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10 Steps to Repair American Democracy An Owner’s manual for Concerned Citizens by Steven Hill.

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Presentation on theme: "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy An Owner’s manual for Concerned Citizens by Steven Hill."— Presentation transcript:

1 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy An Owner’s manual for Concerned Citizens by Steven Hill

2 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 1. Secure the Vote Impartial election officials Professionalization of election officials National elections commission Paper trail “Public interest” voting equipment Long-term commitment / Funding of elections

3 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 2. Expand Voter Participation Universal voter registration National voting holiday or weekend voting “Right to vote” constitutional amendment Washington D.C. voting rights Ex-felons and prison enfranchisement Prohibition of voter suppression and intimidation Overseas voter enfranchisement International and nonpartisan election observers

4 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 3. Instant Runoff Voting Elect majority winners No more spoiler dilemmas Increase political debate Diminished campaign mudslinging Decreased polarization in party primaries

5 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 4. Scrap Winner-take-all Elections / Proportional Representation For local, state, and federal legislatures Nonpartisan redistricting reform Citizens Assemblies to overcome partisanship and protectionism IRV and fusion as partial steps

6 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 5. Direct Election of the President Problems: > Spectator sport > Decided by errors or fraud > Small-state subsidy favors conservatives Constitutional amendment Intermediate steps: > States IRV > States proportional allocation of electors > States cosign treaty awarding electors acc. national popular vote

7 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 6. Overhaul U.S. Senate More senators for high-population states Reduce powers of the Senate Unicameral Congress

8 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 7. Reclaim the Airwaves Stop consolidation with antitrust laws Break up cable TV monopoly Restore the Fairness Doctrine More robust public broadcasting Subsidize daily newspapers Airways to the public – Free media for candidates Community broadband Internet

9 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 8. Minimize Money’s Role Public financing Free media for candidates Third party candidates Donation limits Spending caps

10 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 9. Reform the Supreme Court Term limits – no reappointment Mandatory retirement age Higher confirmation threshold Multiple appointing authorities Confirmation by House instead of Senate Chief Justice: > Separate administration from adjudication > No lobbying > Openness of administrative powers

11 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 10. Restore Faith in Government “Government is good for you” Smart government vs. limited or big government Self-promotion

12 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy 11. Some Sources FairVote – National Popular Vote – Common Cause – New America Foundation – reform Election Assistance Commission –


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