There is a formula that has worked over and over. It's working right
now in Spain. It worked in Iceland.
For your consideration, something I wrote on the Occupy Congress wiki
during the leadup to #j17 last year:
1) Create a series of demands that will work in the favor of the 99%
that Congress cannot agree to without systemically and radically
altering the way that politics works in the US. (things like
proportional representation, full public financing for elections,
Ranked choice or Approval voting to replace the "first past the post"
we currently have, ending corporate personhood, etc)
2) To avoid the appearance of being unhinged or radical or fringe, do
“what we're supposed to” and arrange for meetings with every member of
congress over a period of two or so days, centered on getting binding
agreements to those demands a la Grover Norquists pledge to never
Those demands must strike a root problems, and be both short term
(commitment to introduce legislation within weeks, such as: mandatory
clean elections modeled on Maine's original clean election system (or
better), a repeal of the NDAA sections that regard indefinite
detention, a constitutional amendment stating clearly that
corporations are not people) as well as longer term (pledging to run
on clean elections funds in the next election).
(Long term beyond the next election is unnecessary. This is where we
will differ from nonprofits, who get pledges for things, like dropping
the keystone pipeline, and then are continually disappointed when
their issue gets thrown under the bus one election cycle later. We are
interested in systemic change, right now, not next election cycle. If
they do not comply by the time they adjourn for the next election
season, we will nonviolently remove them from office either through
electoral activism or demands for resignation (or both). But they
don't need to know that. We will give them the opportunity to fail.
Their arrogance will only make our case for their removal even
stronger in the public's eye, which is how we build the popular
support for their removal.)
3) those who refuse to make a binding agreement to any part of our
demands, or those who do not make good on their promises within the
timeline we set, we follow up with them, confronting them directly and
openly (and on tape).
4) we take direct action demanding they make good on their promises.
This includes, but is not limited to, occupations of their office
5) when that fails (it will probably fail), we shift from filling
legislative demands to demanding immediate resignation. Special
elections be held in their home districts if they do resign. This part
is fun and sexy, and raises a ton of media attention around our
6) from local Occupy Movements in those congressperson's districts,
sevb>eral people are chosen to challenge our target congressperson in
the primaries, in ALL parties, so that both major party must face
challangers from within, as well as from outside (libertarian party,
green party, reform party, etc, depending on what third party has
ballot access-- OR running as independents.)
During this stage, there must be a real effort on the part of all
Occupy candidates to demonstrate solidarity across transpartisan
lines, and the focus MUST be exclusively on the narrow demands for
Both primary and general election challengers who abides by the
narrowly focused Occupy demands for electoral reform.
Our delegate to congress must also, (obviously) make a binding agreement to:
a) run using clean election money
b) make their first act in office creating legislation that meets
whatever other demand there is (amendment to the constitution
declaring that corporations are not people and that money is not
speech, a law to make clean elections funds [based on Maine's original
clean elections law] the ONLY way to run for office, etc)
c) as soon as their narrow policy goal is achieved, RESIGN.
7) local occupations work their asses off electing their delegates in
every party primary, and then in the general election as well.
This is the transpartisan electoral strategy is exactly what has been
employed by the 1% and it works. We too must employ a transpartisan
stragey as well to counter.
Electoral activism becomes irrelevant if we are able to demand the
resignation of the entire government and call a constitutional
convention, as they did in Iceland, and as they are trying to do now
in Spain, but I don't think it should be removed from the toolbox.