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'Money Is Not Speech and Corporations Are Not People': Sanders Unveils Plan to Get Corporate Money Out of Politics

telling the Democratic party that you will eventually vote for whoever they put forward tells them that policy differences aren’t an issue they have to worry about, eventually all, or at least most, will vote for whoever they tell you to vote for. That is why most Dems are so easily sheepdogged and the party never changes. The last Republican I voted for was Reagan, and I knew that was a mistake before he was ever inaugurated.

Lessor evil votes are easy to avoid, never vote for evil, lessor or greater. If that means that the lessor evil loses, so be it! The party will learn that running bad candidates because they are superior to a worse option is not a path to electoral success and they will stop that practice …eventually.

I will not vote for lessor evil candidates no matter how bad the other candidate is. I will call out evil candidates no matter how bad the other choice would have been. If you are a bad/evil candidate, I will not vote for you regardless of what letter is after your name.

RCV doesn’t eliminate this it merely makes it easier to deny you the choice you have listed at the top of your RCV ballot. by forcing you to give support to candidates you didn’t prefer to win.


Again, I agree with much of what you say. Committing to the D’s regardless is both an ill-advised reinforcement of their bad choices and trajectory and long-term, further steps away from democracy and public-interest politics. That’s why I voted Stein in '16. Unfortunately, however, the institutional power in the D’s is already vested in anti-democratic, corporate powers; and clearly much of the Party’s leadership and voters do not seem to have learned the lessons of 2016 but are once again rolling the dice on one primary message: that Trump is too bad not to vote for the D.

But RCV doesn’t force one to vote for candidates you don’t prefer to win. One could still just mark Sanders their #1 choice in the nomination… and leave it at that. (I assume a ballot without 2nd or 3rd choices would not be invalid.) Let’s say that someone prefers the Green Party candidate on principles and positions. But they also absolutely want to prevent Trump or some similar disaster. Most of the time, because in this duopoly, so many are LOE voters, they’ll not risk a victory by their perceived greater evil candidate, and will hold their nose and vote for, say, a Clinton , or even a Biden. This locks in the duopoly and makes 3rd Party choices almost always an impossibility, in terms of any electoral success. RCV would seem to correct this… by allowing them to give their first choice to Stein, but their 2nd to the “Shit-lite” party candidate (as per the video clip cited above). This is exactly why my local GP leaders are the ones pushing RCV in my region, by the way.

I’m not sure why this isn’t readily apparent to you.

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Perfectly stated, well done.

I agree completely, but with one addition: a truth and reconciliation process for crimes against humanity and the Earth, and economic crimes like the ones you describe. Fossil fuel, agrochemical, bank and financial criminals who lied about and were clearly connected to lies about the climate and larger ecological crisis would be included. It’s the only way we’ll remove people from power, remove them from their ill-gotten gains to move toward equality, AND get the truth.

Criminals agreeing to it would hand over all the money and property acquired during their time of crimes, turning over all documents and information, naming names, agreeing never to hold another position of responsibility in government, business, non-profit, or religion if that’s legal. They would get a pension equal to the lowest social security or other government pension plan (social security…) which btw, we should increase enough to actually provide security for everyone.

How exactly this would fit in with the criminal proceedings would have to be worked out.

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If Bernie runs against Warren and Trump, Trump will win. If it’s Trumpa and Biden, probably Trump will win. At least some states I think you can’t run for one party in the primary and switch to another in the general, and write-in campaigns rarely succeed.

I appreciate and agree with your point about the need for radical change, although your choosing to not understand ranked choice voting (yes, despite your protestations, you don’t understand it) is annoying.

Suppose it’s Trump v. Warren v. Sanders in a system like the Australian video outlined. None of them will get 51% (or >270 electoral votes if we stick with that nonsense) in the first round. If I understand it, it sounds like the strategic vote for you would be to make the Green candidate your first choice to get them the public funding and percent-of-the-vote recognition they need. Then, because the Green candidate won’t get past the first round, your second choice vote for Bernie or another candidate for serious change would be the vote you really want. You accomplish 2 seemingly contradictory things with one vote.

For decades, the corporate duopoly party’s Lesser Evil Gambit has kept people frozen in fear so badly the worst candidate has won most of the time, and allowed the right wing to solidify their institutional cheating ever further, thus allowing each worst candidate to be worse than all the ones before, degrading the US in every way, and eroding global civilization’s chances of survival.

At any point, if they had had courage (and the sense to turn off their TVs and listen to us) the majority progressive Democratic electorate could have abandoned the Democrats, joined the Green party and taken over and transformed it. With an electorate with such courage and sense, the Green party would have, alternatively, already formed a coalition with progressive Democrats, who would be more numerous and empowered by the Greens’ strength and vice versa. (This could still happen out of desperation and with a public increasingly informed by the revolutionary movements XR and school strikers–though by 2024 it may be too late to save much of civilization.) With our cowardly, cowed, and disinformed bunch, ranked choice voting used well could do much of the same.

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Book ‘em, Zonno.

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That almost certainly can’t be done. But maybe we can make the Democrats allow a relatively fair primary election.

Join Extinction Rebellion, school strikers, 350.org, the Climate Mobilization, or any local group that will make campaigning for Sanders a major priority, (since or join his campaign and reach out to those groups, friends, relatives, and whoever you know. Write letters to editors, comment on corporate media sites and follow through if answered. Demonstrate outside Democratic and media headquarters in attention-catching ways, for media to stop ignoring and ridiculing Sanders. Wear things that say “Ask me about Bernie.” Be creative and alone or with others come up with your own list. Go forth with joy and make it happen.

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I like the idea, though I must admit, your proposal is kinder than my first impulses - which is to take names now, round 'em up later, confiscate their money and put them in the pillory, moving them from town to town and state to state until the public has had their chance to let them really know what they think of them. Even that is kinder than my younger first impulse - to put them up against the wall and be done with it.

Fortunately for them, many of us have tried very hard to learn and practice a more forgiving and compassionate state of being. Still, i wouldn’t shed a tear if the less forgiving have their way.

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Thanks for the thoughtfulness. Don’t think I haven’t had the same impulses. Various ideas about the uses of oil, for example, though to be fair we’d have to include coal, gas and plutonium. But in the end we’re one system and will only move forward by healing them and ourselves together, and can’t do that without compassion and wisdom. Facts are not wisdom but they’re necessary for it, so the more information we have about how civilization was led astray the faster we’ll be able to fix it and ourselves.

I fear the consequences to us all if we allow those impulses to be followed when it gets bad.

Ever read about the fall of the Roman republic? Increasingly violent swings back and forth between factions until a dictator took advantage of the chaos to take power. Michael Parenti’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar is good.

And PS, I see the process as a choice to be offered some either before or after trial, and would require a guilty plea and if any of the terms were violated, serving the sentence.

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I am under the impression that we are talking using RCV in the primaries, I didn’t realize that there are people seriously suggesting it for the General election and don’t understand how or why anyone would be in favor of using it in the General election.
Given that, and looking specifically at the Primary…:
Ranked choice, its in the name, in ranked choice voting it is splitting your one vote into a fractionate vote. If you don’t vote for a second and third choice many RCV systems don’t add your no-votes to your vote, it merely throws them into the “no choice” category, and even in the few RCV systems that do tackle the complications by just awarding your vote according to your choices you make you are still diluting your top vote even if you do get to waffle and give other candidates a portion of your vote (if there is no clear winner in looking only at the top choices). Ultimately, individuals are only allowed one vote, the only way you can cast votes for multiple candidates is to fractionate and diminish the values of your selections in an RCV system. In order to keep your vote together, you would have to vote for the same candidate in all of your ranking options. I don’t see how this makes voting easier, more accurate or even just preferable to our traditional system. Making how you vote more complicated only makes voting more prone to inaccuracies and errors and empowers people other than the individual voter to decide elections. Keep it basic, keep it simple and make sure it is clear and transparent to all. We don’t need any more bureaucracy in our voting processes, that only benefits those seeking to manipulate the complexities, not those looking for security, clarity, and accuracy in our electoral process.

I didn’t realize that anyone was talking about RCV for the general election, I would not support that at all. In general I reject all major (and minor) political parties in the U.S… In fact, I would prefer to eliminate and outlaw political parties as they seem to be the primary nesting ground of corruption and special influence of the types that need to be weeded out of politics not fostered and promoted.
So, given that we are talking about the primary, why would I rank anyone other than my only choice?
I fully and totally reject all of the other candidates.

You just don’t seem to understand. it doesn’t split your vote into a fractionate vote. And it is NOT diluted.
I really suggest you read up on this… there are multiple explanations of how it works, e.g. a good short video at: https://youtu.be/wEvAYKhYNs8

I see no down-side compared to the present system; yet it addresses the problem that comes when people prefer a candidate but are often induced to vote instead for a lesser-evil one out of the perception that their preferred one might not have majority support.

I don’t have endless time to discuss this now so i’ll just leave it at this.

I keep reading everything I can find on this, and I keep coming away with the same takeaways.
Perhaps if someone could adequately address the issues I raise, instead of hand-waving them away, I might be able to understand the benefits that excited proponents seem so hopey feely gushy about.
There are several primary sticking points that keep ending up causing me problems. I’ll list one of the main ones here and if we can work through this in a thoughtful, well-reasoned way, perhaps it will provide all of those who wish to participate with better understanding of the pros and cons of this system:

  1. One person, one vote;

1A) How does providing a list of acceptable candidates in the ranking I would accept them as successively qualified to receive my vote, count as one vote?

1B) What happens if (like myself) there is only one candidate the voter would accept/tolerate in the role they are voting to fill?

1Bi) How is their vote for one candidate kept fair and consistent with others that are voting for multiple candidates in ranked order? (ie, should the single candidate RCV list that one candidate as many times as those with multiple acceptable candidates - if not, how is that single voter’s vote weighted so that it is equal to the votes which include multiple ranked candidates in a list?)

1C) With regard to this issue (One Person, One Vote), how does RCV better address the issues of making voting more simple, accurate, clear, and secure than the current voting system?

PS - that video didn’t address any of the issues I keep raising, nor bring me any closer to accepting RCV as a panacea to America’s electoral issues.