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What is represent.us selling?

April 4, 2016

Ran across this ad campaign by a civil society group called represent.us.

With a staff full of bright-eyed advertising people, and a slick website, they’re selling something. The banner says “anti-corruption” – a code word, in other countries, for a restorative regime change, formally using judicial means but with popular support and private sponsorship, to rein in populist movements when they get out of control. Hopefully that’s not what this will be.

Our electoral system is indeed corrupt. The 6-member FEC has been paralyzed by deadlock along political lines since 2008, the Citizens United supreme court case interpreted the first amendment as protecting unlimited election spending by corporations. The US electoral system is backwards compared to most other developed democracies, lacking basic things like proportional representation. Political participation in the US is poor, some easily fixable reasons for this become obvious if you compare voting in the US to other countries, but the government has no interest in increasing voter turnout. So what we’re talking about are real problems.

Below is their video. It looks cool, so far, aside from simplifying the presentation to a kindergarden level, which makes me suspicious that the campaign is intentionally designed to selectively attract the most trusting individuals. There is also this criticism. Personally, what I am looking out for is to check that it is not an organization built to steer the movement for political reform in a corporate-sponsored direction.

If they’re legit they will press hard for a clean, uncomplicated end to Citizens United. My wishlist would include targeting the Democrat/Republican duopoly as a central source of “the problem”, and consistently mention reform of the electoral system, as the US’s electoral system lacks proportional representation, which is kindof basic, IMO. Another critical electoral system feature to break the D/R duopoly is Instant Runoff Voting.

[traceability: this video came to me via WordVirus]

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