By Sam Pauken
With the nomination of Rep. Paul Ryan as the Republican candidate for Vice President we find ourselves asking what the Tea Party wants to be? Does it strive to build a stronger voice in our government, allowing it to be a defining political force for years to come, or does it…
By Lou Aronson
Americans Elect did not fail. The group and its followers launched themselves headlong into the rapidly changing intersection of politics, democracy and technology. Although they fell short of the goal of fielding a candidate in 2012 AE demonstrated some of the potential of how technology can reshape little “d”emocracy.
I recently left the full time practice of law and started Votifi, a technology start-up focused on the political space. I have closely followed a number of new ventures seeking to disrupt the way politics as usual is done in the United States. I have been fortunate to meet and learn about companies like PopVox, ElectNext, Ruck.Us, TurboVote and PolicyMic to name a few. It’s been a fascinating journey.
We came across AE early in its evolution as it attempted to launch a political movement by using the Internet to develop a centrist platform and crowd source the identification of a viable candidate for president. While I am no strong advocate of third party politics, I believe AE is onto something.
Yet when AE announced it was abandoning its nomination process because it was unable to attract enough support for any single candidate, pundits wailed that AE’s failure is yet another sign of the broader, irreparable dysfunction of the American political system.
Their analysis misses the point. Sure, it might be too soon or too difficult to really make a viable third party thrive in the American political system. But I think AE’s real legacy is much more than just testing one theory.
Since no candidate won more than 50% of the votes in Egypt’s presidential election last week, the top two vote getters, Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and ex-air force chief and Mubarak ally Ahmad Shafiq will compete in a run-off election in mid-June.
Mursi won 24.3 percent and…
Pew just released some new data on the declining response rate for telephone-based opinion surveys.
Everything from contact rates to cooperation rates to response rates are on the decline. From 2009 to 2012 the drop in response rates was particularly significant at 40%, the highest drop since they presented data over a span of 15 years. Even when Pew set out to really try and persuade people to respond by 1) using interviewers “particularly skilled at persuading reluctant respondents” 2) calling non-respondents 15-25 times over a period of two months 3) sending advance letters 4) and offering financial incentives of up to $20, the response rates were still only 22%.
Said Pew of these developments:
It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate.
Despite the low response rates, which might lead many to question the validity of results derived from such surveys, there is some good news. Pew said:
…telephone surveys that include landlines and cell phones and are weighted to match the demographic composition of the population continue to provide accurate data on most political, social and economic measures.
The 2012 election could be highlighted by a battle for the determined by the fastest growing voting bloc—Latino voters.
Realizing this, Votifi is running an online survey of Latinos in America called LatinoVoice where we’re hoping to peel away some of the layers here and better understand the mobile and increasingly vocal Latino community.
Not only are Latinos the fastest growing demographic, they are also turning out in unprecedented numbers—in fact, four times as much as just 20 years ago. Even more extraordinary, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) expects at least 12.2 million casting ballots in the 2012 presidential election—a 25.6 percent increase from 2008.
I highly recommend clicking above to read Greenwald’s three cases, but here’s the takeaway:
The Rules of American Justice are quite clear:
(1) If you are a high-ranking government official who commits war crimes, you will receive full-scale immunity, both civil and criminal, and will have the American President demand that all citizens Look Forward, Not Backward.
(2) If you are a low-ranking member of the military, you will receive relatively trivial punishments in order to protect higher-ranking officials and cast the appearance of accountability.
(3) If you are a victim of American war crimes, you are a non-person with no legal rights or even any entitlement to see the inside of a courtroom.
(4) If you talk publicly about any of these war crimes, you have committed the Gravest Crime — you are guilty of espionage – and will have the full weight of the American criminal justice system come crashing down upon you. …
It’s long past time to rip those blindfolds off of the Lady Justice statues. When the purpose of American justice is to shield those with the greatest power who commit the most egregious crimes, while severely punishing those who talk publicly about those crimes, it’s hard to imagine how it can get much more degraded or corrupted than that.