Friday, October 30, 2015

Good News On Electoral Reform!

A recent SFGate news article alerts us to some welcome progress on ensuring we get the election results Progressives deserve.  This is the first success of the Administration's pilot program first announced right after the 2014 election and which THC broke as a nationwide story.  As a reminder:

November 5, 2014
Associated Press  - Surrounded by Democratic party leaders and an inclusive and diverse coalition of leading political activists, President Barack Obama today announced a bold new initiative to "get big money out of politics".  The President declared "Let me be clear, it's time to end the corrupt influence of special interests in our electoral system and it's time for the people's will to prevail".

Under the White House proposal it would name a special commission of the most highly regarded political science professors from Harvard and Yale, assisted by volunteers from Google and Facebook, to develop an algorithm based upon a voter's ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and class characteristics designed to ascertain how each voter should vote.  Once this is determined votes would be cast electronically on behalf of each voter, based upon how they really would have wanted to vote as determined by the expert-developed algorithm.  The President went on to say that such a system would eliminate the need for campaign ads and expenditures and finally end "the reign of big money.  And Koch Brothers".

Questioned by reporters the President insisted that the proposal was not prompted by the results of the mid-term elections and was instead driven by the urgent need for change to "get the American people on the right side of history".
While the algorithm is still under development by the really smart people the White House decided to launch several pilot projects using variants of its proposal, deciding to first experiment through the public educational system, an approach enthusiastically supported by the National Educational Association.

According to SFGate, the initial triumph of the new approach occurred at the Everett Middle School in San Francisco's Mission District.  The demographic profile of Everett:

This fall the school held elections for student council.  Examining the results, alert Middle School Principal Lena Van Haren realized something was amiss.  She saw that her deluded students had not voted in accordance with their ethnic and racial identities.  As she later said:
“It’s not OK for a school that is really, really diverse to have the student representatives majority white,”  
After all, what perverted lesson could the children take from this result?  The merits of a particular individual and the views of their fellow students really don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, do they?

White Privileged Principal Van Haren attempts to atone
Principal Lena Van Haren looks at Alexander Rowson as he and Jerome Palma debate how race impacts politics outside Everett Middle School in San Francisco, California, on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Photo: Connor Radnovich, The Chronicle  Principal Van Haren took the only responsible course of action - she delayed announcing the election results for a week while she sought a solution worthy of the diversity of her students.   Demonstrating the astuteness of her action to correct the rampant bourgeois cult of individuality, one student, obviously aspiring to be a future representative of the heteronormative patriarchy, Sebastian Kaplan, said of the delaythey want everybody’s voices to be heard but then when they don’t like the results, they don’t respect students’ choices."  How presumptuous coming from someone born of the oppressive class!

According to SFGate Van Haren remarked that "she wanted to wait until there was a plan — created with student input — to increase diversity among student leaders, perhaps by adding positions."

Another article clarified that she's thinking of adding council positions specifically reserved for African Americans and Hispanics, commenting that just such an ethnic and race based approach   "worked wonderfully for Yugoslavia!" and adding that "it is important to ensure that at a young age students are sensitized so that they do not ignore the overwhelming importance of voting according to race and ethnicity".

It is heartening to see the creativity encouraged by the new Federal pilot program.  White House sources said that focusing on children in the pilot was appropriate since the adult voters ultimately intended to be covered by the initiative are "essentially child-like".

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