Third Party & Independents Archives

November 08, 2008

Anti-Incumbent Voters, Alive, Well, and Growing.

From Michigan’s Supreme Court race to the many incumbent losses in the House of Representatives, to the incumbent losses in the Senate (Oregon’s Smith, N. Carolina’s Dole, New Hampshire’s Sununu), the anti-incumbent vote made its presence very visible in this election. It was decidedly an anti-incumbent vote against the GOP. However, both major parties can no longer ignore the power of the independent voters (6% of whom decided the Democratic direction of this race), nor the power of voters exercising their right and obligation to vote out incumbents when government disappoints the voters.

Adding to the momentum of the anti-incumbent vote of the 2006 races, this election marks, what has all the appearances of becoming, a national anti-incumbent trend in American elections. This trend is underwritten by several factors.

  • First, is the dramatic growth in registered Independent voters. They now out number either Democrat or Republican registered voters.
  • Second, is the growth in interest, memberships, and signs of Vote Out Incumbents sentiment.
  • Third is the dramatic growth in 3rd Party candidates on ballots all across the nation.
  • And lastly, the growth of state based 3rd and independent parties, not yet well organized or competitive, most conservative oriented, but growing.

Anti-incumbent leaning voters go to the ballot and find two parties they recognize and reject, the Democratic and Republican, and some third parties they don't recognize and do not trust for a variety of reasons. However, like all growing factions of discontent, one day these splinter groups are likely to find or create a national 3rd party to challenge the duopoly party, with name recognition, extensive media coverage, a growing grass roots revenue stream, and a party platform that is lean and focused on key challenges facing the nation.

Until then, however, the anti-incumbent sentiment is going to mostly be presented with the choice of a democrat or republican incumbent and the other party's challenger. Which inevitably leads to Republicans and Democrats alternating roles as the majority and minority party in federal and state government. These swings do give the major parties cause to reevaluate their agendas, their ideology, and their policy plans. To the extent those changes reflect demands of the voters for more responsible, more accountable, and more transparent government, this very good.

The problem however, is that such changes are marginal, fleeting, and typically get reversed each time the majority and minority parties switch, giving no continuity and sustainability to reform measures over time. That is why, at some point, there must be a third party choice on the ballots across the nation that reflect the demands and wishes of the broad center of the political spectrum and which moderate working class and college educated voters can get behind.

This party must be based on reforms primarily, as opposed to temporary short term issues, though they must be capable of dealing with short term issues as well. But, their focus will likely have to include campaign finance reform, lobbyist reform, fiscal responsibility and plan to lower the national debt and end deficit spending save for national emergencies, voting reform to include moving election day to a weekend and providing accountable mail in voting, verifiable but easy voter registration, as well as extending early voting to permit everyone to vote without wasting precious time and money, or having to overcome other obstacles to voting. Lastly, this party will have to present credible foreign policy credentials along the lines of maintaining a highly effective but vastly lower cost military structure with the ability to defend our nation, while supporting international organizations designed to effectively deal with nations which threaten the peace of other nations.

This new centrist, moderate, pragmatic, independent party will have to avoid adopting divisive cultural and religious values issues, leaving those to be championed by the duopoly party. Unity, common sense, pragmatism, and a laser focus on solving the international, domestic economic, and infrastructure challenges will have to be the cornerstones of a new broad based third party to give the anti-incumbent voter not only someone to vote against on election day, but, challengers to vote for on election day as well.

The anti-incumbent movement is alive, well, and growing. If this does not seem immediately obvious from the election results, it is because the challenging party to the Republican incumbent Party was the Democratic Party. And where there were 3rd party choices, the moderate, centrist, pragmatic voters had little trust or confidence in those 3rd party candidates. As long as government continues to disappoint voters on how government is run however, there will be an anti-incumbent sentiment awaiting leadership to chart another course on election day.

To all of you who voted against an incumbent this election, you fulfilled your obligation in attempting to change the future course of this government which has failed 10's of millions of Americans and hundreds of ways, and failed the American ideals our nation was founded upon. You will strengthen your cause by finding opportunities to share your hopes and vision for a better future with the others in your life. This is a growing movement. The more we communicate our common purpose, the faster this movement will grow and become an effective counter to the destructive, short sighted policies of the Democratic and Republican Parties, based more on securing power than saving and elevating our nation's future.

In 2012, Democrats will have had sufficient time to prove whether they are making solid progress on solving the international and economic challenges of our day. It is up to each of us to fairly and objectively evaluate whether or not that progress exists. If it doesn't, we must be prepared to seek and solidify unity amongst ourselves to create an alternative choice on the ballot to the Democratic and Republican musical chair parties.

Posted by David R. Remer at November 8, 2008 12:13 PM
Comment #270006

Yeah, who cares about anti-incumbent voters, now! Many of them helped elect Obama, but who needs ‘em when the other party has one party control of the whole of the federal government, right? Many of them supported McCain, but, what good are they given the total handover to Dem’s.

We will see whether these voters are held in higher esteem in 2010 and 2012. We live in innarrestin’ times, that is for fiddlin’ dang sure!

I will leave this one comment for posterity and future reference and allow this rebuttal article to fade into the archives where public interest deems its suitable home for the present :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2008 04:35 AM
Comment #270017

Just like the moon, the anti-incumbent movement will wane when the next economic bubble begins and wax again when that bubble bursts.

In this election, I voted for 0 republicans and one non-incumbent democrat. Every candidate that I voted for lost. I admit that I am discouraged by those results but, I am not detered.

Posted by: jlw at November 9, 2008 02:39 PM
Comment #270021

jlw, I hear you. I used to feel that way too, until I realized that the anti-incumbent movement is far larger and more important than whether my incumbents get voted out this time. As long as the millions are leaving the duopoly parties and withholding their support from them, registering independent, and continuing to vote out incumbents, the movement will grow.

As you say, however, context is everything and it will ebb and flow depending upon dissatisfaction with current government and where we are heading. I see this election as a continuation of the last one in 2006, targeting the GOP.

But, with our nation approaching the highest debt as a percentage of GDP since the end of WWII, and unlike that post war era, slow and jerky growth, the dissatisfaction levels are not going away. And neither will the anti-incumbent rationale and logic as explained at Void Out Incumbents Democracy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2008 03:40 PM
Comment #270028

The number of true anti-incumbent voters (not merely independent voters) increased, and their numbers are still too small (as evidenced by high re-election rates), but the numbers of anti-incumbent voters will most likely increase in the next decade, due to the painful consequences of repeatedly rewarding corrupt, irresponsible, and incompetent incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

There is historical precedent to prove it.

Re-election rates will decrease as the misery index rate increases (misery index = inflation rate + unemployment rate).

YEAR __Misery__ Unem- ___ Inflation _ Inflation ___ Misery
_______Index____ployment __Rate ___ by pre-1983 _Index by pre-1983
_________________________________ method _____ method
1998 ___ 6.05 ___ 4.50 ___ 1.55 ______ 3.37 ______ 7.87
1999 ___ 6.41 ___ 4.22 ___ 2.19 ______ 4.92 ______ 9.14
2000 ___ 7.35 ___ 3.97 ___ 3.38 ______ 7.84 ______ 11.81
2001 ___ 7.59 ___ 4.76 ___ 2.83 ______ 6.77 ______ 11.53
2002 ___ 7.37 ___ 5.78 ___ 1.59 ______ 3.92 ______ 09.70
2003 ___ 8.26 ___ 5.99 ___ 2.27 ______ 5.76 ______ 11.75
2004 ___ 8.21 ___ 5.53 ___ 2.68 ______ 7.00 ______ 12.53
2005 ___ 8.48 ___ 6.09 ___ 2.39 ______ 6.42 ______ 12.51
2006 ___ 7.87 ___ 4.63 ___ 3.24 ______ 8.94 ______ 13.57
2007 ___ 7.46 ___ 4.61 ___ 2.85 ______ 8.07 ______ 12.68
2008 ___11.47 ___ 6.10 ___ 5.37 _____ 15.60 ______ 21.27

The Misery Index (as of AUG-2008) was 11.47% (6.1% unemployment + 5.37% inflation).
However, if the pre-1983 inflation measurement method is used, the Misery Index today is actually worse (21.70%) than ever since the Great Depression.

Eventually, when the pain and misery gets bad enough for enough voters (which is very likely for the next several years to come), voters will most likely oust hundreds of incumbent politicians (instead of a few dozen as in the last two elections) in all political parties, similar to what occurred in year 1933, when unhappy voters ousted 206 members of Congress (59 Democrats and 147 Republicans).

Most incumbent politicians got re-elected this election, but they’d better start fixing some things, or voters, when they are will finally feeling enough pain from their own bad voting habits, won’t be too choosy who they oust from office.

Clearly, voters weren’t happy with either party in year 1933 (and several elections leading up to 1933), as evidenced by low re-election rates as low as 61.2% for Congress.
In fact, re-election rates steadily fell all through the Great Depression (between years 1927 to 1935):
Start_ End _ Congress _ Re-Election ___ Party Seat Retention
Year__ Year __ # ______ Rate ________ Rate
1927 _ 1929 _ 70th ____ 68.9% ________ 96.4%
1929 _ 1931 _ 71st ____ 79.7% ________ 92.5%
1931 _ 1933 _ 72nd ____ 76.8% ________ 88.5%
1933 _ 1935 _ 73rd ____ 61.2% ________ 78.7%

In this last 4-NOV-2008 election, the number of Democrat voters increased a bit from the 7-NOV-2006 election, while the number of Republican voters decreased in both elections.
As a result, the Democrats picked up more seats, and voters appear to be blaming Republicans mostly.
It’s good that some irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians were voted out of office.
What is unfortunate is that too many voters only targeted Republicans mostly.
That is because too many voters are partisan centric, instead of principle centric (for several reasons:

Too many voters currently (and delusionally) believe the problem is the OTHER party, when the fact is that the problem is actually:

  • (1) too many irresponsible, corrupt, and/or incompetent incumbent politicians in ALL parties;

  • (2) too many voters who blindly reward THEIR incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, due to blind partisan loyalties, ignorance, selfishness, laziness, and self-delusion. Most voters will most likely perpetuate those bad voting habits, continue to love THEIR party more than their country, continue to be partisan centric instead of principle centric, until the inevitable consequences of the voters’ lack of pricinples finally becomes too painful (as it did in the 1920s and 1930s);

  • (3) and enough voters finally understand that their pain and misery is of their own making, and that the voters have the government that the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

At the moment, enough voters obviously are not yet feeling enough pain and misery to provide sufficient motivation to reconsider their bad voting habits.

That is slowing changing and will continue to change in the next few elections, because there are many painful consequences in the pipeline now.
There are now numerous abuses and deteriorating economic conditions that will have painful consequences for several years into the future.

As the Misery Index increases, re-election rates for incumbent politicians will most likely decrease.
Perhaps re-election rates will go as low as 61.2% (or lower) as in year 1933?
When it does, it will probably drop very fast (as it has in past elections:


  • 100.0% |————————————-| 21.0%

  • 097.5% |————————————o| 20.0%

  • 095.0% |———————————-o-| 19.0%

  • 092.5% |—————————x——o-| 18.0%

  • 090.0% |—-xx——————x-x—o—| 17.0%

  • 087.5% |—x—xxxxxxxxx—x—x—o—| 16.0%

  • 085.0% |—x—————-xx——xo—-| 15.0%

  • 085.5% |-x————————-ox——| 14.0%

  • 080.0% |-x————————o—x—-| 13.0%

  • 077.5% |x————————o—-x—-| 12.0%

  • 075.0% |———————-o———x—| 11.0%

  • 072.5% |———————o———-x—| 10.0%

  • 070.0% |——————-o————-x-| 09.0%

  • 067.5% |———-o-o-o—————-x-| 08.0%

  • 065.0% |—o-o-o————————x-| 07.0%

  • 062.5% |oo———————————x| 06.0%

  • 060.0% |————————————x| 05.0%

  • 057.5% |————————————-| 05.0%

  • _______ 1—2—2—2—2—2—2—2—2

  • _______ 9—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0

  • _______ 9—0—0—0—0—0—1—1—1

  • _______ 8—0—2—4—6—8—0—2—4

    • WHERE:
    • x = Re-Election Rates

    • o = Misery Index

Perhaps, by 2012 or 2014, when voters are feeling enough pain, they will finally oust some bad incumbent politicians; perhaps by the hundreds (instead of a few dozen in the last few elections), as occurred in year 1933, when unhappy voters ousted 206 members of Congress (59 Democrats and 147 Republicans).

Clearly, voters weren’t happy with both Democrat and Republican incumbent politicians in year 1933 (and several elections leading up to 1933), as evidenced by low re-election rates as low as 61.2% .

Democrat politicians may be able to blame economic deterioration for a while on Republicans, but probably not beyond 2012.
After that, as the consequences of the voters’ bad habit of repeatedly rewarding bad incumbent politicians with re-election becomes painful enough, the voters will finally do what voters did in year 1933, and oust hundreds of incumbent politicians in BOTH main parties.

It isn’t as much a question of “IF” ; as it is a question of “WHEN” ?
The sooner the better.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 9, 2008 05:25 PM
Comment #270031

The National Debt is now closer to $10.7 Trillion.
It’s growing so fast, it’s ridiculous.
I haven’t checked the rate of increase, but it appears to be growing by about $20 Billion (or more) per month!
And some people say we don’t have a debt problem? ! ?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 9, 2008 06:24 PM
Comment #270046

We have some enormous problems. A very large group of Americans are thinking, well, I have still have my job, and my home’s payments are within my reach, and I don’t have a lot of debt.

They do not realize that is precisely where a great many folks who are now foreclosed, unemployed, and filing bankruptcy were just a year or less, ago. All that can change overnight with a high cost medical series of medical bills, loss of a job or two, or being close to retirement and seeing 40% of your life’s savings wiped out by the market crash.

And this is happening to 10 million American workers this year already, unemployed and hanging on to unemployment benefits, you know, that socialist program they voted against, before they were unemployed. A vast number of them high wage white collar workers at famous name companies and corporations like Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns, and AIG, GM, JC Penney, Nieman Marcus. This is not hitting janitors and street sweepers alone.

But, it just isn’t realized, yet. People have not accepted that this could become real, for them. That is why they voted to reelect their Congress persons in such high numbers, who failed their futures in very fundamental ways.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2008 05:56 AM
Comment #270205

That’s right.
Even if we do everything right from this point forward, things are most likely going to get worse for many Americans.

However, the majority of voters have only themselves to thank for it.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 12, 2008 12:27 PM
Comment #270214

David and d.a.n,

I think people realized this election that if they want things to get better, they one have to vote and two, vote for change. This was not a vote for Democrats as much as a vote to rid our government of an incompetent administration and anything remotely close to it. I believe that this will one day trickle down to Senators, Congressmen, Governors, all the way to County Comptroller and City Councilmen. It’s hopefully just the beginning. Maybe we can one day in the future say that the reason our government is back to being for the people, by the people is because in 2008 voters got pissed. We can always hope.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 12, 2008 02:34 PM
Comment #270227

Andre, that is a fine sentiment and hope.

I remain skeptical however, due to the fact that the people got pissed in 1994 as well, at Democrats. From then to now, things have only gotten worse, unless you happen to be one of the top 5% in income category.

I still have unwavering belief and confidence in the power of the anti-incumbent vote. It’s the low numbers of voters exercising it, that gives me pause and concern, despite the fact that these numbers are growing. The rate however, is not fast enough to head off a structural crumbling of our nation’s future.

Perhaps that rate will increase significantly if Democrats blow it these next 4 years. Or, though doubtful, perhaps the Democrats will find the leaders they need to make the Democratic Party the reform party that this nation desperately needs to secure its future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 12, 2008 04:26 PM
Comment #270231
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: It’s hopefully just the beginning. Maybe we can one day in the future say that the reason our government is back to being for the people, by the people is because in 2008 voters got pissed.
I hope so.

However, and I hope to be wrong, but how likely is it that Congress really changed since 95% of them are still there?
Especially when the likes of Ted Stevens (convicted of 7 felonies) and William Jefferson (filmed by the FBI taking $100K, which $90K was later found hidden in his freezer) can get re-elected?
Numerous bad apples were rewarded (again) with re-election.
For years now, no one has yet been able to list the names of at least 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that they feel are not FOR-SALE, corrupt, irresponsible, and/or incompetent.
For years, Congress’ dismal approval ratings have declined (as low as 9%), yet voters rewarded Congress with 95% re-election rates?
It’s doubtful Congress will ever become more responsible when it is not only never held accountable, but instead, repeatedly rewarded for being irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, and incompetent.

Therefore, the next 4 years are more likely (just based on track record, and voting records) to get much worse for most Americans, and 4 years from now, most voters are most likely to blame it on the IN-PARTY.

Also, the lack of progress since the 7-NOV-2006 election (2 years ago) doesn’t instill much confidence that things will get better, since things got much worse since 7-NOV-2006.

We are now in a very bad situation, and if numerous things are not done just right, and as quickly as possible, then another depression is not at all far fetched.

We need fiscal responsibility and the following as soon as possible:

  • (01) Leave Iraq now. That will probably take over 1 year to accomplish if we start now.

  • (02) Cut ALL unnecessary spending. And there’s a LOT that is unnecessary. That could net severeal hundreds of billions of the $2.5 Trillion in current total federal tax revenues. We do not need all of this.

  • (03) Stop borrowing and stop growing the $10.7 Trillion National Debt, before the rampant borrowing and money-printing to merely pay the annual $429 Billion in interest alone crashes the currency ( ).

  • (04) Eliminate regressive taxation now ( ). Also, stop all exemptions (e.g. Social Security cap), and stop taxing certain types of income differently (especially lower tax rates for the types of income that mostly benefit the wealthy). Eliminate all tax loop holes and deductions. Most Americans polled believe a flat percentage on all types of income is the most fair method ( for example: )

  • (05) Stop free-money bailing outs. Some loans may be OK, but no free money for anyone, and only for banks and corporations that are not too risky or too far gone. AIG got $85 Billion, then another $38 Billion, and now another $27 Billion. That’s $150 Billion for one corporation, and it still isn’t working is it?. This process should also have complete transparency. Currently, the Federal Reserve is concealing the flow of the money. As far as we know, the fleecing of America could have just shifted into over-drive. Also, tax payers money should not be going to make good on any Credit Default Swaps, exotic investment vehicles, excessive executive salaries and bonuses, parties, soirees, and other abuses (many of which have already occurred).

  • (06) Instead of bail-outs, (a) set limits on usurious interest rates that are pushing home-owners into bankruptcy. Also, (b) if tax payers are to buy toxic loans from the banks and corporations, it should only be a safe fraction of the market value of the property, since the value won’t be easy to determine, and market values are still falling, and there are over 18.6 Million vacant housing units (nation-wide). Tax payers should drive a hard bargain, and this process should also have complete transparency. Otherwise, banks are going to get another foreclosure to deal with, and more losses, which isn’t good when the banks can’t easily sell the foreclosed property when there are now approximately 18.6 Million vacant housing units (nation-wide), as of 31-MAR-2008 there were 129.4 Million housing units in the U.S., but only 110.8 million were occupied (75.1 Million by owners and 35.7 Million by renters), and record-level foreclosures today of 10,000 per day (303,000 in AUG-2008). The point is, tax payers should not be bailing out
    There is some legal precedent for setting limits on interest rates. In many civil small claims courts, anything above 10% is considered usurious. What does that say about 33% credit cards? What does this entire economic disaster say about the Federal Reserve, member banks, U.S. Treasury, mortgage corporations, and Congress? As for people who are upside-down (or underwater) on their mortgages, they (nor the banks) should receive tax payer money to make up the difference of the original loan and the current market value. That banks and/or homeowners will have to eat those losses, because there simply isn’t enough money to make up the trillions already lost and have yet to be lost, and it will simply take time for severely over-priced home values to stabilize. However, some homes were so over-priced and some buyers were so irresponsible or ignorant to that fact, it will be a very long time (if ever) before some homes will be worth the original price. Still, that’s not the majority of tax-payers fault. Those bad loans should be pushed back to the irresponsible lenders and borrowers. Also, bail-outs still will not solve the numerous instances in which the borrowers were way-in over their head even before their Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) rates were jacked up. That is, there are still a LOT of loans that were bad from the start and will still be bad in the end.

  • (07) Create a national non-profit health insurance system with adequate oversight. Other than that, stop creating more cradle-to-grave programs, and perpetuating the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else; we can’t all ride in the wagon; someone has to push the wagon too.

  • (08) Stop giving away economic stimulus checks. Instead, reduce unemployment by creating jobs to:
    • create and implement alternative energy solutions to reduce the nation’s serious energy vulnerabilities, and also reduce the dangers of global warming. It may also create new foreign markets for the U.S. to sell to.

    • and to rebuild and repair America’s infrastructure,

    • and set compensation limits for management of any participating corporations that want to bid on such contracts.

  • (09) Stop illegal employers costing Americans an estimated $70-to-$327 Billion in annual net losses, millions of displaced jobs, and thousands of Americans murdered year year by illegal aliens (more in the last 3 years than all U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the last 5 years).

  • (10) Do not pass another shamnesty BILL. The 1986 shamnesty caused the illegal immigration problem to grow by 400%-to-700% (from about 3 million to 12-to-20 Million illegal aliens). Stop pandering to the illegal aliens; of which an estimated 3% of votes are by illegal aliens:

  • (11) Reduce (and ideally, eventually eliminate) inflation, which increases economic instability.
    Do you really believe current inflation is only 5% ?
    The real inflation becomes more obvious when you compare the U.S. Dollar to other currencies, which also have inflation of their own, or when you look at falling GDP since year 2006 when viewed in any other previous years’ inflation adjusted dollar. For example:
    Inflation is a serious threat, because it is already worse than people think it is, because inflation is being understated (see: ).
    If we aren’t very careful, history can repeat itself, and a bad situation could become much worse if the currency crashes, which has happened before in the following countries in the last 150 years:
    • Weimar Republic of Germany 1920 – 1923 (1/466 billionth of starting value),

    • Zimbabwe 2003 - present (6 quadrillionth of the starting value and continuing to fall),

    • Former Soviet Union 1993 – 2002 (1/14th of starting value),

    • Argentina 1975 – 1983 (1/1,000th of starting value),

    • Austria 1921 – 1923 (about 1/4 of starting value),

    • Bolivia 1984 - 1986 (1/1,000 of starting value);

    • Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992 – 1993 (1/100,000th of starting value),

    • Brazil 1960 – 1994 (1 trillionth of starting value), Chile 1971 – 1973 (1/3rd of starting value),

    • China 1947 – 1955 (1/10,000th of starting value),

    • Greece 1943 – 1953 (1/50 trillionth of starting value),

    • Hungary 1945 – 1946 (100 quintillionth of the starting value),

    • Hungary 1922 – 1923 (1/4 of starting value),

    • Israel 1976 – 1986 (1/16th of starting value),

    • Japan 1934 – 1951 (1/362nd of starting value),

    • Poland 1990 – 94 (1/10,000th of starting value),

    • U.S.A. (Confederate States of America) 1861 – 1865 (1/90th of starting value, and then, by the end of the Civil War, the Confederate Dollar depreciated to zero).

    • It also happened in the ancient Roman Empire, when the silver and gold coinage of that day was progressively debased with base metals, in order to fund wars, giveaways to the Plebeians, and various other adventures. There are many additional examples that I have not bothered to cover here.

  • (12) Stop undermining education. We need more doctors, engineers, scientists, and skilled workers. Also, insufficient Education also leads to the failure to recognize the importance of Education itself, Transparency, and Accountability, which results in Corruption:
    • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability

    • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability

  • (13) Obey the Constitution (38 different states have submitted over 630 Article V applications, of which 81 were requesting a Balanced Budget amendment), which is already being violated in several ways:

  • (14) Stop unfair trade practices. Stop rewarding corporations for selling out Americans. Stop H-1B abuses. Stop other abuses manifested by unchecked greed of illegal employers or despicable politicians that pit Americans and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits disguised as compassion.

  • (15) Congressional Term-Limits.

  • (16) Judicial Term-Limits.

  • (17) Stop the lying and misreporting of economic statistics (e.g. inflation, GDP, unemployment, etc.; see: ).

  • (18) Stop government FOR-SALE. Pass much-needed, common-sense campaign Finance reform. 99.7% of all voters 200 million eligible voters are currently vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.3% of the weatlhiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more. As a result, 90% of elections are won by the candidates that spend the most money (usually the incumbent, who has many unfair advantages: )

  • (19) Election reform. Stop Gerrymandering. Barriers to non-main-party candidates getting on ballots should be eliminated. Non-citizens should not be voting in our elections, yet an estimated 3% of votes are by illegal aliens:

  • (20) Stop plundering Social Security surpluses, and other forms of legal plunder (e.g. eminent domain abuse). Also, stop Medicare and Social Security fraud.

  • (21) Stop pork-barrel, corporate welfare, and waste (which is rampant):

  • (22) One-Purpose-Per-BILL (line item veto won’t work):

  • (23) Stop starting unnecessary wars. Also, something has to be done so that all Americans share in the sacrifice of war; otherwise, the wealthy and elites will always evade the risks others must bear, will continue to start unnecessary wars, and will continue to sabotage the military’s goal to win with the least cost to life and limb. Also, we should take much better care of our veterans. The treatment (or lack of) some are getting is truly shameful.

  • (24) Focus on sustainability and stability, instead of unsustainable growth, expansion, and over-population ( ).

  • (25) Stop these 10 abuses, or little (if anything) will get better.

  • (26) Stop the rampant playing with money to create money (manifestations of unchecked greed), and enforce existing laws and create new regulations to reduce manipulation of markets, prices, monopolies, banks, etc.). Stop the banks and corporations from gambling with depositors’ money (e.g. Credit Default Swaps, etc.).

  • (27) Something has to be done about the Federal Reserve, which is partly responsible (along with the U.S. Treasury) responsible for inflation, and partly the cause of serial economic bubbles, and economic instability, and the massive economic problem we have today, in which money (and debt) is created at a huge 9-to-1 ratio.

  • (28) Hold criminals accountable for rampant levels of usury, predatory loan practices, fraud, and gambling with depositors’ money.

  • (29) Forfeit Congress person’s pension if convicted of a felony. Also, set limits on Congress’ ability to give itself cu$hy perk$, health insurance, and cu$hy benefits that most Americans can afford for themselves, and Congressional raises (e.g. such as the 9 raises between 1997 and 2007 while U.S. troops go without armor, adequate medical care, and promised benefits).

  • (30) And in every election, voters need to stop rewarding bad politicians with re-election, or voters will suffer the consequences, and voters will get what they deserve.

Again, I hope to be wrong, but it doesn’t even seem remotely likely that Congress has changed (since 95% of them are still there), or will change anytime soon.

I recall a lot of optimism after the 7-NOV-2006 election too (2 years ago), in which Democrats gained about 35 seats for Democrats.
Yet, not many pressing problems were allowed to grow in number and severity.
Things got worse.
This last 4-NOV-2008 election, Democrats gained about 24-to-30 seats (far fewer than I expected).
I realize the administration has changed (i.e. Obama/Biden administration will replace the Bush/Cheney administration).
However, I’m not at all certain that Obama and Biden are enough.
I believe the voters have sabotaged Obama and Biden with 95% of the same incumbent politicians in Congress.
And how can this ever change when voters are faced with the clever No-Same-Party-Challenger(s) mechanism?
Since most voters will NEVER vote for challengers in the OTHER party, Congress enjoys 85%-to-95% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.
That is, it doesn’t matter how many parties there are if they never offer any challengers in the same party.
Of course, the only solution is for enough voters to finally understand that electing more challengers, regardless of party, is better than rewarding bad incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election (which will probably happen eventually, when failing to do so becomes too painfully obvious).

Therefore, it appears highly probable that most voters are going to have to learn the hard way (again; as in year 1933, when very unhappy voters finally ousted 206 members of Congress).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 12, 2008 06:08 PM
Comment #271180

Here’s the break-down to date for re-election rates and party-seat retention rates (some results are still pending):

464 members (464 / 535 = 86.7%) of Congress were re-elected (378 (223(D)+155(R)+0(I)) in the House + 86 (46(D)+ 38(R)+2(I))in the Senate).

There were only 71 members ousted from Congress (57 (13(D)+44(R)) in the House + 14 (3(D)+11(R) in the Senate).

NOTE: There are 5 of 6 seats still To Be Determined in the Senate, and 4 of 4 seats still To Be Determined in the House.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 30, 2008 11:21 AM
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