Oregon Top Two Ad: “Unfuck the Vote” – Petition 55 v. Petition 54.

The following video is for Petition 54 in Oregon, the “Unified Primary.” (Petition 55, the “Open Primary” is also underway.)

According to this video:

“We are going to make the vote equal for the first time in American history by getting rid of the two things that make us unequal; the closed primary, which now silences more than half of us, and the vote-splitting spoiler effect that diminishes our voice for each additional candidate we like and compels us to choose only the lesser of the two evils.


“We are establishing a unified primary that lets us all support all the candidates we like and then lets us all choose between the two We the People support the most.

“To make this the law, we’ve got to get it on the ballot. We’ve got three weeks to collect 87,000 signatures. The weather is beautiful, almost everyone we talk to on the street is totally into it.

“We are launching three simultaneous programs to collect 100,000 signatures each and we invite you to join in the fun.

“The First Program, kinda the bottom tier of the Democracy Pyramid, we call “100,000 Portland Slackers United, or Whatever.” All you got to do is download a form from the website, print it out, sign it, send it in, or meet up with one of our teams at one of the many events we will be at over the next few weeks. Your prize? The opportunity to have an Equal Vote for the first time in the history of the country. Sweet.

“You are going to have to do a little bit more if you want the good stuff. So Program Number Two is called, “10,000 Oregon Superstars Unified To Make Voting Not Suck Anymore.” 10,000 people download the mobilization kit, print out one double-sided form, sign it, get nine of your friends to join you, send it in. Here’s what you get; the opportunity to have an Equal Vote for the first time in the history of the country, and a really sweet button, and your name forever emblazoned on the Oregon Superstars’ page for future generations to sing your praises.

“The final program, the top tier of the Democracy Pyramid, we call, “1,000 United Oregonians to Unfuck the Vote.” 1,000 people completing the full mobilization kit. Ten signatures on each page times ten pages takes a few hours over a couple of afternoons to get it done. And what’s a few hours talking to folks about equality?

“Now do you see what we are really doing here? This isn’t three separate programs, this is one friendly competition to see which school in Oregon earns ultimate bragging rights forever. The school that made the Equal Vote happen for the first time in the history of this country. This competition is open to everyone, not just current students; all you have to do is tell us what team you are playing for.

“87,000 signatures. The race is on. Let’s unfuck the vote.”

More information is at the unified primary website HERE which also states:

“** IMPORTANT: This is NOT Initiative Petition 55 – the Top Two Open Primary, so if you’ve signed that, you’ll definitely want to sign this too. COMPARE AND CONTRAST the Unified and Open Primary reforms ** ”

42 thoughts on “Oregon Top Two Ad: “Unfuck the Vote” – Petition 55 v. Petition 54.

  1. Joseph Buchman Post author

    The website also states:

    “We received word that Libertarian Party of Oregon voters chose by a two thirds count to endorse the Unified Primary Initiative.

    “You can see the results of their votes on most of the initiatives here:

    “http://www.lporegon.org/index.php/2014-elections/2014-ballot-measures .

    “Thank you, LPO members, and thank you LPO for actually checking in with the membership!

    “If only all the parties and special interest groups actually asked their members what they thought before taking positions on reform…”

  2. Andy

    This initiative may not be as bad as initiative 55, but it is still not a good thing, because it sounds to me like it still limits the November election to the top two candidates in the primary.

    I’m astounded that a majority of Libertarians in Oregon would support this thing. This initiative ought to be rejected, along with initiative 55.

    It is amazing to me the number of people who do not understand the purpose of a primary. Primaries are supposed to be for each party to chose their nominee to go on to the general election.

  3. Wes Wagner

    Andy

    I was certainly surprised that our membership did support IRR 54 … finding out why is going to take asking questions.

    We counted the votes accurately … and I know the current board members did not like the results.

  4. Andy

    “Wes Wagner June 23, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Andy

    I was certainly surprised that our membership did support IRR 54 … finding out why is going to take asking questions.

    We counted the votes accurately … and I know the current board members did not like the results.”

    My guess is that they probably do not fully understand the ramifications of this initiative.

    When you say membership, do you mean dues paying members, or do you mean anyone who checked the Libertarian Party box on their voter registration form?

  5. Wes Wagner

    Andy

    We do not have dues paying members. There is only one definition of membership in Oregon.

  6. paulie

    I have tried working with a list of registered Libertarians before. Found all sorts of people…people who thought it means liberal, people who thought it meant tea party conservative, people who just thought it meant anything other than Democrat or Republican, people who thought it means libertarian socialist a la Noam Chomsky, people who thought it was a single issue pot legalization party, people who checked the box by mistake and meant to check another one that was next to it, people who did not remember checking that box at all. I am not especially surprised that they would support an initiative that would remove Libertarians from real elections.

  7. David Terry

    ROTFL! You invite every cuckoo to lay eggs in your nest and you are surprised and upset that there are mostly cuckoos hatched????

    The only thing that should be “unfucked” are the mothers of those imbeciles who support this nonsense!!!

  8. David Terry

    I just went to the medicine cabinet and took all the medications out of the various bottles and packages and put them all in one jar, shook it up and affixed the label “Libertarian Party of Oregon”.

    Anyone care to share?????

  9. David Terry

    Andy; June 23, 2014 at 9:40 am

    > “My guess is that they probably do not fully understand the ramifications of this initiative.”<

    Least of all, the current rulers of the L.P.O.!!

    If they REALLY want "free and equal" elections, they should petition to have ALL political party designations removed from the ballot.

  10. paulie

    It is amazing to me the number of people who do not understand the purpose of a primary. Primaries are supposed to be for each party to chose their nominee to go on to the general election.

    True. The establishment parties and government help foster this confusion by having government pay for and administer the primaries for the establishment parties.

  11. Wes Wagner

    My experieces with registered libertarians in Oregon is nowhere near as bleak as people are painting it. On the whole almost everyone I come into contact with is some order of libertarian and post a respectable score all all those purity tests.

    On the other hand, they do not like a tight knit party apparatus insulting them and being completely intransigent. While I expected the original vote for ratifying the revision of the Oregon governing documents to be abut 75%, it came back 97%.

    Our internal poll for IRR 54 came back different than I expected as well. In both cases I believe the message to receive is: “what we have and we are doing is not working, has not worked for about 4 decades, and we want something different.”

    How much of the support for IRR 54 was as a result of desiring approval voting vs just being plain frustrated is something we need to take time to discern.

    However, when your constituents send you a message that they want something other than what you think they do, the appropriate response is not to insult them and lock down the echo chamber tighter. That has not worked, will never work, and is just plain idiotic.

    The problem is not with our constituents, but with us. The sooner we recognize that the sooner we can realize that we need to change the manner in which we communicate our ideas, develop them more completely, and in the face of opposing evidence – adapt them.

    The average Oregon libertarian I run into accepts the basic premise that the use of violence, fraud and coercion is morally wrong. It takes time and much thought to draw that to the natural conclusions many of us have — the waters get even murkier when you start talking about how best to select which people we are going to elect to do violence against us.

    So my ask is: please stop insulting the Libertarians of Oregon. It is bad enough that when they show up for the first time to any of our meetings they ask what our relationship with the national movement is and we must tell them that our relations are highly strained. What should be even more concerning to the national LP is that their response is typically to pull up a chair, say “good, me too” and come back to the next meeting.

  12. Andy

    “paulie June 23, 2014 at 10:10 am
    I have tried working with a list of registered Libertarians before. Found all sorts of people…people who thought it means liberal, people who thought it meant tea party conservative, people who just thought it meant anything other than Democrat or Republican, people who thought it means libertarian socialist a la Noam Chomsky, people who thought it was a single issue pot legalization party, people who checked the box by mistake and meant to check another one that was next to it, people who did not remember checking that box at all. I am not especially surprised that they would support an initiative that would remove Libertarians from real elections.”

    I have done this as well, and yes, I did find some people who were confused about what a Libertarian is, however, I did find that most of the people who registered as Libertarian did have at least a basic understanding of what it is. I found a much, much higher percentage of registered Libertarians who knew what Libertarian was than who knew what the American Independent Party was.

  13. Andy

    “Wes Wagner June 23, 2014 at 9:50 am
    Andy

    We do not have dues paying members. There is only one definition of membership in Oregon.”

    My guess would be that there is an overall knowledge gap between those who are active in the Libertarian Party and those who just checked Libertarian Party on their voter registration card. I’m not saying that everyone who is active in the LP of OR has more knowledge than everyone who just checked the LP box on their voter registration card, but I’m talking about on average.

    I’d be willing to bet that if somebody took the time to explain the overall ramifications of initiative 54 to all of those Libertarians who said that they support it, that most or all of them would change their tune.

    The approval voting part of initiative 54 is good, but the rest of it is not good.

    There is nothing good about initiative 55.

  14. Andy

    “Wes Wagner June 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    So my ask is: please stop insulting the Libertarians of Oregon.”

    The ones who endorsed initiative 54 may be nice, well meaning people, and they are probably libertarian, or mostly libertarian, but they made a bad choice by endorsing this initiative, probably an uniformed choice, but a bad choice none the less, so they need to be politely called out for making such a bad choice.

  15. Richard Winger

    Part of the definition of “liberty”, to me, is the liberty to vote for any candidate one wishes in the election itself. Confining a voter to only two candidates, in the election self, is highly authoritarian and the opposite of liberty. No country that holds elections, other than a few parts of the U.S., has a law that says only two candidates can ever be on the ballot itself. Federal law says the election is in November, and has since the 19th century.

  16. Antirevolutionary

    In the Top Two system, the November election is the second round of the real election. The primary is the first round of real elections. Just because turnout is low, parties weakened etc, this fact is still a fact.

  17. paulie

    AR, false. A first round of an election, in fact any round of any real election, can actually elect someone. The “primary” in a top one and a half election can’t elect anyone, therefore most voters justifiably ignore it. The rest is just icing on the cake.

    As for parties weakened only the non-establishment parties are weakened, which is the actual intent.

  18. Wes Wagner

    Even the establishment parties are weakened. The ability to “primary” someone who is too centrist for the party lines goes away. That is why even the leadership of the Democratic Party here in Oregon is against it.

    Top two transfers electoral power from the radical elements of political parties to moderates who are not even members of the party (and for the most part who amongst the corporate oligarchy will spend the most to control the party ballot line)

  19. paulie

    Our internal poll for IRR 54 came back different than I expected as well. In both cases I believe the message to receive is: “what we have and we are doing is not working, has not worked for about 4 decades, and we want something different.”

    Yes, what we have hasn’t worked, so let’s remove all non-establishment candidates off the ballot that most people pay attention to and which can actually elect anyone, render party lablems meaningless, never mind registered Libertarians – allow all registered voters to pick who the LP candidates will be (if there are to be any, and there won’t), etc, etc….after all it has worked so well in California and Washington state and anything would be better than what we have now, right?

  20. Wes Wagner

    Paulie

    We can be arrogant and denigrate them, or we can realize there is a problem – educate – and offer a better alternative.

    Angry disgruntled curmudgeon has been tried before – it didn’t work. Ask David Terry.

    It is time to take a different approach and take control of the situation by offering better options.

  21. paulie

    Even the establishment parties are weakened.

    Only in theory. In reality, the establishment can spend enough on its candidates to have them advance to the top two and then they don’t have to worry about any non-establishment competition after most people start paying attention, so it actually works out great for them.

    The ability to “primary” someone who is too centrist for the party lines goes away. That is why even the leadership of the Democratic Party here in Oregon is against it.

    It’s more of a show than anything else. They don’t have to primary them, they just have to vastly outspend and out-volunteer them, and the establishment factions of establishment parties are the ones with the resources to do so.

    Top two transfers electoral power from the radical elements of political parties to moderates who are not even members of the party

    Also only in theory. Actual research as pointed out in BAN has shown that top one and a half does not result in more moderate outcomes.

    the corporate oligarchy will spend the most to control the party ballot line

    That part is true, except for the party part.

    There is no silver lining to this system.

    It’s likely that 54 will fail to make the ballot, which does have a silver lining but also a poison pill, but 55 will be on there.

  22. paulie

    We can be arrogant and denigrate them, or we can realize there is a problem – educate – and offer a better alternative.

    Of course there is a problem. That doesn’t excuse going for a “solution” that actually makes things much worse.

  23. Wes Wagner

    The silver lining to 54 not being on the ballot is that it would be more difficult to defeat. 55 on the other hand will have stronger opposition.

    Also going around complaining when voters don’t vote the way you want them to solves nothing. Obviously as a party we have more work to do — and should take this as a message that we failed, not them.

  24. paulie

    OK, stipulated, you failed to educate your party members. I guess you should get to that then.

    Don’t kid yourself that 55 will be easy to defeat. They will have a lot of money to spend and if history is any guide fawning and biased media coverage, plus momentum from California and Washington state.

    Yes, a similar proposition was defeated before but the same was true in California.

    Last time in Oregon the unions lumped it in with a bunch of props they were opposing. Not likely to happen that way again.

  25. Wes Wagner

    Correct … I don’t expect it to be “easy” … just “easier” than if 54 made the ballot. We have an additional decade of voter frustration and a more experienced set of opponents with victories under their belt.

    I am going full Sun Tzu on this one.

  26. David Terry

    WW: >”My experie(n)ces with registered libertarians in Oregon is nowhere near as bleak as people are painting it.” “However, when your constituents send you a message that they want something other than what you think they do, the appropriate response is not to insult them and lock down the echo chamber tighter. That has not worked, will never work, and is just plain idiotic.” ” The average Oregon libertarian I run into accepts the basic premise that the use of violence, fraud and coercion is morally wrong.

    It MAY come as a surprise to you Wes, but the average Oregon democrat, the average Oregon
    republican, the average Oregon green and the average Oregon constitutionalist ALSO accepts
    the premise that “violence, fraud and coercion” is morally wrong. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just as a point of interest, IF you believe that Oregon (l)ibertarians are on the same page, WHY don’t you CAPITALIZE the term. Clearly your choice NOT to speaks volumes!!!!!

  27. David Terry

    The majority of my last response failed to post;

    1. What IS idiotic is to actually believe that these registered “libertarians” are really constituents.

    2. There are currently approx. 16,000 registered libertarians in Oregon making it the FOURTH largest political party in the state. How many of them have you actually spoken to 1%, maybe 2%. As one who has organized three county affiliates, I can attest to the absolute truth in Paulie’s statement that;
    “Found all sorts of people…people who thought it means liberal, people who thought it meant tea party conservative, people who just thought it meant anything other than Democrat or Republican, people who thought it means libertarian socialist a la Noam Chomsky, people who thought it was a single issue pot legalization party, people who checked the box by mistake and meant to check another one that was next to it, people who did not remember checking that box at all.”

    Have you considered the REASON why the “Independent Party of Oregon” (which is NOT an unaffiliated party) has 100,000 registered voters, OVER SIX TIMES AS MANY REGISTERED VOTERS!!!!!

  28. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I’d like to include some discussion of the approach here.

    IMO that video is VERY well done. The copy is tight, the performer appealing, the video quality professional.

    I’d guess that was done for less than $500.00 total. Maybe $1,000.00 max if everyone is being paid (I assume some are volunteers). Regardless, I think any of us could get something equivalent produced, including the website, for something in that price range or less.

    So, if this video appeal is successful, that’s 100,000 signatures (our of a goal of 300,000) for about $1,000.00 or 10 cents each.

    Is that a model that works?

    Or is this video/website attempt at generating volunteer signature gatherers just more persiflage? (There, I won my bet with Wes again; two persiflages and he hasn’t gotten one flibertygibbit posted yet! or is it flibertyjibbit?).

    Seriously, Andy/Paulie, do you see the kind of video/volunteer appeal above as viable and/or a threat to your business?

    (I realize that by July 3rd or so, we’ll KNOW how effective or not this ad was.)

    BTW: It showed up on my facebook page; I assume I was targeted on FB somehow based on my posts about political matters and my recent trip to Oregon for our daughter’s graduation from OSHU.

  29. skatermomma

    Honestly, I think I voted in the primary to endorse it because I didn’t understand it. Now that I understand it, I am against it.

    Maybe the primary should have more information, more people submitting arguments for and against things.

  30. Joseph Buchman Post author

    So Mark Frohnmayer is (apparently) the guy behind this effort.

    He produced a “KITTEN CANDIDATE” video for the Oregon House Rules Committee:

    Anyone know this guy? A quick Google search reveals:

    “Mark graduated from UC Berkeley in 1996 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. After 11 years in the computer games industry and a successful exit from his first startup, GarageGames, Mark has turned his entrepreneurial energy towards sustainable business development in Oregon. His current endeavor, Arcimoto was founded in October 2007 to bring quality, affordable, sustainable vehicles to the masses and aims to be a major player in the new green transportation space. Mark served on the Oregon governor’s Alternate Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group in 2009 and was peer selected as one of the Pacific Northwest’s clean technology Pivotal Leaders.” Source: http://www.arcimoto.com/company

  31. paulie

    Joe, yeah, the video is well done, but I do not believe they will generate very many signatures as a result, based on what I know about petitioning.

    I actually hope I am wrong, even though I dislike this initiative, because I would love to see a simple model of effectively motivating grassroots petitioning support that actually works.

    I’ve seen many people try to reinvent that flat tire, and yet it is still flat.

  32. paulie

    I’d love to move to a less rudimentary level of the petition business. Unfortunately, I’ve found that volunteer and even paid petitioners are extremely unreliable and hard to motivate and keep motivated.

  33. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Oregon Business Magazine also ran an article on him titled:

    Mark Frohnmayer builds a Utopian empire in Eugene

    Apparently his dad is a former Republican candidate for Governor of Oregon

    “While being the son of Dave Frohnmayer, former University of Oregon president, has many advantages, it can be a disadvantage in an artsy, anarchist neighborhood like Whiteaker. Dave Frohnmayer acknowledges that his political baggage as a Republican candidate for governor in 1990 followed his son to some degree.” (From page 2 of the above linked article.)

  34. Wes Wagner

    My experience is that for every 30-40 volunteer petitioners that go out the door saying they will collect signatures, about 1 has the stomach for it and does really well and actually comes back with a pile.

    The reality is that it is not glamorous work and thus I am always extremely grateful for anyone who does it for our cause.

    Last time I ran for governor I collected signatures to get my voter statement… I have circulated petitions before, I know what it is like and I have seen people volunteering with me quit and drop like flies many times.

    Be kind to your loyal petitioners — they are worth more than gold.

  35. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Wes Wagner @ June 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Yes, yes; but . . . did you have a cute kittens video?!?

    That makes all the difference among “informed voters” today.

    There is a bucket-load full of ignorance out there, and you are up against opponents who are asking sheeple in Oregon to support “being equal” and “being fair.”

    And they have kittens . . .

  36. paulie

    My experience is that for every 30-40 volunteer petitioners that go out the door saying they will collect signatures, about 1 has the stomach for it and does really well and actually comes back with a pile.

    One in 30 or 40? You did better than what I have seen, which is probably more like one in a hundred.

  37. Fred

    Mark Frohnmayer (who’s dad, Dave Frohnmayer–a moderate Republican lost the election narrowly to the Democrat when there was a Conservative “Pro-Life” candidate in the race) did a great marketing job.
    He has capitalized on the dissatisfaction of the typical voter–which probably includes many Libertarians. An initial look at this ballot measure, makes it seem like it might be better for those of us who don’t side with the establishment candidates. And I suspect that is why many of the Libertarians voted in favor of it in our poll.
    A more detailed look at the issue would help one determine that it isn’t good for anyone who isn’t a moderate or centrist candidate and the results of passing this bill would likely be to remove candidates from the ballot during the primaries when less voters are involved.
    The end result is likely that corporate interest would prevail.
    However, some of the elements of this bill might have value–or at least be perceived as better than the current system.
    We could learn from this movement. We could learn how to effectively communicate. We could learn how to tap into voter frustration and how to mobilize youth toward a break from the authoritarian election models. We could learn that helping people believe in their personal authority might help them remove the yoke of an unfair election process.
    We clearly have work to do, since even many of those who identify as Libertarian and care enough to respond during the Libertarian primary are voting in favor of this bill.
    But I see those as people who may be wanting to change the system–and might not see all the potential missing elements in this bill.

  38. waughuspolitics

    All the comments to this piece are crazy. The Frohnmeyer proposal would have instituted Approval Voting. The runoff in November wouldn’t have mattered much; the real power would have happened in the first stage, erroneously referred to as a “primary”. This would have been a radical change in favor of third parties and independents. The “purpose” of a “primary” is not a purpose worth serving. Oregon and the rest of the US need to put voters in power and eliminate the two-party system.

  39. Martin Passoli

    The approval voting one did not get enough signatures. That is not what was on the ballot.

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