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Thursday, June 1, 2017

A More Effective Democratic Infrastructure

Democratic Clubs And Organizing For America

The Democratic Party has One mission and that is representing the people in our country who form our coalition and of serving them. As such the party has two different roles in moderating our selection and election of officers to represent and serve us. The first role is to ensure that the people in our party select the best possible candidates for office and the second one is to ensure that as many of those candidates as possible get elected. This first role is served in our primary system specifically. The second is served in the general elections that follow candidate selection. In the first phase the party has to provide neutral judges and processes to ensure that candidates are vetted and fit for office.

Elections have Mission of Selecting Candidates and ensuring that Candidates and Views are:

During Primary phase
  1. Vetted
  2. Trained and Prepared
  3. Their views aired, debated and fairly represented to the public
  4. The people are informed, able to speak clearly and chose the best of them to represent them.
  5. The Party should act as a neutral Judge of candidates
During General Election:
  1. Candidates are fairly represented to the populace
  2. Issues and Policies are communicated to general population.
  3. All Candidates, including opposition, are vetted accurately.
  4. Every citizen encouraged to vote and participate
  5. The Party should actively promote all nominated & vetted Democrats.

Vetting Candidates and their Ideas

In the general election the result should be public officials who serve the interest of all the people, as well as the interests of our Party. To do this effectively we need to combat the rampant misinformation, disinformation and propaganda of our current ad driven, cynical media. The way to do this is to not only focus on the second phase of our elections (winning the general election) but to do a better job in the first phase of our elections. We do this by doing a better job of communicating with our constituents, each other, and of vetting candidates and their ideas.

Using Electronic Means to regularize the Process

The suggestion here is that we build a standardized method to run our democratic organizations, whether they are democratic clubs, mission groups, local candidacies or party subdivisions. There are two pieces that need to be deconflicted; a piece that has to be open, transparent and accessible and a piece that has to be guarded with strict security.

Electronic Tools that should be available to All (these include some that already exist)

Visible Tools
  1. Democratic Organization Registry Tool
  2. Issues Reporting and Tracking Tool
  3. Petitions Tool
  4. Debate Tool
  5. Candidate Vetting Tool
  6. Performance Vetting Tool
  7. Secure Tools
  8. Clearance Tool
  9. Voter DB Tools

Democratic Organization Registry

  1. Existing organizations and their chapters and subchapters should have a tool for vetting, coordinating and managing their organizations.

    The first part is that they be registered. An organization has a start date, a number, a name, a termination date if a temporary organzation, and public data on membership, funding, purpose, planks, and whatever tools it used.

  2. It should have a minutes recording tool, tools for making videos and communications, social media access, and formal and informal interactions. Formal interactions should be recorded and public.
  3. To use a tool one should have a minimum number of applicants sign on to the organization.
  4. Informal organizations should be allowed within existing chapters and subchapters as subchapters but not allowed more than limited tool use until they register with the required number of applicants. The tool should have the best features of all the existing organizations.
  5. The exception is sub-chapters by location. Every Town, village, municipality, neighborhood, should have a right to sub-chapter at will.
  6. Organizations must always be sub organizations to a parent chapter. And members of the parent chapter should be able to interact with all sub organizations of that parent organization.
  7. The top level organization of all Democratic Organizations is the Democratic National Party. No one not a member of the Democratic Party should have ANY access to Party tools.

Issue Reporting and Tracking

The Party should have a bug reporting tool that can be used to report issues, suggest laws and regulations, and also make bug reports on all IT tools. Issues should have a tracking tool. Tools for categorizing issues and combining them into planks or policy recommendations. The person reporting an issue should be able to assign it to an office or person or to add CC persons to the issue. It should not be closed until the appropriate legislative/requirements committee closes it.

Petitions & Initiatives

We already have petitions initiatives, these are useful at getting people motivated and identifying legislative issues. We need to have these locally.

Vetting Candidates

The Democratic party should create a formal system for debating ideas and vetting candidates. At the basis of the tool would be professionals who would look at police records, history and background coupled with citizens panels to review the data. Key to doing that with democratic process is to use citizen juries, selected at random from the general population. These bodies would review public and investigatory information on candidates. Would create a report on their fitness and moderate debates. The full value of this would need legal authority, but debates should be under oaths under penalty of perjury. We Democrats should provide software for these kinds of candidate reviews and debating tools.

Performance Reviews.

We should review the performance, account for spending decisions and votes, and do this at the end of each appointed or elected officials terms.

Benefits of Vetting as a Party

When we leave vetting to an oppositional process, misinformation, disinformation, emotion and slant influence voters, sometimes overwhelming the actual facts. By vetting our own candidates we can be sure we know what we are getting. And aren't surprised by negative information. This also makes sure people know everything they need to pick the best person.

Local Organizing

By letting people organize local chapters and subchapters, and then integrating their work, we can provide a means for Democrats to work together. Allowing organizing during the selection period (primaries) of each election lets the organization vet, train and validate candidates. The system should then provide a means for supporting the winners once the primaries are over.

Our Own Communications

Key to everything is that we need to have our own means of broadcasting news, two way communications and getting out our information. In recent elections, our voices have been drowned out by paid advertising, viral targeted propaganda and nugatory, often false, information.


Back in Jefferson's "first Party" days he wrote:

"Two political Sects have arisen within the U. S. the one believing that the executive is the branch of our government which the most needs support; the other that like the analogous branch in the English Government, it is already too strong for the republican parts of the Constitution; and therefore in equivocal cases they incline to the legislative powers: the former of these are called federalists, sometimes aristocrats or monocrats, and sometimes Tories, after the corresponding sect in the English Government of exactly the same definition: the latter are stiled republicans, Whigs, jacobins, anarchists, dis-organizers, etc. these terms are in familiar use with most persons." JStore

Unfortunately who has the "too strong" executive, usually depends on which party is in control. As the one out of control always worries the most about the executive in the dominating party.

Related Posts

Vetting and Accounting for Candidates
What Electronic Democracy Means
Democratic Subsidiarity

Related Subjects

We need a Second Bill of Rights

Further Reading

Sustems Theory/Process
Tyranny is also Bad Process
Elinor Ostrom
Teddy Roosevelt and Process Improvement
Sustainable Economic Policy
WE will defeat Trump
Active Measures and the Right Wing
Targeting Clinton Voters with Project Alamo

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