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Election Reform & A Billionaire for President

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With all the focus on the wide open presidential field for 2008, the down ticket congressional seats present a unique opportunity for Independents to demand Election Reform to include fair ballot access, secure voting machines and public campaign financing.

50% of all elections have only one name on the ballot. That makes it more important than ever to encourage citizens to run for office. Americans should no longer tolerate this phenomenon created by the Big Two political parties. Both parties actively engage in the politics of exclusion by refusing to debate Independents. We know why. They fear voters would agree that elections are unfair and need fixed.

Presenting our case for public campaign financing, Independents ask voters to look beyond the rhetoric decrying the potential cost. The current system is far more costly to taxpayers. Political contributors are rewarded with government jobs and no-bid contracts that rob billions from our Treasury – no matter which political party is in charge.

Here is a summary of the main points of our National Election Reform Platform (NERP):

* Uniform Ballot Access

* Loosen Third Party Ballot Restrictions

* Universal Voter Registration

* Election Day Holiday

* Equal Media Access/Debate Inclusion

* Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)

* Secure Voting Machines

* Public Campaign Financing

* Direct Popular Vote Election of the President

* DC Congressional Representation 

Before the naysayer can say "this will never happen", we repeat the words of one 2008 presidential contender. "America is a can-do nation." That is the attitude we need to finally fix our electoral process. Competent Americans of diverse economic backgrounds and occupations will run for office once it doesn't require committing financial suicide, or becoming skilled at political begging.

Election Reform brings new voices, new choices, and new ideas to addressing the issues of war, immigration, health care, the environment, education, trade, net neutrality etc. Without it, these issues rotate through legislatures with feeble attempts at solutions.

Take health care for instance. Former Senator Mike Gravel wrote about the need to address health care back in 1971. Now as presidential candidate, his party is excluding him from the debates. It is time that Americans quit settling for the politics of exclusion. Most Americans have no idea just how articulate and fresh the ideas of those outside the Big Two were. Gravel and others considered B-tier candidates advocate for fixing the broken tax system – something the Big Two cannot attempt since they would be stepping on those who fund them.

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Joseph Oddo operates a freelance writing and sales consulting business in Washington DC.

He is an Independent candidate for Congress in Virginia. He (more...)

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