Some Kind of Wonderful (Key Party Book 3)

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At the same time, state and federal governments are cutting financial support for higher education, forcing more of the load onto the shoulders of students and their families.

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Industries that profit off everyday people and taxpayers have not hesitated to spend heavily on lobbyists and campaign contributions to influence policy decisions for their corporate gain. They have used this influence to push for draconian intellectual property policies like the Stop Online Piracy Act, to help shut down competition that could save students money. Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics, and only 25 percent feel there is an intrinsic right to unfettered election spending, an argument commonly used by opponents of controls on campaign finance.

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Almost the same proportion - 76 percent - feel that the amount of money in elections has given rich people more influence than other Americans, a Reuters survey found. Republicans were somewhat less likely to hold these beliefs than Democrats or independents, but a strong majority of Republicans nonetheless agreed. The US federal government sets the rules for campaigns for Federal office President, Vice President, and Congress , but states and municipalities control campaign finance rules at the state and local level.

State and local laws vary widely, and various campaign finance reforms, as well as other electoral reforms, have been enacted in a variety of states. Some form of publicly funded campaign legislation has been adopted by ballot initiative in Maine, Arizona, North Carolina, New Mexico, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. In addition, public funding of elections have been incorporated to law in Connecticut and at the municipal level in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Portland, Oregon.

However, the systems in Massachusetts and Portland were later repealed, while Vermont's was struck down by the Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds. Wisconsin's program was defunded by the state legislature in Comprehensive public funding systems have been in effect in Arizona and Maine since A number of national organizations include campaign finance reform in their missions. Here are some of them. Please go to their websites for more information. Their effort has many tentacles and facets, from partisan redistricting to felon disenfranchisement and much more.

At the same time, there are many Americans working tirelessly on behalf of the people, to reform the system and beat back attempts to take away our rights. The Green Party supports these efforts, on behalf of all Americans, not just our own members and supporters. Everyone deserves a voice in a democracy.

If so, this is the area of electoral reform that most directly addresses your problem. By discouraging new candidates and parties, plurality voting suppresses new ideas and dissenting opinion. It encourages campaigns built around negative attacks. The US system, far from being the norm, is actually an outlier. We will focus on those methods that would be easiest and quickest to achieve in the American context.

Proportional Representation depends on having at least some multi-member districts or at-large voting, where seats can be apportioned according to the percentage that different parties or groups of like minded voters achieve. The top five vote getters are elected. This way, communities of interest across the city can get together to elect representatives.

For example, if African-Americans, a minority of voters, coalesced around one candidate, each person could cast multiple votes for that one candidate and ensure that they had at least that one representative.

Fix Our Broken System

Half of the Members of the Bundestag are elected directly from districts. The other half are elected from party lists. Accordingly, each voter has two votes in the elections to the Bundestag. The first vote, allowing voters to elect their local representatives to the Bundestag, decides which candidates are sent from the districts. The second vote is cast for a party; it determines the relative strengths of the parties represented in second half of the Bundestag seats.

The party determines the order that candidates will be seated in, depending on how many seats total the party wins. In the Bundestag election, five parties gained seats see distribution below. Imagine how different our Congress would be, if different political strands were each represented with their own party, instead of fighting for a voice within a larger party, and they had to join with other parties in order to govern.

IRV is a "fair voting" option for single-seat races. IRV allows all voters to vote for their f avorite candidate, while avoiding the fear of helping elect their least favorite candidate. Compared to traditional runoff elections, IRV saves tax dollars spent on unnecessary elections, ensures winners have broader support than plurality elections, and elects winners when turnout is highest, rather than in separate run-off elections where turnout is typically extremely low. IRV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference i. Voters have the option to rank as many or as few candidates as they wish.

After the vote, first choices are tabulated. The candidate who receives the fewest first choice rankings is eliminated. All ballots are then re-tabulated, with each ballot that ranked the now-eliminated candidate first, now counting as a vote for that voter's SECOND choice. The weakest candidates are successively eliminated, and their voters' ballots are added to the totals of their next choices. Once the field is reduced to two, the candidate with the majority of votes wins. When Nader was eliminated, their votes would have transferred over to Gore.

Enact proportional representation voting systems for legislative seats on municipal, county, state and federal levels. Enact Instant Run-off Voting IRV for chief executive offices like mayor, governor and president and other single-seat elections. The Green Party platform on this issue: Establish independent and transparent non-partisan redistricting processes to stop partisan gerrymandering and protect minority rights and representation.

Elected officials and their political cronies have used partisan redistricting to choose their voters, before voters have had the opportunity to choose them. If you look at most districts on a map, they have odd shapes, cutting out certain blocks, including narrow swaths of land across many miles, and so on. The reason for these odd shapes is the creation of districts that have strong majorities of Republicans or Democrats, and in some cases, majorities or carefully blended mixes of certain ethnic groups.

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They have nothing to do with any actual communities, such as neighborhoods or even cities, and everything to do with favoring particular election outcomes. Redistricting historically happened every ten years after the new census was released. Often, districts for a legislative body are supposed to each contain roughly the same number of people. For example, each district in the US House of Representatives represents approximately , people.

So when the census comes out and it shows that populations have shifted from one place to another, the districts need to be re-drawn. Now, as the process has become even more partisan, certain states like Texas have decided to re-draw districts every time a new party takes power in the state legislature, even if it is between census periods. There are a number of proposals and ideas out there to fix this problem.

The electoral reform advocacy group FairVote has more information on them here. FairVote notes that redistricting reform can minimize the ability of partisan legislators to punish their enemies and reward their friends.

Key Terms You Need to Know to Understand Climate Change

But for truly competitive elections , legislative diversity, and other public interest goals to be met, multi-member districts with proportional voting are needed to maximize the effectiveness of these reforms — and ensure all voters have choices, and no strong prospective candidate is shut out of a chance to participate. There are many, many other aspects of our political system that could be improved, allowing more candidates to compete, and giving more citizens a real choice at the ballot box.

The nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. During elections, the coalition mobilizes thousands of volunteers to document election irregularities from the perspective of the voter. At all times, the coalition works on other election-related issues. Here is a summary of a few of the key issues, adapted from the Election Protection website, ourvote,org. Some states have begun making it harder for people to register to vote, often in the name of preventing voter fraud.

Voter registration systems kept more than two million people from voting in When the process is not done properly, duly registered voters can end up being purged. But I am so happy I did it since the list helped me keep my eyes open when I had meetings with potential business partners that had better access to some of these resources that I had.

All Book Series by Lena Matthews

As raw materials I needed the pumpkins from my garden. I was growing them without major costs. I also needed sugar and spices to create juice, sauce, jam and wine. Then I needed jars, lids and packages to package the products. Moreover I needed at least one more person human resource to help me with preparing the products, packaging them and carrying them to local market with a vehicle. Initially I used my own kitchen physical resource to prepare the products, so I did not need to spend money on space.

Lastly, I needed some capital to pay upfront to fill the purchase orders from my customers. However, I knew going forward I would need more resources. For example, to grow my business I had to leave my house and find a professional kitchen to cook. But even if that was the case, those days are long gone. Knowledge about how children learn and what they need to learn has exploded, and it's not realistic for the principal to be the font of education wisdom for his or her staff.

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Indeed, something is amiss if the principal is the most knowledgeable person in the building! And as more responsibilities land on principals' desks each day, although those responsibilities may not be more important than student learning, they must not be ignored. So how can a principal be an instructional leader and lead a school to better education outcomes when he or she lacks time and has more knowledgeable people on the faculty?

It's essential for principals to view themselves as "lead learners. Principals need to be engaged in curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy in ways that are obvious to everyone.

Why a Third Party?

The principal needs to be integral to—initiating, encouraging, and sometimes pushing—student and faculty growth. Three attitudes bring a principal's instructional leadership role to life. We need to ensure that differentiation is valued throughout the school culture. This begins with recognizing and appreciating student diversity.

School needs to be a safe place where all students feel accepted and respected and, therefore, comfortable enough to learn. Although the debate on the Common Core standards has been good and necessary , I worry that we give so much attention to what we teach that we ignore how we teach.

Principals can lead the effort to recognize all students' strengths. Honor rolls and team trophies should be evident, for example, but there's more. Highlighting students' progress, trajectories, and grit recognizes a wider range of learners. How can achievements in the arts be displayed? How can we publicly celebrate students' kindness?

Some Kind of Wonderful --- ending---

That's part of differentiation, too. Curiosity about what's happening in classrooms is also important. Principals must be good questioners.