Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Stateside With Rosalea: Happy! Happy! Happy!

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

Happy! Happy! Happy!

::Connecticut Wankee in the Court of King George::

Is Joe Lieberman really an ID (Independent Democrat) as he has asked the Senate to refer to him? Or is he just another OPJ--Opportunistic Power Junkie--who'd rather see the United States electoral system mocked around the world for the laughable results it produces than admit that he no longer represents the views of his party?

Consider this: two out of every three registered Democrats who voted in Connecticut voted for Democrat Ned Lamont. More than two out of every three registered Republicans who voted cast their ballots for Joe Lieberman, thereby returning him to the Senate.

Frankly, that result pleases me. It certainly takes the wind out of the sails of the arguments you hear in the US about instant runoff voting and forms of proportional representation allowing too much power to accrue to people nobody wanted in the first place. (Well, hey--there's some who say that's what ANY political system produces!)

A cautionary note: Besides the primary system meaning that US voters need to identify with a particular party at the time they register to vote if they want a voice in party primaries, the way Congress works is that business continues even after an election is held. Hold on to your hats, folks, while the 109th Congress shakes its still-Republican fist at the world.

::What profiteth a woman if there are 49ers in the Senate but none in da house?::

If there's one thing the Bay Area is famous for besides liberal politics, it's bottom-of-the-league sports teams. Nonetheless, win or lose, a sports team gives your city national name recognition, so the story topping the news bulletins isn't the elections, but Wednesday's sudden, seemingly unexplained announcement by the San Francisco 49ers football team that they are going to relocate to a brand new stadium in Santa Clara, down in the South Bay.

No big deal in one sense--it's not like the famed Dallas Cowboys are based in Dallas. The 49ers could still keep San Francisco in their name. But the remodelled 49ers stadium in San Francisco was going to be where the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2016 Olympics would occur, and the move announcement came at exactly the time SF's Olympic Bid Committee was meeting with the US Olympic Committee to promote itself as host city ahead of L.A. and Chicago, the other two contenders.

Meanwhile, over here in the East Bay, the Oakland A's baseball team are talking about moving to a brand new state-of-the-art stadium that Cisco wants to build down in Fremont. Fact is, the San Francisco Olympic bid was always about using venues all around the Bay Area, so no amount of bleating about how the jobs and housing that would accrue to the 49ers' San Francisco stadium redevelopment will really cut much ice. Still, it's effectively scotched our Olympic bid.

Another result I'm happy with! Olympics--who needs 'em?

::IRV wins again::

I must confess that, after a great start, I had very little involvement with the effort to promote Measure O, the instant runoff voting measure on Oakland's ballot, but the stalwarts who persevered with the campaign brought it in at 67.41 percent of voters in favour.

One of the advisors on the campaign will be known to some of you Down Under. Lynne Serpe was the national coordinator for the New Zealand campaign to get the single transferable vote system approved for use in local elections. She is currently the Deputy Director of the New America Foundation's political reform program.

Two other cities and a rural county in the US also voted in favour of IRV on November 7. Lynne is quoted in a press release from the New America Foundation as saying:

"What was interesting about the four victories for IRV was that they happened in four very different locations. Oakland is a very diverse and working-class city; Minneapolis is a Midwestern values city; Pierce County is mostly a rural county with large numbers of independent voters; and Davis is a smaller, university town. Yet in every place Instant Runoff Voting provided a unique solution to problems with representative government and democracy."



© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news