November 08, 2006

And The People Have Spoken...

First of all let me take the opportunity to thank everyone in the country who answered my last plea for a change in direction for the United States of America. I'm sure it was my groveling that put the Democrats over the top in Congress, so I'll take full credit for that.

Oh, who am I kidding... I had nothing to do with it. But, at least I can feel like I've spoken in the majority. The people in this country want a change in ideology, direction, and eventually leadership in the executive branch as well. The people in this country want accountability in our elected officials and real answers to the difficult questions that the Republican Congress refused to ask over the last six years. The people in this country want true checks-and-balances and Congressional oversight in our government. The people in this country are truly concerned about our economy, our environment, our veterans, our elderly, and our children. The people in this country have seen the gap between the wealthy and the middle class widen. The people in this country have paid through the nose in gasoline prices at the pump, while seeing the oil companies announce record (mind-boggling) profits. The people in this country have seen our sons & daughters getting slaughtered in Iraq for a cause that is not just. The people in this country have spoken, and we've sent a very clear message to the Bush Administration - "NO MORE!".

It's Time To Call For Election Reform

I started out on election day very, very nervous. I had heard about some of the problems leading up to election day, and then I read Greg Palast's column of "How They Stole the Mid-term Election" describing in detail about the voter fraud, voter intimidation, and the like. Keep in mind - this article was published at the beginning of election day. I thought "Great, there goes ANOTHER stolen election for the Republicans". But... I spent the whole day in denial praying that the Democratic turnout would overcome the Republican vote suppression. And that's exactly what happened.

At this juncture, even though the Democrats successfully overcame the Rovian tactics and election fraud, I'm still calling for election reform. I think it would be hypocritical to "cut-and-run" from this issue which is so important to our democracy. Sure - Democrats out-voted the Republicans PLUS their dirty election trickery this time, but that doesn't excuse the dirty election trickery. So, here's my proposal for election reform:
  • NO election official should have a partisan affiliation. Some of my most satisfying moments in Tuesday night's election were seeing BOTH Kenneth Blackwell AND Katherine Harris go down in embarrassing defeat. There's a clear message here - that the people of this country want a fair electoral process, and even the appearance or perception of partisanship by an election official is unacceptable.
  • Same-day registration should be a Federal law. This is a carry-over from the last three elections where a multitude of evidence suggests (albeit 'proves') that there was a massive effort to suppress votes by deliberately mishandling the registrations. If the voter can prove citizenship & residence, they should be able to register and vote all in one fell swoop.
  • Election day should be a federal holiday. Along with that, let's take it a few steps further. I would advocate for more standardization in election mechanisms and infrastructure. For example, the allocation of voting machines based on the quantity of registered voters should be uniform to prevent long lines in less-affluent districts, etc.
  • There should be NO tolerance for dirty election trickery. The examples that come to mind are the massive reports of robo-calling to annoy voters, phone bank jamming, and the distribution of messages that the election was on a different day or different location, or that the voter would be arrested at the polls because they were supposedly registered in a different state, or that they didn't have to vote because they voted in the primaries. Will the people responsible for these slimy election tactics ever be brought to justice? Yeah, right.
  • ALL voting machines MUST be verifiable. NO voting machine should exist that records the vote and doesn't provide a paper receipt. All paper receipts should be retained as an audit trail to verify that machine's votes, should the totals be vastly different from the exit poll results in a close race.
  • REAL Campaign Finance Reform. The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act didn't even scratch the surface of how corrupt this system was and still is. Elections need to be publicly financed in order to ensure fairness and remove obligations between lawmakers and special interests.

My hope

My point is that we should not turn our backs on election reform now that we happen to win one election. The problem exists and will continue to exist in 2008 if we don't do something about it. My hope is that the Democrats in control don't fall into that majority party pitfall of corruption, fixing elections, and dirty tactics. My hope is that the Democrats in control will work to unite our country to progress forward for the betterment of all, instead of constantly dividing us against each other. My hope is that the Democrats in control will reach out to our international allies with an outstretched arm of cooperation and partnership, instead of a folded arms posture of arrogance and imperialism. My hope is that the Democrats in control will reign in the unbridled war-profiteering and privatization of our military.

I'm absolutely giddy with excitement after last night's election results. But the fight is not over. It's just gone into high gear.


Blogger KAUTILYA HEGEL said...

People have spoken: Reform Corrupt Election Process in USA.
Institutional Election Fraud is Weapon of Mass Destruction- by Kautilya Hegel
November 13, 2006, Philadelphia, Monday, 1:00 PM. (1) FAULTY ELECTION PROCESS: The vested interests might have compromised the faulty election process in major democracies of the world, namely, USA as well as India, which allows those empowered to supervise the Election process to conspire the election process to deny the Third Party and Independent Voters, their fair share of political power and election victories. If entrenched interests continue to sabotage the free and fair election system in India and USA to keep the entrenched politicians in power, then the Democracy as an institution is under grave threat in USA and India.
(2) ELECTION FRAUD IS WMD: The institutionalized election frauds, carried out by those responsible for the free fair and impartial conduct of Elections in USA, Russia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and etc., presents greatest threat to human civilization in 21st century. Election Frauds in major democratic nations allow mediocre less competent leadership capture levers of political power in USA as well as India, scuttling the rise of Civilization States of USA and India.
(3) OUTDATED CONSTITUTIONS: Every constitution of democratic nations needs a total facelift by New Constitutional Assembly, convened every fifty years. The US Constitution of 1777 and Indian Constitution of 1950 have become outdated and require total redrafting at hands of new Constitutional Assemblies. United States requires a Federal Election Commission, responsible for the conduct of the entire election process in Federal, State and Local Elections. The 4500+ County Canvassing Boards allows party officials appointed by the two major parties, hijack the will of the people. In India the practice of appointing government officials in election commission requires scrutiny. The Electronic Voting machines without a paper trail operated and managed by political party appointed election officials at the County Canvassing Boards made the mockery of American Democracy in election 2006. The two leading political parties in USA as well as India could be part of an organized conspiracy to steal elections.
(4) GLOBAL ELECTION WATCH: USA and India should allow international observers to watch the conduct of elections. Let us debate: Whether the election process in USA or India prone to election frauds and what could be possible remedies. Kautilya Hegel invites International volunteers to supervise elections process and conduct of elections worldwide. Let us create an Election Watch organization in every city of the world, and volunteers for Election Watch worldwide, which would also supervise US Elections of 2008 and next Parliamentary Elections in India.
Professor Kautilya Hegel, Director- Election Watch, Inc.,,;

2:15 PM  

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