Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I don't know how Alan Maki does it...

But somehow he has a way of putting into writing what many people are thinking.

I wish I would have said this myself.

Marc Asch is a Democratic Party booster. Alan Maki has responded to him brilliantly.

I can't wait to see if Marc Asch responds because I am certain Maki will fire right back.


Note: I decided to add a few things since my post yesterday apparently didn’t go through.

Marc Asch wrote:

This is a very imprecise and confusing discussion of IRV.

The party process of endorsement, not nomination, is one that requires a

super majority of 60% to win. The nomination process is through the

primary which requires a plurality of votes cast.

Using IRV in the party process, I think would make an already Byzantine

process only more so.

Using IRV in the general election process as way to fix perceived

problems with the party process is inviting unintended consequences.

I have listened to IRV for decades now and I think it is primarily

attractive to people who want third party candidates to have a chance

win or influence electoral outcomes.

I do not think that we have seen in this race makes any argument for

IRV. Can you just image how longer the process would be taking if the

election officials at every level were trying to determine voter intent

on multiple levels?


Marc Asch

34 North Oaks Road 651-484-9037

North Oaks, MN 55127

"Democracy is not a spectator sport."

Craig S. Wilson

Marc Asch

If too many political parties/candidates complicate matters too much, I would suggest that the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party just withdraw from the political scene since it does nothing for working people anyways.

We see from history that when there is a political party like the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party bringing forward real solutions to the problems of working people that the Democratic and Republican parties become minor players in the political process.

I find it intriguing that so many other countries around the world much less technologically advanced cope very well with dozens of political parties and I don't hear people in these countries clamoring to become "two-party" systems; nor do I see chaos of any kind.

Yes, there is the fear that 90% of those who have been drawn into voting for the Democratic Party claiming "one big tent" will abandon the Democratic Party en masse should we break free from the two-party trap which stifles democracy and robs people of the opportunity to vote their consciences.

During times of great crises, like we are in now, people begin to insist on real alternatives as they seek out solutions to this mess that only the wealthy had a part in creating.

In 1932 there were five candidates running for governor: Communist, Democratic, Farmer-Labor, Industrial and Republican... socialist Floyd B. Olson won--- capturing more votes than all the other parties combined!

In 1936 the Democrats didn’t even dare challenge socialist Elmer Benson for Governor because his support was so overwhelming.

Communist John Bernard, running on the Farmer-Labor ticket for Congress from the Iron Range in 1936, trounced all his opposition.

I can see why some people might be fearful of another socialist party like the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party coming on the scene during a period of severe economic depression, not unlike the 1930's--- maybe even worse since the bottom is still out of sight.

But, fearing the results a third party may have on the future of the Democratic Party is no reason to stifle democracy and strap the people into a straightjacket where the political process is concerned by limiting their choices of participation and at the polls--- the more the merrier; everyone should have the opportunity to vote their conscience and views.

There isn't any difference between Norm Coleman the Republican, from Norm Coleman the Democrat--- he just switched parties but not his thinking or views; and there is no real difference between Coleman and Franken as far as working people are concerned.

Franken has pledged to support Obama.


Where's the change?

What we need in this country is a good solid labor-based political party built by the rank-and-file from the grassroots up to begin resolving the real problems working people face.

With Obama we are getting:

* Saddled with three costly wars with so many needless deaths and the horrendous destruction of it all; no one wants any of these wars... all being fought with no moral justification.

* No single-payer universal health care which DFL State convention delegates supported by a very wide margin as do most Americans.

* Obama bailing out the bankers instead of Main Street.

* Obama bailing out the auto industry when we could have bought up the entire auto industry for less than the cost of the bailout and tax-payers would own something with which tremendous wealth could have been created while producing for the common good instead of corporate profits for the few.

Obviously, the steel industry is impatiently waiting in line for a bailout, too.

Obama has supported the largest military budget in human history which includes funding for over 800 U.S. foreign military bases dotting the globe; when, instead, we should be building 800 public health care centers strategically scattered across the United States to universally serve the health care needs of all the people from cradle to grave.

Any government that can spend this kind of money to fight wars and prop up two-bit dictators all over the world certainly can provide free health care for its citizens; yet all we are hearing from Obama and the Democrats (including Al Franken) is about "affordable health care;" like people unemployed by the millions and being foreclosed and evicted from homes they can't afford to heat can "afford" another bill for health care.

Obama and the Democrats are ignoring this country's problems, and in failing to address these problems from unemployment to poverty wages and home foreclosures/evictions, this is giving rise to a very scary and powerful extremely racist, right-wing backlash which now threatens to regain a majority in Congress in the next election because Obama and the Democrats have left people stranded without any hope; there has been no change.

By his own words, and those words of leading Democrats, Franken would be one more gung-ho vote for Obama and his policies which are clearly in league with Wall Street bankers and coupon clippers and the merchants of death and destruction.

When we asked Al Franken at the Labor Day event in Duluth if he had a solution for saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant... he ignored our question as a rolled around on the ground with my dog Fred.

I can understand why you are so afraid of third parties; they might actually present Minnesotans with some real alternatives... obviously, Obama has been no alternative to Bush; and, Franken, since he states unequivocally that he will be one more slobbering Obama booster, offers no alternative to the Republicans, either.

Again, I ask the question millions of Americans are now asking: Where's the change?

Right now, few people have hope.

People had high expectations after hearing "change you can believe in," "yes we can" and grandiose speeches all about the politics of "hope" for over two years.

Now people are asking:

Where's the change?

In the final analysis voting in Minnesota is a very corrupt political process no matter how one views the process.

Just about every single problem now in front of us could have been avoided if the Secretary of State had done his job and trained all the county election officials properly in how to educate voters as they cast their ballots. It is the epitome of arrogance born of the very corrupt and undemocratic process of the two-party system which has created this mess and not any excesses of democracy implied by Mr. Asch.

Why shouldn’t those who want a real choice by way of third, fourth, fifth, sixth or more parties be upset with the current state of affairs strangling democracy. It is unfortunate that Mr. Asch views expanding democracy by giving more parties and candidates equal access to the ballot as “Byzantine;” I would think he would welcome the challenge of other parties which would force all parties to actually say something about things for a change rather than simply producing cute sound bites for television, radio and newspaper advertisements.

Had both Franken and Coleman had a real challenge from the left we would probably have seen a much different outcome in this race. It is unfortunate that Priscilla Lord-Farris did not run as an independent because then we would have all gotten a chance to see and hear a politician who really cares about people and helping to solve their problems.

Anyone can see the game being played by both the Democrats and the Republicans--- they throw a bunch of ringers into the primary races who all “pledge” to support the victor at the convention and the one with the most money to spend wins while both parties get the luxury of having the “ringers” say to their followers, “we tried, it didn’t work; we need to now get in line behind our party’s candidate.” We had a good example of this with Jack Nelson Palmer… his only job was to try to keep the left-wing from bolting the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. We haven’t seen Jack Nelson-Palmeyer at a single hearing on the legislation to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, the “Minnesota People’s Bailout,” and he has never spoken a single word in defense of the 40,000 casino workers employed in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws even though he boasted to the world that he had received the support “of the real Norma Rae.”

Very clever; a great system that plays us all for suckers and fools while our problems go unresolved because Democrats and Republicans are controlled lock, stock and barrel by the corporate lobbyists… and Mr. Asch has the nerve to say that those of us seeking alternatives to this two-party trap will only make “Byzantine” political process more so? I don’t know how having any other parties involved could create a more complex, complicated, dirty underhanded system then what exists at present.

I am glad that Mr. Asch recognizes that the present system is “complex, complicated and underhanded;” certainly nothing to suggest that it is worth protecting and saving. And these are Mr. Asch’s own words since he chose to use the word “Byzantine.”

Mr. Asch has seen fit to assess what motivates those who are pushing IRV… no doubt Mr. Asch has a vested interest in keeping other parties out of the political process because he is trying to protect and defend Democrats from being challenged.

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


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