KC is likely correct that it won’t be accomplished, but because neither major party approves it, and because their funders disapprove it strenuously.
The Democratic Party ought to at least “disarm” in its internal conflicts. It would lose little or nothing to Republican candidates by doing so. It might even help shine up its severely tarnished credibility with people very broadly like myself–and there are more of us than one might think, since most, unlike myself, do not vote or have ceased to vote. It does not because its most centrally located and influential personnel are heavily funded by insalubrious donors; in fact, they are often even more effective than Republicans in courting corporate contributions.
Of course, succeeding by appealing directly to the popular vote involves endorsing popular policies and measures. And that would work far better were Democrats to actually show concrete efforts to accomplish these while in office, rather than “rolling over” for Republican-driven policies that they supposedly do not endorse. That would be a major difficulty for incumbents, who therefore have further motives to vote against any useful reform of election procedure.
One has to be willing to wear the white hat and stand tall at least a bit more than the other person.
As a case in point, again, you say that Pelosi “would be” the first to say that there need be financial reform in elections, but in fact this has been said quite often, by very many people. It even polls as a very popular measure. So–she would or would have if what were to happen or had happened? I imagine some combination of events might make her do so, though she’s wa-a-ay late to be the first; but I cannot imagine just what those events might be.
To speak generally, though, the current official party, unlike its rank and file, has a lot of vested interest against doing anything of this sort, whatever anybody’s personal druthers might be in whatever hypothetical world you or I might envision. Lobbyists are an ominous group, collectively, and in more than one or two ways; many are willing to threaten as well as to bribe, and one does not wish to retract favors that have been paid for. Further, a lot of what came out in the Podesta emails involves potentially prosecutable offenses–so that will be a very strong motive for at least some major Democratic players to not rock a power structure on which they have become multiply dependent. Republican officials have been playing ball with the same entities for at least as long, so they are apparently little danger to anyone within power circles with respect to prosecution–though I have to wonder whether what happened to Weinstein and to Al Franken may not have constituted warning shots of some sort.
So my “solution,” if I may call it that without giving the impression that it were anything like an immediate panacea, is to organize from the grassroots, outside the power coalition, whether inside the Democratic Party or out, and to refuse votes and other support to those who have sold their capacity to represent their constituents–refuse it stone cold and take what consequences we absolutely have to.
Ralph Nader has been endorsing a far more specific version of this for years, involving neighborhood offices and concentration on local elections. I’d say let’s take his advice. I suspect that the best measure would be for some third party to take it as a guidebook. But if there are Democrats who wish to do so and to work within the party, I am all for that as well. I’d gladly register and vote Blue again, and others probably would as well, were anyone to come up with a believable reason–though “Our Revolution” does not qualify, at least at present.
More immediately, the so-called “Tea Party” has done something not too different with considerable success within the Republican ranks. I dislike their agenda, but that’s a matter apart from the tactics. They did get support from the Koch brothers, and that is likely a practical difference. But progressive values still have far greater support if one considers the currently non-voting majority of potential voters, some part of whom actually are paying attention. Sanders got a lot of support before he (unwisely, IMO) folded, though this in large part comes from the credibility of a long career of service.
In theory, at least, this could be done within the party. But the power structure within the party continues to gird itself against the popular vote more effectively than to be teetered by a few upsets in the short run. Solution involves teetering it in the long run.