Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sex, Sleep, and Political Reform

Over the summer of 2007, when I was working on the manuscript for We the Purple (which releases in March), I spent an inordinate amount of time researching, and trying like the dickens to sex up, the political reform issues that most independent voters agree on.

To me, this is one of our greatest strengths as a movement. Indies come from across the political spectrum, and when it comes to candidates and broader issues like immigration, health care, and the military, we don't always agree. But when it comes to reforming the political system, we're on board with each other.

Getting the non-activist segment of the electorate to care about just-shoot-me topics like redistricting is a daunting task. In my book, I launch into a discussion of one such issue by calling it a bedtime story. Seriously, if you don't approach issues like this with a measure of humor, and sex if you can manage to weave that in somehow, well, you'll just put your audience to sleep.

Mind you, I finished We the Purple in August. Imagine my surprise when I opened the latest issue of The Neo-Independent and saw this snippet from an editorial about political reform issues by executive editor Jackie Salit:

Oh no, you may be thinking. Not that again! Of course we need political reform - everyone knows that. But these issues just aren't sexy! They have no glamour, no drama, no emotion. Political reform is dry. It's not like money, sex and war, which excite our passions and compel our senses. Let's be frank. Political reform? It's a snore.

We're definitely on the same page, no? Anyway, for the next few posts, I'll be looking at some of what I consider to be the most important reforms. I promise I'll do my best to make it sexy and exciting and irreverent and maybe even funny. We'll see. Check in next time for the first session of Political Reform 101.

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