We Choose Us
July 4, 2024 12:42 PM   Subscribe

"We can totally win this election, pass game-changing legislation, and build a Progressive Decade. We can still do that." The Movement Voter Project team spells out their strategy for a 2024 win and a New Progressive Era, featuring Black organizing, the Sun Belt, the Working Families Party, emotional intelligence, and Vision 2035. What if we could sustain a long-term Democratic trifecta at the federal level, win 28 state trifectas, and appoint a majority on the Supreme Court?

This LONG but passionate, well-informed, thoughtful roadmap envisions a diverse progressive America and presents a plan for getting there.

The Sun Belt is the Future – and it’s also the present

"Never mind that both Georgia and North Carolina will have incredibly important Senate races in the next two cycles. Both states (along with Arizona and Nevada) have the potential to become consistently blue by 2030 if we continue to heavily invest in them (think of the 10-20 year arc of transformation for states like Virginia and Colorado). Divesting from the Sun Belt and from communities of color right now is lunacy, morally repugnant, and political malpractice. "

Why Working Families Party Is SO Important

"For those unfamiliar, WFP is a coalition of labor, community, and activist organizations at the state and national level who have joined together in a shared strategy to use elections to build multi-racial working class governing power. ... WFP is doing its presidential endorsement vote in July. ... The deliberate way they are going about their process – centering the need to block the authoritarian right, while also building long-term progressive power – is a principled act of leadership. It is the right thing to do.

...

" And over the course of this summer, many voices on the left and within the ceasefire movement, will begin to speak up and say: We desperately want freedom, justice, and peace in Israel, Palestine, and Gaza. AND, we absolutely have to defeat Trump, which means we have to organize people to vote in record numbers for the Biden-Harris team, even with broken hearts. "

Abandon Biden? Uncommitted? There’s a Difference!

"Uncommitted is a strategic effort to build the power of Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities and aligned anti-war voters to increase their influence within the only major political party where they have a meaningful chance of making an impact."

The Block And Build Strategy: We Choose Us

"Voting for Biden is not actually about Biden. As Black Voters Matter says: “It’s About Us.” "

We Can Win and Have Nice Things

"We can totally win this election, pass game-changing legislation, and build a Progressive Decade. We can still do that. I agree with most of what Democratic optimist Simon Rosenberg says: We do have a better candidate. We do have a better record to run on. We do have more potential voters. We have won the last three major election cycles (2018, 2020, 2022) and most of the odd-year ones as well. The Republican Party is in many ways a dumpster fire."

tl;dr? Scroll down halfway to "ACT III: The Good Part" and check out the quick infographic Roadmap to a New Progressive Era, then down to "Over the longer term" for the Vision 2035 map.

"It isn’t about the candidates at the top of the ticket. It’s about the movement that all of us are building together and the progress we are making.

Our country is far from perfect. But we have a real chance to keep making it better. "

Happy 4th of July to all.
posted by kristi (44 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
 
This post came about because of hydra77's AskMe, "Help me donate money." After I posted my answer, I went on to read some of the latest posts at the Movement Voter Project site, and found this. I was really encouraged by the vision of a realistically achievable progressive future and the message of uniting to achieve that. So thank you, hydra77, for your question that led me to this today.
posted by kristi at 12:45 PM on July 4 [13 favorites]


Thanks for the post. I have been supporting Movement Voter Project since 2018. I can remember if it was A Meta Recommendation or somewhere else, but I feel like they are really investing in the kind of community driven organizing needed to build and sustain political power. I gave a bunch around new years, because the earlier you invest the more they can do with the money. I probably should give again soon, because it’s clear it will be a big fight in the coming months
posted by CostcoCultist at 1:07 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


We can have nice things, and we have to invest in them. Nothing about our current political situation was inevitable and is unalterable. May this post get the engagement that comes so easily to posts where we lament how terrible everything is.
posted by No Climate - No Food, No Food - No Future. at 1:32 PM on July 4 [26 favorites]


The third category is the Angry Left leftists.
posted by iamck at 1:42 PM on July 4


The third category is the Angry Left leftists.

Saying that leftists are angry is redundant.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:58 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]


"wise desperate pragmatists" is very self satisfied, and IME not well matched to reality.
posted by constraint at 2:03 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


Who are you quoting, constraint?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:17 PM on July 4


I vote for WFP in NYC. I volunteered remotely for MVP amongst 5 or 6 other progressive orgs as a text bank person to defeat trump in 2020. I sent out >40 k texts manually over many weeks, engaging with hundreds of voters....... . They do amazing work!. But:

It isn’t about the candidates at the top of the ticket

I am glad people like MVP are pushing back against this, but it's a serious uphill battle; that is going to take YEARS to fix. It is not a trivial task at all. I'm going to quote from a post mortem of serious organizing attempts in 2020 that I donated to, The Great Slate and the State Slate.

State slate: help candidates in closely-contested state house races, in states where it looked like Democrats had a shot to win a majority. Campaign locally with a local person on local issues.

Great slate: helping Senate races from below by choosing marginal/swing house seats and putting money into those. Campaign locally with a local person on local issues.



These programs were discussed on MeFi for midterms in 2018, but no such discussion occurred on mefi when they tried it again in 2020.

The organizer, Maciej (founder of pinboard), sent out a summary email which was pretty devastating. I enclose his summary.

".... .........While Biden's narrow victory in 2020 was a great relief to everyone, the news downballot was unremittingly grim .....

.....The biggest lesson, which we heard from every candidate, (both in the great slate and state slate) was that running in a Presidential year was nothing like running in a midterm. Having Trump on the ballot nationalized the election in a way that made it almost impossible for House candidates to break through—e.g. it was not Alyse Galvin's face shown in attack ads in Alaska, but Nancy Pelosi's."

I can provide data that maceij provided from the dozens of elections with thousands of boots on the ground, that showed local votes tracked national votes. There were a couple (!) of these dozens that bucked this trend, but essentially ..... apart from capacity and community building, what this experiment showed is statehouse, congress and senate elections are nationalized in prez years.

The facts on the ground have gotten worse since then.

So, please temper your expectations, and dig in for the long haul with this approach. This particular issue will not be fixed this year.
posted by lalochezia at 2:40 PM on July 4 [19 favorites]


constraint is quoting TFA, in the definition of the "Desperately Motivated" segment of the putative coalition, to wit:

The Desperately Motivated

Most of the people reading this fit into the Desperately Motivated category. We are a diverse group but tend to be older, whiter, college-educated, and relatively affluent. We probably make up about 20% of the Democratic base.

We have followed Biden’s many policy successes and understand that he has done a lot of good despite tremendous odds (the fact that we didn’t have a recession or stagflation is amazing!). We are aware of Project 2025. We are terrified of a second Trump term, terrified, and rightly so. We are well-informed pragmatists who understand the stakes on climate, abortion, LGBTQ rights, global authoritarianism, and geopolitical positioning.

posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 2:43 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


Oh, okay! We just have to get out the vote for dems to win every single election for the next decade or two until all the party leaders who would rather die than implement a progressive agenda have done so, and then we can start doing good things! Feeling really good about this plan, everyone.
posted by jy4m at 3:07 PM on July 4 [18 favorites]


jy4m, it’s really important to vote.
posted by mazola at 3:35 PM on July 4 [20 favorites]


Oh, okay! We just have to get out the vote for dems to win every single election for the next decade or two until all the party leaders who would rather die than implement a progressive agenda have done so, and then we can start doing good things!

Well, yes. The Democrats are a large part of why we're in this situation, yes. But some of the obstructionist ones have died, or are going away. Joe Lieberman? Gone! Diane Feinstein? Gone! Every one of them who exits the stage is one less point of clueless resistance. Joe Manchin (I still can't get over his name) is going this year, and while his seat may go to a republican, it means he won't dilute the progressive movement from within. Sinema isn't seeking reelection either, and of whom the same things can be said.

As for voting every election, that has always been the bargain, and it was true long before Trump.
posted by JHarris at 3:36 PM on July 4 [26 favorites]


I like that we keep pretending that Biden/DRC is progressive and not a party of corporate oligarchs who pose as progressives to get elected. The real strength of the democrats is “we’re not republicans.” To the most of the world, genocide vs genocide lite is just branding.
posted by iamck at 4:11 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Democrats are like we feel bad, but yes genocide abroad.

Republicans are like "genocide abroad, but we're Americans so we should genocide other Americans too."

So, yes, the lite choice is better and the one that moves us more towards less genocide. I don't how to convince people that Americans who are against genocide being murdered by a far right government is worse than Americans remaining alive to call out a center right government.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:35 PM on July 4 [13 favorites]


I welcome WFP in the grand scheme of things. I also voted WFP in NYC. The key is that when a threshold % of voters vote for a double endorsed candidate in the WFP column, then they get to put their own candidates on the ballot as a right in certain states. So this should provide a leftie wedge for a fulcrum and then hey, build power.

In CT it works like this:
The political organization wishing to become a minor party must run a candidate by petition with a party designation. If the candidate receives 1 percent of the votes cast for the office he or she sought, the minor party will be officially recognized for that office and be able to nominate candidates for that office without collecting signatures on a petition for the next election.

The small bummer is, I’ve seen this work where a very small number of people can reverse the work of hundreds when a person uses WFP as a parachute in a post-Dem primary setting. I guess I need to dig in and see what a person can do for WFP to have more open and inclusive endorsement practices, at least here in my town. I don’t think I have ever had a WFP doorknocker ever, but at least there are no robocalls…. anyway thanks OP i need to revisit this.
posted by drowsy at 4:52 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


The only people coming to rescue us is us.
posted by jonp72 at 5:11 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Oh, okay! We just have to get out the vote for dems to win every single election for the next decade or two until all the party leaders who would rather die than implement a progressive agenda have done so, and then we can start doing good things! Feeling really good about this plan, everyone.

There's other options, but they're all much harder, much more dangerous, and much less likely to succeed than that one.
posted by straight at 5:30 PM on July 4 [13 favorites]


> constraint is quoting TFA

I'm seeing where TFA wants the left to be wiser, but not where it's claiming to be wise now.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:08 PM on July 4


The further away the messenger is from the Democratic Party and Biden, and the more proximate they are to the voter – geographically, socially, culturally, ideologically – the more credible the messenger will be.
posted by doctornemo at 6:21 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


I've said it before. I'll say it again. Given our flawed democratic processes, the only real wisdom is to vote for whoever you think has the best chance of beating who you fear the most.

That takes care of election day.

On every other day, get active however you can.
posted by philip-random at 7:26 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Love this, thank you for posting, Kristi! I pledge to vote in local, county, and statewide elections in addition to federal elections. Every election moves the needle a little bit. That's how the Right got to where they are -- we can do the same.

Voting is the least we could do. I'm not complaining.
posted by ichomp at 7:31 PM on July 4 [7 favorites]


Always happy to see Movement Voter Project get some love, and this is reminding me to up my contribution.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:11 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


(Don’t like your options? Then support ranked-choice voting. It’s the only way to avoid having candidates constantly hewing to the center.)
posted by chasing at 10:07 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]


Primary elections are insanely easy to swing compared to elections. They don't get that that many voters. If you can't manage to constantly swing primary elections to candidates of your preferred type, you aren't going to be able to move the needle on election day.

In the GOP, the tea party and trumpists hijacked primaries to move the party's direction. It worked. Do the same for Democratic primaries - spread the left within the party. When the center of gravity of the party's congressional delegation is left, and you have a non-trivial voting majority, you can get stuff done: almost as importantly, you can get the things you consider important to be talked about.

Ranked choice/PR/etc just move the point of compromise away from the individual voter; the compromise still happens, it just happens in back rooms instead of in the voting booth, because forging a 50%+1 coalition requires compromise in any but the most uniform society.

I'd support multi-member districts over ranked choice/PR, where each district elects up to 10 representatives, and those representatives have a total of 10 votes (how many each rep has depends on how many votes they got), simply so that each person is more likely to have a representative in government they voted for.
posted by NotAYakk at 6:35 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Yeah, you can swing a bunch of primaries pretty easily. And then you get to the point where outside of a gerrymandered blue district or a college town, that Super Progressive candidate you got in gets slaughtered. Because this sort of thing is always going to run up against hard numbers: while there are many individual progressive policy ideas that get a lot of support among the general public, at least until the price tag is disclosed, you really have to thread the needle to get a progressive candidate elected.

The kinds of candidates Ardent Progressives find really appealing come off to the general public in much the same way that those Ardent Reactionary candidates that often squeak through low-turnout Republican primaries appear to the general public, who think oh my gods how did it come down to a choice between Someone Else and this clown? Well, not precisely the same way: the reactionaries are openly evil, whereas the progressives are loudmouth misfits. But either way, not someone a responsible person is going to hand the keys to. Be careful what you wish for, is my real point, here.

Also: ranked-choice voting generally produces winners who are more centrist, not less.
posted by outgrown_hobnail at 10:40 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


One of my hopes, if we can get a trifecta of Democrats in 2024, would be a razor-thin majority in the Senate that would actually change the filibuster rules so the razor-thin Dem majority could pass legislation, and then they would pass the voting rights bill they introduced before, and we could have universal automatic registration and vote-by-mail and renewed protection against racial gerrymandering.

If we could get THAT, we could get better candidates elected everywhere much more easily.
posted by kristi at 10:55 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Many American "Progressives" are saying "yes, i support the Less Genocide Party"and things of this nature. It's a framing they just can't let go of, the "lesser of the two evils." And when you put it that way, it makes sense! We live in politically closed period, in which all paths to liberation have been subsumed or ruthlessly crushed. If our options are really so limited, it stands to reason that whatever we do, we must accept the inevitability of mass suffering at the hands of our captors.

But let those left-liberals speak for so much as a sentence more and they quickly reassure you that this isn't their belief. "Lesser of two evils" is just a figure of speech, a convenient cliche. The dictatorship of capital isn't actually evil. It just does evil things sometimes because of a few easily reformed elements within it, and what's really important is that we vent our consciences by acknowledging and disavowing those things and those elements, not that we seriously question or reject the structures and institutions that have existed for centuries primarily for their benefit.
posted by jy4m at 11:21 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


Yeah, you can swing a bunch of primaries pretty easily. And then you get to the point where outside of a gerrymandered blue district or a college town, that Super Progressive candidate you got in gets slaughtered. Because this sort of thing is always going to run up against hard numbers: while there are many individual progressive policy ideas that get a lot of support among the general public, at least until the price tag is disclosed, you really have to thread the needle to get a progressive candidate elected.

The kinds of candidates Ardent Progressives find really appealing come off to the general public in much the same way that those Ardent Reactionary candidates that often squeak through low-turnout Republican primaries appear to the general public, who think oh my gods how did it come down to a choice between Someone Else and this clown? Well, not precisely the same way: the reactionaries are openly evil, whereas the progressives are loudmouth misfits. But either way, not someone a responsible person is going to hand the keys to. Be careful what you wish for, is my real point, here.

Also: ranked-choice voting generally produces winners who are more centrist, not less.


I have a lot of thoughts and questions about this comment, which (acknowledging my biases as someone relatively far left) really rubs me the wrong way for a lot of reasons (of course I might just be a "loudmouth misfit", certainly not a "responsible person").

Is there actual data demonstrating that more progressive candidates can't get elected? This comment takes this as true but is that actually so and, if it is the case, is there research into why? For example, does the DNC throw more money behind less-progressive candidates and, if so, does that have an effect on election outcomes? How many super progressive candidates have actually made it past the primaries?

Also, if this is true, does that mean I should just give up hope for a progressive future? I am morally obligated to vote for moderates for eternity because anyone who actually supports my values is going to lead us to a worse outcome? I do not think this is true and I also don't think it's an inspiring message.

This comment has ENORMOUS "better things aren't possible" energy and it speaks very authoritatively about things I"m not sure are accurate. Even if they ARE, and I don't concede that that is the case, it paints an incredibly bleak picture (and demonstrates pretty decisively that electoralism is not a path to liberation) and I'm going to keep fighting for the world I actually want in the face of these kinds of comments.
posted by an octopus IRL at 11:31 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Is there actual data demonstrating that more progressive candidates can't get elected?

Sure. Look at the Dem Primary in 2020. Once Saint Bernie started to get the largest share though nothing close to a majority, literally everyone but his fans was like oh fuck no whatever it takes to keep that clown off the ballot. And those were the sort of people who vote in primaries: politically aware partisans. In order to win an election outside of a hothouse environment, the Dem candidate has to get a ton of votes from people who are not progressive, whether socially (most black folks) or economically (middle class folks) and who are extremely risk-averse and not about to vote for utopians even in the rare case where they do seem like they could actually get along with other people.

does the DNC throw more money behind less-progressive candidates and, if so, does that have an effect on election outcomes?

Undoubtedly. I don't think your argument is without merit, here, but there's also a chicken and egg issue. The DNC throws money at candidates they think can win. In fairness to you, I really wish there were an election simulator that actually worked. I wish there were an election we could afford to throw away, so we could run a couple of test candidates. I would love to see a carefully-selected candidate who all the other factions in the Dem coalition looked at and said "I trust that person to maintain the coalition" instead of "oh gods not that clown" and see how they do. I think you could do okay in solid but not utterly blue districts with someone who had a kind of limited progressive agenda, not the whole utopian parade.

Far and away the most effective progressive on the national stage is AOC. Do I want to live in her world? Fuuuck no. But she's good at her job and actually appears to be able to get along with people from other factions, unlike the rest of those Squad people (hoo boy), so, yeah, but bear in mind she comes from a deep blue district not exactly representative of the average House district.

Also, if this is true, does that mean I should just give up hope for a progressive future?

Depends on what you mean. Transforming the USA into some kind of Northern European social democracy? No. Single-payer health care? Doable, though not without great difficulty and much coalition-building, and most outspoken progressives appear to be way way better at alienating people immediately to their center than building bridges. You personally may not be that sort of progressive, and if you're not, then more power to you.

I am morally obligated to vote for moderates for eternity because anyone who actually supports my values is going to lead us to a worse outcome?

Pretty much, so long as we have first past the post elections. The people who embody your values are a really small slice, like 5%, of the electorate: what else do you expect? For the record, I fully support ranked-choice voting, because I really do feel that you ought to be able to vote your conscience without risking a Republican takeover.
posted by outgrown_hobnail at 12:14 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


"better things aren't possible"/"how dare you even ask, you traitor" 2024 ticket FTW.
posted by sagc at 12:21 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Look at the Dem Primary in 2020.

As far as I can see, that's the primary system working as intended. Bernie didn't win the primary, and that was it. If he had won the primary, however, it would mean that he had already gathered more support, and would be well-positioned for the general. Democracy is compromise, and it applies as much to centrists as it does to radicals.
posted by alexei at 12:36 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


I think it's kind of weird and out-of-touch to label the "older, whiter, college-educated, and relatively affluent" demographic as 'Desperately Motivated.' This is by far the least desperate segment of the Democratic coalition, and it shows!
posted by dusty potato at 12:42 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


I think it's kind of weird and out-of-touch to label the "older, whiter, college-educated, and relatively affluent" demographic as 'Desperately Motivated.' This is by far the least desperate segment of the Democratic coalition, and it shows!

but we feels so despawate! why, my chablis tasted like a piffling california chardonay and it simply wont do
posted by lalochezia at 1:01 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


(Don’t like your options? Then support ranked-choice voting. It’s the only way to avoid having candidates constantly hewing to the center.)

In the instances that ranked choice voting has been implemented in America so far, is that how it shakes out?
posted by Selena777 at 1:15 PM on July 5


Sure. Look at the Dem Primary in 2020. Once Saint Bernie started to get the largest share though nothing close to a majority, literally everyone but his fans was like oh fuck no whatever it takes to keep that clown off the ballot

Your narrative of a particular primary election does not constitute data.
If Bernie Sanders is such an unelectable clown, how do you account for the fact that he has been in the Senate for so long, and his long tenure as a mayor before that? Do you imagine that he somehow did not need to be elected to those positions? Is it your position that Vermont is entirely composed of "Ardent Leftists" and other "clowns"? If that were the case, don't you think that maybe their position is more popular than you have been saying?
posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 1:32 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Sure. Look at the Dem Primary in 2020. Once Saint Bernie started to get the largest share though nothing close to a majority, literally everyone but his fans was like oh fuck no whatever it takes to keep that clown off the ballot.

I don’t really think, in retrospect, that there’s a world in which Sanders wins 2020, but it’s a little tendentious to talk like the voters all spontaneously decided to get behind Biden. Many of the candidates decided to get behind Biden, first. The theme of that election was risk aversion and electability meta-strategy (and it worked so I’m not complaining).
posted by atoxyl at 1:34 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


I mean, okay, you can argue that Pete and Amy weren’t really such heavy hitters, and Bernie wasn’t coming anywhere near winning in the South, but Super Tuesday 2020 feels like a show of progressive disunity vs. moderate unity, more than a show of progressives being totally unpopular.
posted by atoxyl at 2:07 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


What gives me some hope for the future is that progressives are winning the ideological war so thoroughly that centrists don't even really try to attack policies anymore but instead just call Bernie and AOC names.
posted by Pyry at 3:22 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Pretty much, so long as we have first past the post elections. The people who embody your values are a really small slice, like 5%, of the electorate: what else do you expect? For the record, I fully support ranked-choice voting, because I really do feel that you ought to be able to vote your conscience without risking a Republican takeover.
posted by outgrown_hobnail


This.

Ranked choice/instant runoff (what we here in Australia call preferential) voting, for all its real advantages, does not deliver a flood of non-centrist left/progressive representatives. Those who fantasise that will happen need to let go of that delusion real fast, because it turns out that there really is not a deep hunger for left/progressive candidates out there, just waiting for the right voting system to come along to install them in power. And if there isn't in Australia, then I am pretty damn sure there isn't in the US.

The basic way it has played out here is that there are enough progs elected (mostly as Greens) in our Senate to hold the balance of power often enough to make a difference. Despite being the state's rights chamber, the way our Senate is constructed is different from in the US so that benefit may not translate so effectively to the US system.

What it does do is allow progs to put pressure on the centrists to pay more attention to the concerns and wishes of the progs. Politicians in a preferential system have to pay very close attention to the order of the the preferences/rankings. If you are placing them second or lower, even if they ultimately win, they need to offer something to those voters who did not put them as their first choice, instead ignoring them.

Personally I think that if you are going to have a democracy then the ideal outcome is a strictly proportional representation. Problem is that clashes with what I think is the other big requirement of politics, which is that representation needs a strong local component.

We nominally deal with that here by the lower chamber (House of Reps, where the government if formed) being elected on a local majoritarian basis, and the state's right and review chamber (Senate) being elected on a proportional basis, by state.

It isn't perfect by any measure, and like any system it can be gamed. But between that and not having primaries (which I think are a whole shit show on their own, and which are how Trump took over the Repub party) it helps limit extremists and dissatisfaction more than FPTP systems, because a candidate has to get more than 50% of the total vote pool, they cannot win by just having more votes than any other individual candidate. FPTP works okay when there are only two candidates, but it completely fails when there are more than two. You get the absurd and unsustainable situation where if there are three candidates, the winner only needs 33% +1 vote to win, and the more candidates there are the lower that threshold gets. Which is an open invitation for fake spoiler candidates.
posted by Pouteria at 3:23 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Bernie really is a saint when compared to the DLC "clowns" who steal nominations in the Dem party.
posted by nofundy at 4:25 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Bullshit.

The alleged army of online Bernie Bros who were going to sweep him to the nomination simply didn't eventuate. So they either didn't exist in the first place and are most likely just psy-ops from the likes of Russia and China, or they were never serious to start with and couldn't even be bothered to do the minimal of actually voting for their saint on the day.
posted by Pouteria at 5:45 PM on July 5


The piece the post links to is written in the first person. But I don't see who the author is.
posted by NotLost at 8:21 PM on July 6


The piece the post links to is written in the first person. But I don't see who the author is.
Nevermind; I just saw it.
posted by NotLost at 8:28 PM on July 6


> Personally I think that if you are going to have a democracy then the ideal outcome is a strictly proportional representation. Problem is that clashes with what I think is the other big requirement of politics, which is that representation needs a strong local component.

Hence the idea of local PR. Have a district with 10 "seats" up for grabs. Every 10% (or so) of the votes you get, you get 1 seat in the chamber. If you get 50% of the votes? You get 5 seats, personally. Your voting strength in the chamber is proportional to how many seats you won. Your office budget is also proportional to how many seats you won; win 1 seat? Minimal office budget. Win 5? Extravagant, enough to hire lots of support staff.

So long as your position is supported by at least 10% of the local electorate, each voter is guaranteed a local representative they voted for. For politicians, even in a "safe" seat with "guaranteed" ~55% support, losing votes sucks as your office budget and power in the chamber can be reduced by a bad year; so everyone cares about getting votes. At the same time, a career politician who has 43% of the electorate supporting them doesn't become unemployed and has to find a new career as a consultant because their support dipped 2%.

Overall power is close to a fully PR system; there is a penalty for having at or under 10% support in terms of seats-per-vote, but nowhere near what FPTP produces. There are no party lists deciding which politicians get votes; each member of the chamber draws their election directly from the members of their district, not from being chosen by a party committee as being a loyal soldier. If a party disowns someone, the local citizens get to decide if they prefer the local politician or the party in the next election.
posted by NotAYakk at 7:24 AM on July 9


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