Monday, July 25, 2011

Americans Elect: Online Democracy for Nominating a 2012 Presidential Candidate

FreshDirect.com's founder Peter Ackerman has bankrolled a new petitioning drive/ internet presidential nomination process that hopes to bring forth a "centrist" or bi-partisan 2012 candidate. Americans Elect participants go online and create a profile of their priorities and will eventually create the debate, make choices for candidates, and hopefully influence the 2012 race. Whether the Unity '08 strategy of a bipartisan ticket can be revived this year, and whether there even is such a thing as a political "center" in America, remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, the group's on-the-ground petitioning drive is already impressive! 50-state access by an independent ticket to the Presidential ballot has been done twice before in the past 25 years -- Lenora Fulani in 1988, and Ross Perot in 1992.

Unfortunately, however, the very issue that can free us up from the partisan gridlock -- political reforms such as open primaries, nonpartisan redistricting, initiative and referendum, etc. -- is not an available choice on the Americans Elect profile at the moment. We would urge Americans Elect to include STRUCTURAL POLITICAL REFORM as a choice for priority. Working along side Jackie Salit's independentvoting.org networks and other extra-partisan efforts could be powerful.

Whatever the outcome of the American's Elect process, The Hankster wishes the initiative all the best.

AMERICANS ELECT
  • Make Way for the Radical Center (By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, NY Times) Thanks to a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012. … (President Obama should dump the Democrats and run as an independent, which he is, at heart, anyway.)
  • The Web’s Stealth Presidential Race - Big names have quietly launched an Internet presidential race that will offer the winner a real election ballot spot in all 50 states. Will this be 2012’s spoiler? (John Avlon, The Daily Beast) That’s the idealist vision driving a new group, Americans Elect, which has quietly collected enough signatures to secure a 2012 ballot line in eight states, including Arizona, Michigan, and Missouri. They will soon submit an unprecedented 1.6 million signatures in California… The money behind Americans Elect understands disruptive business models. The group’s founder, entrepreneur Peter Ackerman (father of Elliot), started FreshDirect.com… He and some 50 other initial donors have loaned the organization $20 million, out of an eventual $30 million budgeted, to be repaid if small donors join on.

3 comments:

richardwinger said...

In the past 25 years (in other words, since 1986) four minor party or independent presidential candidates have been on the ballot in all 50 states...Andre Marrou of the Libertarian Party in 1992, Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party in 1996, as well as the two mentioned above, Ross Perot (twice) and Lenora Fulani in 1988.

Nancy Hanks said...

Thanks for your comment. For clarification, Fulani and Perot both ran in 1988 and 1992 respectively as independents. Perot ran in 1996 as a candidate of the newly established Reform Party and Pat Buchanan ran in 2000 largely as a Reform Party candidate.

richardwinger said...

Thank you, Nancy, and I am surprised that you say Lenora Fulani ran for president in 1988 as an independent. She was nominated in the national convention of the New Alliance Party in August, 1988. She received primary season matching funds on the basis that during the primary season she was seeking the nomination of the New Alliance Party. She was listed as the nominee of the New Alliance Party on the ballots of 37 states. You were part of her campaign so I hope you remember these things.