Thursday, June 01, 2006

MoveOn Vote Decides on Focus for 2006

    Last week MoveOn coordinated house parties around the country to brainstorm on what issues they could get their members to rally around and support. This week members were emailed and given a chance to vote and decide which 3 out of the 10 listed issues would become the primary focus for MoveOn in 2006. I signed a petition against the genocide in Darfur and ended up being a "member" so I was able to participate. I certainly don't consider myself a Democrat, but MoveOn works for some good causes and I'm glad to help make any difference that I can.

So first, the ten issues that were voted on:

  • A balanced federal budget
  • Publicly funded elections
  • A guaranteed living wage
  • Solutions to global warming
  • High quality education for all
  • Global leadership through diplomacy
  • Guaranteed accurate elections
  • Restored constitutional rights
  • Sustainable energy independence
  • Health care for all

  •     I was really hoping that publicly funded elections would win out. This is because if you can get the politicans responsive to the people, which is something we haven't tried in this country before, many of the other reforms would be much easier to achieve. And I was really hoping that "global leadership" and "restored constitutional rights" would lose. That's beause I didn't think these issues were concrete and there's no way you could measure progress. What would you do, ask politicians to promise to honor your constitutional rights? What Bush is doing now is flagrantly illegal, but most politicians say that it's legit or at best that it should be "looked at". Without real politicians in office or without a great deal of public outrage and activism, criminal behavior will never be punished. The same sort of deal with global leadership. Most politicians would tell you we're the global leader now.

        The winners of the poll were sustainable energy dependence, health care for all, and a tie (very close in votes) between restored constitutional rights and guaranteed accurate elections, which they're combining into a single title of "restoring democracy". I think both of the first two are good concrete goals that would be nice if they could achieve. "Restoring democracy" isn't really a concrete goal in the same sense that the others are. But if MoveOn is prepared to use its resources to make a change in the minds of the American people, and get them to realize what democracy is and why it's important, then perhaps this issue could be a good thing as well. I think all these issues would be achieved much easier and much less superficially if progress could be made with campaign finance reform, but perhaps this goal isn't feasible at this time. It'd be pretty easy to produce propaganda against it, along the lines of "George Bush wants YOU to pay for his election party". So maybe we're not ready for that.

        Energy independence is going to be the first issue that they tackle, starting this month, and I'll probably have a post on it later. If you'd like to be get emails from MoveOn just sign up.

        Which issues would you or did you vote for?


    Anonymous said...

    I would put "Publicly funded elections", "Health care for all" and "High quality education for all" pretty high up on my list. I think they are very important for healthy (no pun intended) democracy.

    The Jolly Nihilist said...

    Being the raving social liberal that I am, I'm not thrilled with that list. My top 5 priorities are:

    1. Unrestricted, absolute right to abortion.
    2. Legalized euthanasia.
    3. Nationwide gay marriage.
    4. Abolishing the death penalty and all forms of torture.
    5. Eliminating the war against bodily sovereignty (such as drug laws, consensual sex laws, anti-obesity activism, etc).

    I guess I'm exactly the opposite of those Evangelical loonies! I also live for the "wedge" issues, just the reverse position.

    vjack said...

    I would have liked to see church-state separation on their list, but I agree with you about the importance of publicly funded elections. IMO, this is the single most important step we could take toward meaningful political reform. Politicians must be made accountable to the people and not simply to big business.