Daily Resource Highlight - 10/10/2022

Posted by on October 10, 2022 at 10:40 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

October 4, 2022 - Turning “Politics” From a Toxic Brew to an Asset with CGC and VPI

In a recent Fulcrum article, Henry Rowland of Veterans for Political Innovation (VPI) likens politics to fission based nuclear power, which comes with toxic byproducts. Fusion based nuclear energy, on the other hand, comes with none of the toxicity of fission. Fusion power is not viable yet, and switching to it would require fundamental restructuring. Similarly, Rowland says, politics can be productive and non-toxic with some fundamental changes to how it works.

On a similar note, political toxicity has ruined many relationships in the last few years, and business relationships are no exceptions. But as Common Ground Committee shows us in its latest podcast, Bridging Divides at Work, that toxicity is not inevitable. Further, and unlike fusion based nuclear energy, it doesn’t require fundamentally restructuring the business.

And getting back to energy solutions, we’re starting to see how helpful ideological diversity can be in exploring cleaner energy ideas. R Street Institute points out that there are 31 energy projects waiting for approval (as of September 20th), and 20 of those projects are for renewable energy, and proposes permitting reform to speed things up. Additionally, the How Do We Fix It? podcast brought on Jim Meigs as a guest co-host, who says that major contributors to the energy crisis include overestimating the capabilities of wind and solar power, shutting down nuclear power plants, and ignoring the dangers of relying on Russian energy.

Finally, on a different note, the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, BridgeUSA, Millennial Action Project, and others have teamed up for a discussion on whether various institutions are helping to fix our democracy, what Congress is doing, and how you can get involved. That discussion will happen this Thursday (10/6) at 2:30 PM PT / 5:30 PM ET. You can register for the event here.

October 6, 2022 - Celebrate Ballotpedia’s 15th Year with 15 Elections to Watch

We are officially in the homestretch of the November elections, and Ballotpedia is celebrating its 15th birthday with 15 elections to watch – each with a fact-packed paragraph for background. In other words, Ballotpedia continues to be the go-to encyclopedia for all things  American politics. Meanwhile, Independent Voter Project keeps publishing enticing articles on election season, like this one about key Democrat vs. Democrat races in California.

At the same time, our elections themselves are feeling pretty rickety right now. They have become an easy target for conspiracy theorists and misinformation (R Street), whether they are well run or not. They also continue to be hotbeds of partisan warfare, both at the legislative level and in the courts (FairVote’s explainer of the Voting Rights Acts case is one of the better I’ve seen). 

But let’s end on a happy note. As I mentioned last week, the Electoral Count Reform Act will probably pass after the elections are over. Alaska, meanwhile, is starting to see positive dividends after passing Ranked Choice Voting and open primary reforms. In particular, they are seeing candidates campaigning for cross-partisan support to win elections. And Nevada could be next.

Our most democratic institutions are under a lot of stress, but there seems to be a growing appetite to try different fixes. Let’s hope that appetite changes the trickle of reforms into a landslide.