STUDENTS FOR A MORE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY (SMDS)

Electoral reform. Let's have people's votes count.

STUDENTS FOR A MORE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY (SMDS)

Postby BSM on Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:54 pm

Who we are:

We are an organization of students who hold a similar belief. We are not Democrats, nor are we Republicans. We are a group of people who want a more democratic society. Or, in other words, we want majority rule to matter more than corporate interests.


Our interests:

-Abolishing the electoral vote system and replacing it with popular sovereignty.

-Creating and implementing a system to regulate campaign expenses allowed for a candidate. This would allow candidates of all financial standing a fair chance and would reduce the impact corporate campaign contributions make on lawmaker’s legislation. It would also make candidates value quality of campaign ads over the quantity.

-Educating people on current events and advocating greater voter turn-out.

-Working towards the possibility of someday implementing a balance and check of Congress’s discretion to declare war and the President’s Emergency War Powers with a nation wide popular vote on the matter. Seventy five percent one way or another overrides the Government's decision. Anything less the decision lies with Congress. This is an attempt to make sure if there is a large majority, who feels one way or another about the war, they will be heard and adhered to.


Why SMDS and not SDS:

Love and peace. The youth of the Vietnam Era had good intentions. However, their goals were too ambitious; especially for society today. Pure Democracy doesn’t work. Human nature corrupts ideals and destroys utopias. Some one would take advantage of those new freedoms and Democracy would degenerate into anarchy and then Totalitarianism. As a result, SMDS does not propose Pure Democracy; we just recognize the need to be more Democratic than we are now. In Democracy, the current majority is more important than the right or wrong. Only in foresight is the right and wrong choice obvious. With majority rule most people are content.


Obstacles:

-“Why do I care?” or “What’s in it for me?”
The Generation Gap. Face it. Our generation is much more conceited and oblivious of world events than the hippie generation.

-Radicals.
Leftovers from the 60’s and 70’s. Those that remain are largely the most violent and extremist ones. Any success we accomplish could cause them to do something stupid (i.e. the uni-bomber), which would cause all of us to get a bad wrap. The same deal happened to the original SDS; that, plus the end of the Vietnam War, actually caused the group to fall apart. We do not advocate violence. What needs to be done can and will be done without it. We are NOT the Weathermen.
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SMDS's Stance

Postby BSM on Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:57 pm

SMDS's Stance

Often people question our stand on different issues. How does SMDS feel about this; how does SMDS view that? They want us to take a side in different debates. In the past, we have explained that we have no stand, that we are neutral. However, neutrality is a hard thing for people to swallow, with good reason. Many organizations have declared themselves neutral and then acted on one bias or another. Therefore, we want to revise this so people can better understand and accept what SMDS is. Our stand on Majority rule is obvious. Thus, technically, our stand on any issue is whatever the current majority is standing for. Some issues, like those that directly effect voter education and majority rule, SMDS takes sides on for obvious reasons. However most are of no consequence to this organization. We do not attempt to solve all the worlds’ problems; we just want to make the peoples’ voices heard clearly and democratic processes less biased.

While individuals within this organization may feel one way or another on current events, they, while not necessarily agreed with the majority, respect the fact that it is the majority. They work on their own time with their own resources to change what the majority is. Thus the beauty of this organization. Two people of completely contradicting political views can both be SMDS members as long as they respect majority rule and the minorities’ right to disagree with that majority. That should clear up any questions on how SMDS views issues in which we haven't actively stated our view.
Any questions or comments feel free to post them.
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Issues SMDS does take an active stand in:

Postby BSM on Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:59 pm

Issues SMDS does take an active stand in:

-Abolishing the Electoral College and replacing it with popular sovereignty. The Electoral College is archaic and no longer serves the people. It distorts election results and allows candidates without the current majority vote into office.

-Creating and implementing a system to regulate campaign expenses allowed for a candidate. This would allow candidates of all financial standing a fairer chance and would reduce the impact corporate campaign contributions make on lawmaker’s legislation. It would also make candidates value quality of campaign ads over the quantity. Allowing candidates of all financial standing a fairer chance would offer the people a more accurate representation to vote from, thus more accurately representing the current majority.

-Educating people on current events and advocating greater voter turn-out. Education would make people less susceptible to propaganda and misleading ad campaigns. A greater voter turn-out would more accurately represent what the actual majority is.

-Working towards implementing a check and balance of Congress’s discretion to declare war and the President’s War Powers act with a nation wide popular vote. Seventy five percent one way or another overrides the Government's decision. Anything less, the decision reverts to Congress. This is to make sure that, if there is currently a large majority, who feels one way or another about the war, they will be heard and adhered to.

-Eliminating Filibusters, within reason. We must be careful we do not adversely affect Politicians’ ability to address an audience without malicious interruption. Intentional Filibusters are attempts to misrepresent. Filibusters are a stalling tactic and they detour discussion of the issue rather than resolving incompatible views, one of the true purposes of diplomacy.

-Presidential nominations for the Supreme Court Justices needing to be approved by the combined vote of the members of Congress and the members of each State’s Congress. If over half the vote is in approval of the Supreme Court Justice then they are accepted. If not, the President can nominate someone different or nominate the same person in 3 months. Supreme Court Justices whose views are contradictory of the current majority will not make it into office.

-Setting 10 year terms for Supreme Court Justices rather than life appointments. If still popular, they can be re-appointed multiple times in a row. However, someone who was appointed 50 years ago will probably be outdated and not represent the current majority accurately. Thus, life terms for a Supreme Court member is, in itself, undemocratic. The world changes, old biased bureaucrats, that were never voted into their position of influence in the first place, rarely do.

-Demonstrations being nonviolent. No exceptions. Rather than raging against the machine to show your point, use creativity, originality, and thoughtful orchestration to demonstrate. Also, rather than lobbying against the government, focus on the public instead. Change the majority. With a big enough majority, the majority itself will change the government by voting along those lines of thought.

-Showing the public the only way to clean up the bureaucratic mess we live in is actively trying to change it using creativity and originality instead of frustration and anger. Reaching others in a new and innovative way gets people’s attention, and more importantly, their respect, better than harming or killing innocent people does.

-Approving stricter punishments for false advertisers and the propitiators of intentionally misleading messages. To avoid prejudice toward one kind of ad, anyone can accuse an ad of being misleading or false. Drawing the line on what is intentionally misleading, or what is considered false, is inherently difficult and open to bias. Therefore, each case will be reviewed by a full jury before trial to ascertain whether the ad was intentional or even misleading or false. Reducing the amount of propaganda and misleading ad campaigns will help people see things more accurately. Thus the current majority of people is represented, not the current majority of ads.
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Majority Opinion

Postby Taffd on Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:20 pm

A worthy stance - respecting the wishes of the majority.

Just one problem. There is only one organisation, actively involved in trying to find the majority opinion, on every issue and in every community. That is http://www.myverdict.net

There is no government or governmental organisation, anywhere, that attempts to find the majority opinion of the electorate.

And the majority opinion of so-called 'representatives', is easily bought.
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Postby admin on Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:29 am

I'd strongly recommend choosing another name as there is already a *NEW* organization that is using the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) name.

The New SDS is very active (100 chapters, regular conferences, etc).

Also - you might strongly want to consider joining an existing network. Creating a new one is typically very difficult, and there is a lot to be gained by being able to meet in-person and to benefit from the experiences embodied in an existing group.
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Re: STUDENTS FOR A MORE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY (SMDS)

Postby efp08 on Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:20 am

There is a group out there trying to make a change. We at the Electoral Fairness Project have thought a great deal about this.

The Electoral Fairness Project is a grass-roots campaign committed to electoral
equality and empowerment for all Americans. We are committed to amending the
United States Constitution to abolish the Electoral College and require the direct
popular election of the President and Vice President, honoring the true democratic
principle of "One Person, One Vote."

Article I: The Electoral College shall be abolished
and the President and Vice President of the United
States shall be elected directly by the people of the
United States

Article II: All votes shall be counted in such a
manner as deemed appropriate by the various
states, with the candidate receiving the greatest
number of votes being elected to the Presidency,
with his or her chosen Vice President.


Visit us at http://www.efpamerica.com and learn more about why the end of the Electoral College is necessary.
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