10 Steps to Repair American Democracy: A More Perfect Union

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9781612051918: 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy: A More Perfect Union
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In 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy Steven Hill addresses the problems plaguing the US political system, outlining his ten-step program to improve American democracy. He proposes specific reforms to give voters more choices at the ballot box, boost voter turnout, reduce Senate 'filibustering' and end excessive corporate dominance. In the face of mounting cynicism about the US political system, 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy is a refreshing blueprint for how to resurrect the Founders' democratic vision. It will change the way you think about US politics.

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About the Author:

Steven Hill is the former Director of the Political Reform Program of the New America Foundation and co-founder of the Center for Voting and Democracy. His articles and commentaries have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, Ms., Salon.com, and American Prospect. His previous book, Fixing Elections: The Failure of America’s Winner Take All Politics, has been called by author Michael Lind “the most important book on American democracy that has come out in many years.” He has lectured widely in the United States and Europe, and has appeared on C-SPAN, Fox News, National Public Radio, and numerous radio and television programs across the nation and in Europe. In 2004, he managed the successful campaign to pass instant runoff voting for Board of Supervisors elections in San Francisco. “More recently, he also helped organize the successful effort to establish public financing for the city’s mayoral campaigns. fairvote.org newamerica.net

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from the Introduction

America’s Faltering Republic

Despite their impassioned efforts over the past decade, both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed to galvanize the American citizenry around a vision or program capable of uniting the nation. Instead, the two major parties have emerged as a kind of twin-headed monster, with much of what passes for politics having degenerated into a partisan brew of spin, scandal, name-calling, money chasing, and pandering. Rather than expanding their voter bases, the two parties are shedding supporters as more Americans than ever become hostile to them. That’s because both parties have allowed themselves to be taken hostage by their own narrow pressure groups and special interests, including religious fundamentalists, America First unilateralists, corporate lobbyists, and free market ideologues in the case of the Republican Party; and an octopus of single-issue groups, poll-obsessed strategists, and Hollywood and limousine liberals in the case of the Democratic Party.

A national poll during the 2000 election revealed that 50 percent of Americans view themselves as moderate, substantially more than the number who describe themselves as either conservative (29 percent) or liberal (20 percent). In the states that register voters by party, the number of independent voters has increased 300 percent over the last decade, and a Gallup poll found 37 percent of respondents self-identified as independent, more than either party. Among younger Americans, 18 to 29 years old, 44 percent are independents compared to only 29 percent Democrats and 26 percent Republicans. A 2005 Zogby poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe both the Democrat and Republican parties should be broad based and pursue compromise yet are too focused on their respective base voters, making compromise impossible. Most Americans today, when they bother to vote at all, vote against one side or the other rather than for a candidate or a political party they believe in. Increasingly the American mainstream is reacting with alienation and even disgust toward their political leadership.

...It is time for Americans to take back our representative democracy and government. Two hundred years after our national birth-quake, "government of, by and for the people" remains an unfulfilled promise. Fortunately, there is another way, a better way, which can lead us toward a brighter national future.

It involves fundamental change to our basic political and media institutions, bringing them into the 21st century instead of leaving them stranded in past centuries. As the U.S. government casts further adrift from the American mainstream, the "politically impossible will become the politically inevitable," to paraphrase economist Milton Friedman. As Friedman wrote, "when that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around." That, I believe, is our task: to develop alternatives to existing democratic practices, to make them available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable. That day is looming closer with each passing election.

...The task before us of remaking American democracy is an epic challenge. The brightness of our national future depends on our success. But Americans have risen to great challenges before, and I believe we will again.

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. 2012 Election ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy Steven Hill addresses the problems plaguing the US political system, outlining his ten-step program to improve American democracy. He proposes specific reforms to give voters more choices at the ballot box, boost voter turnout, reduce Senate filibustering and end excessive corporate dominance. In the face of mounting cynicism about the US political system, 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy is a refreshing blueprint for how to resurrect the Founders democratic vision. It will change the way you think about US politics. Seller Inventory # APC9781612051918

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. 2012 Election ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy Steven Hill addresses the problems plaguing the US political system, outlining his ten-step program to improve American democracy. He proposes specific reforms to give voters more choices at the ballot box, boost voter turnout, reduce Senate filibustering and end excessive corporate dominance. In the face of mounting cynicism about the US political system, 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy is a refreshing blueprint for how to resurrect the Founders democratic vision. It will change the way you think about US politics. Seller Inventory # APC9781612051918

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