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The Consent of the Governed - The Latest in NDN's "Renewing Our Democracy" Series
Today, I am excited to release the latest installment in our “Renewing Our Democracy” series. This new analysis takes a look at whether due to how few Americans are able to cast a meaningful vote in a Federal elections our electoral system is still capable of conveying the “consent of the governed” to those in power in Washington. This analysis is an early stage, and we welcome and encourage feedback and critiques. The document is available at the bottom of the page to download in pdf form.
Over our many years of work, NDN and its extended family have been at the forefront of a national conversation about how to best improve our democracy itself. While at the DNC in 1993, I put the first American political party on the Internet. We were early champions and supporters of Oregon’s innovative Vote By Mail program which has produced some of the highest voter turnout figures in the nation. We have promoted same day registration, early voting, and eliminating the Electoral College as ways of encouraging broader participation. We were early proponents of “internet based campaigning,” understanding that a digital age politics would make it far easier for people to participate than in the TV “couch potato” age. We have argued that a pernicious small state bias has crept into our democracy, one which is thwarting the will of the majority and a far more diverse US population. We have marveled, and worried, about how the design of our democracy could give one political party is strongest levels of support in seventy years while simultaneously stripping it of control of both legislative chambers. And finally, we were the primary champion of the idea of expanding the early Presidential primary states beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, a reform which for the 1st time allowed people of color to play a truly meaningful role in picking the nominee of the Democratic Party.
It is now a universal belief in the United States that our democracy itself is now longer working as it should. We hope this analysis adds another log to that fire, and puts the issue of the lack of competitive states and races in Federal elections up there with all the more familiar diagnoses of what ails our democracy today.