Proportional Representation – The Next Step in the Revolution
The following is an open letter from Ron Ramo, Membership Director of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, to the Ron Paul Revolution:
Although we still hope in our hearts of hearts for our friend and inspiration Ron Paul to become the next President of the United States, it seems this will be an unlikely result. But we all know that the Revolution is more then one man and its success hinges on the collective efforts of all involved. The issue then becomes where to focus the Revolution’s efforts beyond 2008, and how will those efforts create further opportunities for success.
The campaign for Ron Paul gave us all some very hard lessons on how the Two Part System hampers the efforts of persons who do not fit neatly into the mainstream’s definition of left and right. Ron Paul did not fall into the cookie-cutter definitions of liberal or conservative and the media mischaracterized him and ignored him. Many Americans did not participate in the primary process because the “lesser of two evils” has left them apathetic and indifferent to politics. Many like Ron Paul do not abandon the big Two and seek office as independents because the illusion of wasted votes denies them a real chance of successfully running for office. Lastly, the current political system undermines competition, many individuals who have views in accord with Ron Paul do not participate in the politics because they are disenfranchised from the big Two or refuse to participate in their political machines. For the Revolution to have greater success in the future numerous reforms to the political system must occur; the first of these must be the establishment of Proportional Representation in each legislative body in the United States.
Proportional Representation is a voting system where seats in a legislature are distributed by the percentage of votes a party acquires in an election. Proportional Representation encourages voters to think beyond the lesser of two evils to support the party and candidates they sympathize with most. In Proportional Representation, no vote is wasted because each vote increases the cumulative total for a slate of candidates so that some, if not all, win a seat in the legislature. Proportional Representation would make the mainstream views of liberal and conservative irrelevant and competition in politics would flourish because neither the Democrats nor Republicans would have an oligopoly on the system. Proportional Representation would return power to the people and enable the election of officials with civic virtue. More importantly, it would smash the two-party oligarchy and open the path to success for the Revolution as more Revolutionaries are elected to office and the ideas of liberty, peace and prosperity gain traction.
If we cannot break the oligarchy, it will break us, separating those who are sympathetic to the Republicans and Democrats from those who are Libertarians, Greens or Constitutionalists. Without more citizen interest in politics, the ranks of our compatriots will become stagnant and eventually decline. As long as people fear wasting their votes, no principled citizen will be rewarded in the political realm. The Fate of our nation without Proportional Representation is condemnation to future of irresponsible government controlled by political hacks with no sense of virtue.
Much like the struggle of our Founders for Independence, to stop the continuing decline of our Republic into an Empire of Tyranny is a great task that will require great sacrifice. Indeed, as we have already learned many fear change, many do not like to have their worldview challenged. But with determination, courage and leadership by example fear can be turned into sympathy and sympathy turned into assistance. Efforts to capitalize in places with the largest support should go forward as soon as possible by working towards ballot initiative or creating a coalition slate of candidates whose main issue is to enact Proportional Representation in their state or municipality. It should be the goal of the Revolution to enact Proportional Representation in one large city and small state by 2010, to enact this reform in one major city by 2012 and at least one large state by 2016 with a goal of Congressional proportional representation by 2024. We may not win tomorrow, but with enthusiasm and a plan, victory shall be ours. The first step of any plan must be enact Proportional Representation nationally, so please pass this on to fellow Revolutionaries and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get involved.