms

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