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Program Information
 Steppin' Out of Babylon 
 Laura Wells
 Sue Supriano  
 For non-profit use only.
Laura Wells, Green Party candidate for State Controller of California, speaks of the attempts at real democracy in Canada and S.F. with citizen committees and instant runoff voting, and the success of democracy in action in Venezuela ...
Sue Supriano's Steppin' Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today's world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit.

Laura Wells is running on the Green Party ticket for State Controller of California. She has run for this office before and says intends to continue to run because it's important even if she doesn't win. She has been noticing that, like her, more and people are concerned about the disappearance of the "democracy" the US has been known for and she gives some examples of what we can do and are already doing. For example, Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), which is sometimes called, "rank voting" where the voters rank their choices is more democratic. IRV has gone well in San Francisco, CA. Wells visited Canada where the Canada Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation formed citizen committees to deliberate what to do with nuclear waste. In Ottawa citizen committees deliberated about what would improve their electoral system and their suggestions for ranked choice and proportional representation were implemented. "Dialogue and deliberation" can be done at any time and place. As for the US-- clean money in elections is crucial as otherwise, as now, it is money that determines who and what wins.
Wells speaks very highly of what's happening in Venezuela where she has been several times since President Hugo Chavez was brought to power by a big movement of people in 1998. After that the two parties, which were really similar to one party trading political power back and forth for over 40 years, dissolved. She thinks Venezuela is the best kept secret of real democracy where grassroots citizens make the decisions regarding their neighborhoods and have real control over their elected officials. She gives many examples including one where neighborhoods control the funds of the services-- e.g. health services.

 laurawells1 Download Program Podcast
00:28:00 English 2006-05-01
 Berkeley, CA
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