Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No Confidence Resolution

Since I commented on Arcata’s Iraq War Sanctuary resolution, I suppose I should comment on the No Confidence Resolution (NCR) being promoted by Dan Berman to the Eureka and Arcata City Councils, among others.

Certainly most of us would like to have clean elections and there are some legitimate concerns about vote tabulations in some elections around the country. There’s always going to be some discrepancy in election results, though, no matter what we do. There’s also always going to be money behind elections, in one way or another. The largesse of government is so large- there’s so much to give away- people and businesses are always going to be fighting for influence. And who can blame them.

But, let’s look at least a few of the recommendations the NCR contains, to paraphrase some of their recommendations:

Item 2- "Clean money laws…end to corporate financing of campaigns…".

This campaign reform stuff really irks me, no matter who I hear it from. While it’s true "the big money always wins", that seems to be the choice that most people make. People vote for the candidates who have the most money for a number of reasons. I’ve suggested before that if you don’t like money in politics, vote for the candidate(s) that don’t have all the money. There’s usually some candidates that fall in that category. But most people vote for the big money candidates, anyway.

All these proposed campaign reform laws just make it harder for people to run for office. The big money types will always find ways to get around the laws and it amazes me that some people think if they just regulate the way their, or some other candidate, accepts money, all of the sudden the candidate will be squeaky clean.

Item 4- "All votes cast on the same day, designated as a national holiday…except for absentee ballots…absentee ballots will be limited by criteria determined by the federal government…"

Wow, just what we need, another federal holiday. Seems to me people would be less likely to vote if election day was a holiday, not that I really care how many people turn out to vote. But I’d go along with that if you use an already existing holiday or trade election day with another holiday.
Some people who worry about voter turnout, suggest the opposite: Either mail only voting or having an election span a number of days or weeks. Didn’t Oregon switch to snail mail voting a little while ago? Whatever turns you on.

The suggestion that voting absentee be limited and the criteria for being able to vote absentee be determined by the feds, I find kinda scary. I suppose there is potential for fraud with absentee ballots but fraud already happens at the polling precincts. I don’t know that much would be accomplished by this recommendation.

Item 5- "All votes be publicly counted…".

I though they already were, at least around here. I know I’ve been invited to witness the vote returns and tabulations at Elections Division before. Seems to me the votes in the 2000 presidential election were counted publicly a number of times. I saw them doing it on TV. Oh well. If some places aren’t doing it, maybe they should. Was it Stalin, or Lenin, who said, "It’s not who votes that counts. It’s who counts the votes.."?

I forget where in the resolution they suggest implementation of Instant Runoff Voting, aka Ranked Choice Voting. I’ll go along with that with, or without the NCR. It is preferable to the current system but in and of itself does nothing to move us in the direction of smaller government.

So, am I for or against the NCR? I’d have to abstain on that although leaning towards NO, if only because of the campaign finance reform suggestions
.

4 Comments:

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I wanted to add a link to the No Confidence Resolution web site/ blog but had problems with publishing my comments and gave up. Then, I realized I could add a link here, so here it is:
http://www.guvwurld.blogspot.com/

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Dave Berman said...

Fred,

I have finally posted a detailed reply to your No Confidence blog entry. It is too long for here but can be found at: http://guvwurld.blogspot.com/2005/04/response-to-fred-mangels-no-confidence.html

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Thanks for your reply.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Dave Berman said...

This resolution continued evolving in April and May, including taking the name Voter Confidence Resolution. It was adopted by the Arcata City Council on July 20, 2005. Find the full text here:
http://guvwurld.blogspot.com/2005/04/voter-confidence-resolution.html

 

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