Friday, May 21, 2004

The No Confidence Campaign Primer

The uncertainty following the 2000 election invites everyone to imagine another disputed
outcome this fall. Demonstrating the likelihood of this uncertainty, the following talking points are abbreviated from the No Confidence resolution scheduled to be considered on July 7 by the Arcata, CA City Council.

unreliable machines
known to be susceptible to fraud
shielded from public scrutiny by companies with obvious conflicts of interest

disenfranchisement of 2000 now exposed
media failure to be timely caused drastic manipulation of public opinion
disenfranchisement continues to target African Americans, Hispanics and college students
disenfranchisement has been institutionalized in the Help America Vote Act

no touch-screen recounts in Florida
uncertified machines used in Georgia, Indiana and California (including Humboldt County)
untested machines certified in Texas

The validity and legitimacy of elections should be beyond question. But how do we know what to believe?

The premise of the entire campaign: There is no BASIS for confidence in the validity and legitimacy of the results reported in United States elections.

We are currently building a consensus in the community that will make it clear to the City Council it is necessary and appropriate to pass this resolution.

Our efforts to pass this statement are an extraordinary display of thinking globally and acting locally.

As with the 300+ anti-Patriot Act resolutions, we expect this is the first of many No
Confidence resolutions and our carefully selected wording aims to ensure a cumulative impact as each additional community chimes in.

We will trigger this domino effect by calling for repeated consideration of the question: "has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET?"

The Consent of the Governed is the self-evident truth cited in the Declaration of Independence as the basis for Government's "just Powers." Contemplating withdrawal of this consent is not a stretch when you consider it is not really being sought.

The Declaration of Independence, the ultimate manual for change, also says "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government".

By encouraging other communities to join the No Confidence movement, the domino effect being triggered will build to a tipping point. A national consensus will determine when this time has arrived and what changes it should bring.

The summary of the overall strategy: this resolution is a trigger mechanism for a domino effect that will build to a tipping point.

We do not presume to speak for the entire country. No one person nor even one community could bear the entire burden of remaking democracy. In the interest of turning our national dialog towards encouraging competition in the "free market-place of ideas," we offer the following suggested reforms as a starting point for discussion:

A national holiday on Election Day
Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)
Proportional representation
State by state elimination of the winner-take-all system (or complete termination of the Electoral College)
Public campaign financing
National standards for election machines (or no machines at all)
An explicit determination that money does not equal speech and that corporations do not have the same rights as humans

Campaign volunteers are encouraged to use the ideas above for letter writing, targeting
editors of local publications as well as high volume internet sites.

Volunteers are also needed to create and disseminate posters and leaflets, and to collect signatures.

Community outreach will continue as I meet with more civic groups and as more volunteers
inform their neighbors.

This campaign will benefit greatly from word of mouth. New people should be asked merely to talk about it with one other person - it's "the least you can do."

The No Confidence resolution is posted here with links to document claims made above.

Get involved.

(Last update: 6/12/04 3:00am PST)



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