Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Single Issue Voting FAQ's
As a general matter, the answers to some of these questions may vary between early on as the campaign starts up and later as the campaign is about to reach final success – majority sponsors of MOP legislation in both houses of Congress. The answers below do not try to recount the detailed variations in approach as the campaign proceeds, but just states the general principles for a single issue campaign.
1. What do we as a voting block have in common, politically, spiritually, practically, with the prohibitionists of yore, AIPAC, the NRA, and other one issue voters. How do we differ?
A: Single issue voting is a strategy for winning a specific policy, just as a political party is a strategy for winning control of the policy-making process. None of the substantive political, spiritual positions necessarily connect with previous single issue campaign in any way, no mare than they would for two different parties. As a practical matter parties will combine issues into coalitions. Single issue does the opposite. Single issue voting requires first that single issue voters really are convinced that their single issue is the most important political issue for them. On the spiritual side, corruption is a moral issue, and that might also help focus attention on MOP. The practical tactics by which the single issue voting is applied are also similar. Much is to be learned about the practical conduct of a single issue campaign from any other single issue movement. For example, the prohibitionists cardinal rule: “We’ll vote against all … in office who won’t support our bills. We’ll vote for candidates who will promise to.”
2. If here is an open senate seat . How does that affect MOP's approach to the race?
A: Open seats do affect the strategy, because there is no incumbent to vote against. An open seat raises the possibility of approaching all candidates for any support they will give the MOP legislation in order to provide a reason to support one over the other. If none will promise any support, running a candidate could be considered.
3. Will all candidates be approached simultaneously with a request to sign the pledge, or will the candidate most in line with our other positions be approached first?
A: The website will provide MOP voters a facility for notifying incumbents of a voter's pledge to vote against the incumbent, unless the incumbent sponsor or supports MOP. Hence incumbents would tend to hear first. All candidates should be approached and whipsawed into increasing their commitment right up to the election in order trigger MOP information to MOP voters in favor of a candidate.
4. What if both candidates are willing to sign on to the MOP legislation?
A: Willing is not enough for an incumbent. The incumbent has to co-sponsor. Anything short of that throws the incumbent into a bidding war with the candidate. In an open seat where both candidates give the same level of support to the bill, then MOP might have no advice to give on how to vote, provided there is no significant difference in the expected integrity of the candidates.
5. The plan is to get incumbents of any party to co-sponsor the MOP legislation, but what if we are dealing with a candidate rather than an incumbent?
A: Candidates do not need to promise to sponsor the whole bill. A candidate running against an incumbent who refuses to co-sponsor would need to outbid whatever support the incumbent is willing to give. This would need to be specific – referring to provisions of the legislation in detail. Any tie would normally be called in favor of the candidate running against an incumbent who will not sponsor, because the incumbent has an advantage that sponsorship trumps a promise to sponsor.
6. If there is a candidate who signs the pledge, is elected, and then fails to follow through what will be the approach over the six years of his/her tenure, as a result of this betrayal?
A: The response is the same the prohibitionists used: ASL said: “They’ll break their promise. Sure. Next time we’ll break them… and some day they will learn that all over the United States”
7. There are no grounds for impeachment if a candidate breaks a campaign promise, (otherwise there would be impeachments going on every day of the week.) Aside from getting to say “Liar Liar Pants on Fire” to Senators for six years, what will be our recourse over that period of time? What is the reality of the staying power of this effort? Put another way, what is the perceived time frame for this campaign?
A: There are other possibilities, for example having whatever votes that are controlled in the Senate vote systematically against the interests of the liar Senator. This feature is part of the pledge. In other words MOP would focus energy on making the liar's life in the Senate difficult. This is much easier in the House, where most of the action will be played out, and elections are every two years. It would take four years theoretically to win if enough voters take the MOP pledge.
8. As of 1.31.11 there were 1,158,753 registered voters in NM and approximately 602K voted in the last gubernatorial election. Are we looking for 10-20% of the 1,158,753, (that is, is the intention to energize otherwise apathetic voters?) or 10-20% of the 602K, or, either/or.
A: Since many people do not vote (from anecdotal experience knocking on doors) because their perception of political corruption makes voting irrelevant – and even degrading. Many voters seemed to have this feeling when voting for a Democrat in 2010 after Obama's incessant betrayals according to the returns showing a drop off of Democratic voters in 2010. One of the main benefits of MOP is it allows someone to vote for a candidate that is otherwise repulsive, when there is no alternative in the race. So it is very important to develop a marketing campaign to reach these non-voters. The more non-voters who can be recruited to the strategy the lower the percentage needed of regular voters.
9. Does the 10-20% target refer to a percentage of total voters or to those who could be added to the total vote that one or the other candidate might receive. What’s the magic number? 115K, 60K, or say the 32K represented by the 321K that Martinez received shifted from one candidate to the other? (I used the governor’s race only because that was the easiest to track down...)
A: The specific number needed to swing an election will naturally be particular to each district. The more competitive the district is between the two parties the lower the number that will be needed to swing the election. The actual target number is the margin of victory in the last election, not an actual percentage of anything. The overall percentage is based on the experience of the prohibitionists, and is a national guesstimate of a target that would certainly win. Others have commented that the targets may actually be much lower.
10. What happens if there are too few pledgers in a district to have a decent chance of swinging the election.
A: The number of pledgers in a district must normally exceed the margin of victory in the last election to have a chance of swinging the election. The terms of the pledge is to implement the MOP strategy, which is the strategy of swinging elections by single issue voting. If single issue voting will not swing an election, then MOP would announce that fact and inform pledgers that their vote will not advance MOP in that race.