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A Third Way?
On my way back from my job at Harrisburg(PA) International Airport, I heard a piece on NPR about how the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, that saw Obama as their bright hope, are feeling a bit betrayed.
I can relate to their frustration a bit, I had expectations that we'd see a more aggressive, progressive, agenda. But the GOP's strategy of obstruction, and some corporate Democrats willing to go along, means a lot of capitulation in the name of compromise.
That could be some of the problem too, it's often hold your nose and vote for the Democrat, or have a Republican, most likely somehow tied to the "Tea Party" crowd, win.
But does it have to be that way? Why don't progressives put a bit of energy into building the infrastructure that would be needed to make a progressive 3rd party viable. This would also have the side effect of making it easier for grassroots Democrats to get elected.
To start with, we need to get corporate money out of the process. Though the Supreme Count has ruled that money is equal to speech, and that a corporation has the rights of a person, there's still one legal recourse; public financing of campaigns. Put all candidates on a level field financially.
Second, we need to abandon the Electoral College, or at least eliminate the "winner take all" approach. Obama's success in the 2008 primaries owes a lot to the proportional schemes that many states used. Also this would mean all the States would matter even more and a person's vote could carry some more weight.
A final piece is instant runoff voting for Congressional, etc elections, No more situations like what's going on in Arkansas, and a few other states. Make it so voters rank candidates and if there's no majority, the 1st and 2nd votes are combined. This could backfire though; I could see the Tea Party types using this to their advantage.
Is it Obama? Is it progressives? Maybe it's the system that's the issue?