From a Progressive reader
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In response to my recent article on the Boycott of Miller Brewing, Jack B Quick wrote to me:


the reason conservatives don't interfere with the business lobby is that if the Republicans lose total support from the business lobby then we will get Nancy Pelosi as the next speaker. Don't think the business lobby does not know this.

I liked your article where you showed that in Europe where Parliamentary democracy is the rule the voters are much better able to chose parties that more accurately reflect their positions. Like you I am sick to my stomach about being led around by my nose. In a winner take all system those in the middle get to play King Maker. The business lobby only cares about money and hence cheap labor. They really do not take positions on social issues or religious issues so they only need to put their investment where it pays the highest returns. On a side note, I find it extremely interesting that no Latino/Hispanic politician has made a run for the White House. I don't think that is an accident. The Latino lobby gets its clout by playing the middle unlike African-Americans or Hippies (I like hippies). The problem for a Latino Presidential candidate is that their message will inevitably be (if they come from left of center like 90% of Latinos) "I am just like you only I want mass immigration and social benefits such as health care and education for Latinos." Once they lay down their cards they no longer can play King Maker. And once everyone, and I mean everyone, sees what they are selling they will go down the drain. It makes me laugh when I see a Michael Moore, Molly Ivins or some other "progressive" (like you, I am a progressive) talk about popular will only to completely ignore immigration. It is as if majority rule only applies to things they like. Take gun control, abortion, the death penalty, milk for infants, whatever and compare that to illegal immigration for popular support and it always comes out on top, or bottom depending on how you look at it. It is a painful reality for self righteous leftist types.

Jack B. Quick

I'm glad you enjoyed my article.

I agree some real strategies are necessary to reform the political situation in the US. One of the more interesting recent reforms emerging is a move to elect future presidents by popular vote—rather than the electoral college. This move is being made by compacts among state governments-and recently passed in the solidly "red" state of Louisiana. I see little reason why a similar move couldn't be applied to allow a system like Instant Runoff voting or approval voting to be used for the presidency—the latter is highly unlikley to choose a highly divisive candidate for that office. For all his flaws, all Gore's voting record on immigration was more realistic than any other recent candidate-and had popular vote been in place I expect we'd never had heard of McCain-Kennedy-Bush Immigration reform.

We also have a movement here in the Northwest to revive Fusion voting-which would mean immigration restriction groups could more easily influence elections.

One move that I've thought my be interesting to pressure serious electoral reform is a campaign to destabilize incumbents across the board. If we could reliably assure that no speaker, senator or president would be there very long. It is VERY hard to elect third party candidates—but there are quite a few districts where the margins by which major candidates win is pretty small. I can imagine an effective set of compacts between voters that might mean we'd have a shift in government several times the next several years-forcing electoral reform to maintain a degree of stability. All it would require is a willingness of voters on both sides of the current political spectrum to consistently vote against incumbents until a set of goals is achieved.

In the case of immigration reform, the problem is a lack of representation on the part of the American people.

I'm not a fan of wealthy politicians like Ms. Pelosi(who comes from a family with a net worth of more than $25 Million—I doubt very much for example she would be inclined to support taxation of concentrated assets—even if it meant significant tax relief for working peopl). We desperately need campaign finance reform and proportional representation to help that situation.

I also think we need some fundamental reforms on congressional compensation(removing the ability of congressmen to "cash out" after retirement and tying their long term compensation to the income of Americans).

I would also suggest that there are deals here that might be more broadly acceptable. Peter DeFazio is an example of Liberal congressman with a much more moderate attitude on immigration than Ms. Pelosi has shown.

Thank you for writing,


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