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Obama Won, Now it’s Time to Fix the System


Vice President Joe Biden congratulates U.S. President Barack Obama on stage Tuesday, November 6, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois, after the president was re-elected. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

By Sara Bloomberg

The Guardsman

What an election!

In California, both Proposition 30 and Proposition A passed, the worst parts of the Three Strikes law was repealed and voters rejected—for a second time—a deceptive car insurance law.

Oh, yeah. And President Barack Obama was re-elected with just over 51 percent of the popular vote and 332 electoral votes—126 more than Mitt Romney pulled in.

By contrast, George W. Bush won the 2000 election by only five electoral votes—after some nefarious political maneuvering—but Al Gore actually won the popular vote by more than half a million votes.

Many people, including myself, feared a repeat of 2000.

Unless we fix our electoral system, it still could happen again, and the problems run deeper than just number crunching: prohibitive voter ID laws, out of control campaign spending and egregiously long wait times at some polling stations must be addressed.

Let’s not forget that two-thirds of the presidential candidates and their running mates weren’t allowed to participate in four nationally broadcast debates. So much for the competitive tenets of capitalism.

Only Democracy Now streamed live alternative debates on their website with some of the other candidates. Although a noble effort, it simply isn’t enough.

Who wouldn’t have wanted to see Roseanne Barr on the same stage with Obama and Romney?

I say put the GMO-free popcorn in the kettle and let’s see a show.

In San Francisco, there were many candidate debate forums held throughout the city, and the one thing they had in common? All qualified candidates—meaning they were on the ballot—were invited to participate.

Not all of the candidates did, but they at least had the opportunity.

Although counties in California have until Dec. 7 to report their final counts, most races have been called one way or another.

A few, including the contest for City College’s Board of Trustees, is too close to call.

As of press time, Steve Ngo, Natalie Berg and Rafael Mandelman have won three seats on the board but, Amy Bacharach and Chris Jackson are neck and neck for the fourth seat, with Jackson in the lead by 158 votes.

Proving, again, that every vote matters.

As a side note, normally The Guardsman publishes biweekly, but this issue will run for three weeks to accommodate Thanksgiving break.

Whether you’re flying home for a big family tradition, carrying on like it’s no big deal or hopping on a ferry to Alcatraz for the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering, this Thanksgiving, let’s reflect on the victories of the past year and how to move forward.

There is still much to be done.

Follow Sara on Twitter: @BloomReports

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