We are watching the destruction of our system of voting. If it ever worked before, it certainly is not working now.
Here are only some of the hundreds of reasons that voting for candidates is not resulting in new laws which voters thought they would be getting when voting for the winning candidates:
1. Candidates elected with money from the monopolists are not going to enact laws that help small business, even when they say they will; if they did, the money they need for getting re-elected would dry up; accordingly, small business, for a long time (call it never for most of us), is not going to have federal or state or even local laws enacted to help small business. Voter are going to have to enact such laws themselves. I have a list of about 41 proposed laws below, most of which, if enacted directly by voters through ballot initiatives, would help small business.
2. The nation's wealth is going, more and more, to fewer and fewer persons.
3. The wealthy have enough money to run for office without needing contributions from others.
4. Election of President Trump demonstrates to the rich that there are no longer any qualifications for office other than money, particularly if the candidate has the needed money himself/herself.
5. If a candidate needs a news medium, the wealthy candidate can buy it (which suggests that Jeff Bezos at some point will run for the U.S. Presidency).
6. Local newspapers, which used to be read by most voters in a community, and for that reason provided broader news coverage, have been replaced to a great extent by highly specialized media, which provide highly slanted news, driving voters away from their shared values.
7. Gerrymandering, getting worse in many states.
8. State laws and rules depriving voters of their right to vote.
9. Social media growth, which makes it easier for money (domestic or foreign) to cause voters to lose their shares values and become more divisive and less satisfied with the existing political system.
10. Internet, which delivers facts or false information to voters and their families without any need for accuracy, and delivers this almost instantaneously, so that traditional media are not able to offset the false information.
11. Divisive politics, with voters using media which support and enhance the voters beliefs and false beliefs, and drives voters into positions that are against their economic interests (which results in the rich getting richer because of the failure of voters to vote their economic interests).
12. Reduction of investigative journalism, which is replaced by low-cost talking heads and politically slanted opinion-casts which pretend to be newscasts.
13. You can fill in the rest of the long list.
If you accept that voting for candidates is not producing the results that you want (which hopefully is a good job, economic security, healthcare services, an affordable education, a solution to the global warming problem, and other matters of importance to you, such as affordable childcare services, equal access to jobs, homes, borrowing), why not vote directly for the laws that you want?
This is so obvious. And the right exists in 62 "Cities" and in Suffolk County in NYS and exists to some extent in all other states except Indiana and Wyoming.
The procedure is known as a "ballot initiative" or a "referendum".
In NYS, it is necessary to obtain signatures on a "petition" in which the proposed local law for a specific "City" is set forth together with other requirements, and then the required number of signed petitions is submitted to the local government which will reject the petition (because it could have enacted the proposed law but chose not to do so), and then the proponents of the law need to get additional petitions signed (with different voters), and a demand is then made to put the ballot initiative on the ballot, at the next general election for NYS Governor.
The local government may refuse to do so, and a complaint would need to be filed, and an order to show cause obtained, with the courts ultimately deciding whether the ballot initiative is to be presented to voters for their vote, with 1 vote more than 50% causing the ballot initiative to be enacted into a local law.
The local legislature cannot change this law, except by having its own ballot initiative submitted to voters at a general election.
Any ballot initiative is limited by federal and state law, meaning that no ballot initiative can result in a local law which would be prohibited by federal or state law.
Here are some examples of local laws that could be enacted, with links to the specific petitions that I prepared:
21. Personally-Directed Proceedings Against 55 or Older NYC Resident Require Naming NYC Attorney General as Interested Person [Note: This Petition together with Petition 3 above are to be replaced by a Petition for a Bill of Rights for Seniors]
37. NYC Law to Enable Ballot Initiative Petitions to be Executed by NYC Voters and Filed Electronically with the NYC Board of Elections; to Reduce Ballot-Initiative Petition-Signature Requirements to 20,000; and for Creation of an Opt-Out Email Mailing List for Free but Limited Use by All Candidates for NYC Elective Office
My Contact Information
Carl E. Person
225 E. 36th Street - Suite 3A
New York NY 10016-3664
Office : 212-307-4444
Fax : 212-307-0247
Email to : Email to Attorney Carl E. Person
Revision 3/28/19 10:29 am