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Jan 2012: BAN reviews 3 books for political junkies

As hopeless political junkies, we are long-time fans of Richard Winger and his publication, Ballot Access News.  Winger has been a champion of ballot freedom, and has become a recognized expert nationwide.  His is a generous and giving man who holds a nonpartisan mission to grant equal access for voters.  He edits a monthly newsletter called Ballot Access News.  His reviews of legislative actions and court decisions are more incisive than anything you will find in the corporate media.  This months’ edition carries 3 book reviews.

Winger praised No Holding Back: The 1980 John B. Anderson Presidential Campaign highly.  He consumed the book in four days.  The author describes Anderson’s reason for running first as a Republican, and then as an independent as the following:

 Anderson gave up a safe seat in the House of Representatives, a position in the Republican leadership, and a likely nomination for a Senate seat to run what every expert considered a hopeless race for the GOP presidential nomination.  Anderson did so because he was disturbed by many of the same trends in American politics that still exist today: the proliferation of special interests, gridlock on Capitol Hill, and the unwillingness of his fellow politicians to speak honestly about the critical issues facing the nation.

The second book that Winger reviewed is California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It.  Winger describes this as “the first fairly well-read book (in California anyway) to boost proportional representation. ”   The authors describe the solution as:  

Make every vote count, end partisan gerrymandering, increase political competition, and create more substantive campaigns by replacing single-member legislative districts with multi-member districts elected by proportional representation.

Proportional Representation (PR) does away with wasted votes electing candidates based on a proportional of their overall support rather than throwing away the votes of all candidates besides the single candidate who reached a plurality.  Wikipedia says that

PR is an alternative to voting systems based on single member districts or on bloc voting; these non-PR systems tend to produce disproportionate outcomes and to have a bias in favour of larger political groups. PR systems tend to produce a proliferation of political parties, while single member districts encourage a two-party system.

The third book that Winger reviews is Duopoly. Winger’s review begins that

Although this book is physically small, it has statistical data that is not easy to find elsewhere, in five appendices.

Republican congressman, and presidential hopeful, Ron Paul describes the book as:

Darryl Perry has produced a comprehensive examination of the ways in which ballot access laws, campaign finance ‘reform’, gerrymandering, and other restrictions limited participation in the electoral process. I recommend this to anyone interested in learning how the political monopoly arose and what we might do to open the process to new candidates promoting the old idea of liberty both inside and outside the major parties.

To read Winger’s full review you will have to subscribe to Ballot Access News, or wait until next month when he posts the pdf.

 

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