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Americans Elect Provides 1st Public Statement of its Presidential Goals, Raising Questions

The group formerly known as Unity08 and briefly renamed the Unity12 Task Force has resurfaced as Americans Elect. Until this week, Americans Elect had remained a private Section 527 organization, registered with the IRS and issuing a variety of mission statements. Late this week, however, Americans Elect made its first public declaration of goals:

Americans Elect 2012

Our Mission

In order for Americans to enjoy the governance they deserve, Americans Elect will organize an Internet-based convention that nominates a presidential ticket for 2012. Every registered voter in America will be eligible to be a delegate. Americans Elect will collect and measure public and delegate views on core national issues and nominate a balanced presidential ticket that will bridge the vital center of American public opinion. The Americans Elect nominees will run on the ballot in all 50 states and will be a competitive alternative to candidates put forth by the Democratic and Republican parties.

This public declaration seems to implicitly confirm a shift away from the emphasis of Unity08 (and very recently Unity12) upon a cross-party ticket with a member of one major party to be President and a member of the other major party to be Vice President. Replacing the old idea is one process that Unity08 emphasized before (an internet-based convention), another process that Unity08 never discussed (the “collection” and “measurement” of public and delegate issue positions), and a new, more amorphous result: a “balanced presidential ticket that will bridge the vital center of American public opinion.”

Beyond technical questions about how a secure internet nomination process could be successfully engineered, this self-introduction by Americans Elect leads me to a number of definitional questions about the basic concept:

1. What is balance? What is meant by a “balanced presidential ticket”? What form of “balance” will Americans Elect offer in its identification of a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate?

2. What is the center? Which set of opinion surveys — public or delegate or both — will be used to measure the location of “the vital center,” and what measure (the most common view? an average of all views? the view with the least ideological between all views on a subject?) will be used to determine what a “center” is?

3. Who is “Americans Elect”? When Americans Elect writes that “Americans Elect will… nominate a balanced presidential ticket,” who is meant by “Americans Elect” — the leadership of the Americans Elect organization, or the delegates to the “Americans Elect” convention?

4. Who chooses? What is meant by “nominate”? Will delegates have the power to nominate various possible Americans Elect presidential tickets from which the final ticket will emerge? Will delegates have the power to choose between several alternatives presented to them by the Americans Elect organizational leadership? Or will delegates have the power to simply approve of an Americans Elect organization-selected ticket?

5. What if the processes conflict? What happens if and when delegates’ nominative choice (if any) conflicts with the public and delegate opinion polling to identify “the vital center”? Which determination takes supremacy?

Does Americans Elect’s own description of itself lead you to pose other questions about exactly what the basic concept is? What might they be?

This is not a rhetorical question. Please share any questions you may have about the concept of Americans Elect in the comments section here. If together we can come up with a good set in the near future, I intend to pose such questions directly to Americans Elect leadership. Together let’s take the first step: identifying what we all need to know in order to figure out just what Americans Elect means.

13 comments to Americans Elect Provides 1st Public Statement of its Presidential Goals, Raising Questions

  • Jeff

    What measure will they use to determine when their nominees are actually a competitive alternative? Campaign contributions? Opinion polling? TV air time? Number of smear tactics executed?

    Do they intend to do anything to even attempt to include those on the opposite side of the digital divide? Will those without access to the necessary skills and technology be left out of the conversation?

    Will the raw data collected from delegates and the public on core national issues be made available to the public for peer review of their measurements and the results they come to?

  • Also, internet voting is probably pretty easily manipulated.

  • I still expect this organization will fail in its attempt to establish itself as a 3rd party — Especially now that it’s trying to emulate the other 2 parties. We do not need another group to do extensive polling, PR, and message analysis so they can put a pretty face on the candidate of their choice who will fall back to representing military-industrial interests after the election. Where is the party looking for a rational, principled candidate who is honest enough to address our real problems rather than complaining that our problems can’t stay hidden?

    It is a bit unnerving to consider that in the next election the Center will be somewhere to the Right of Obama.

  • I’d like to get in touch with Americans Elect but all I find is their one-page website. I’ve signed up but haven’t received a message in weeks. Anyone have an access for them?

  • Brad M

    In states where they gain baloot access via party organziation will Americans Elect prohibit persons from running for nomination of non-Presidential offices? Can they in fact prevent these potential canidadates?

  • MuddleVanHeck

    This is absolute nonsense! All one needs to know is “who” is behind it.

    Peter Ackerman is the “dirty hands” guy for global elitists. His objective is to rip the power from the strength of our own citizens who have risen up to fight against the status quo. The American people have thrown a wrench into the plans of these one-world globalist by insisting on representative government.

    If Mr. Ackerman sincerely believed in the power of the free vote, he wouldn’t be assisting the establishment politicians in SPLITTING the vote.

    Please research Peter Ackerman. I have. This new foundation is designed to thwart the very freedoms he pretends to promote (in other countries). It is nothing more than a desperate attempt to hold on to the power that the American people are rising up against.

    DO YOUR HOMEWORK, PEOPLE!

  • joyce ray

    beware the unintended consequences of this dangerous concept. No candidate of gravitas will put forth their name to be the experimental guinea pig here. You will get a fringe candidate only and the effort can be easily manipulated. The candidate will end up being the ralph nader spoiler of the election. The problem is the parties themselves — we dont need another one.

  • Bob Rine

    I agree with the notion that it could only split the liberal/progressive vothers — who already have an independent minded President and a party that acts more independent than left-wing. Even without checking on the people behind this organization, I smell a right-wing plot to siphon off the independent voters from the Democrates. Given all the right-wing crazies now part of the established Republican party, they know they are losing the middle ground, the political sector either party needs to win an election.

    I say: BE AWARE!

  • john Connors

    i made an error in the answer to the questions
    how do i change the answers
    1. gay marriage- my wife and I support gay marriage but i mistakenly said that i am against this. how do i change this?
    2. death penalty. i am against this but i mistakenly said that i am in favor
    i cannot figure out how to change this
    any suggestions

  • Roger

    Was this party started to make money for crooked petition companies? They picked the 2 most crooked petition companies in the business to represent them, What is that all about?!!

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