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Socialist Party Member Elected to Detroit Citizens' District Council

Published on April 17, 2011, by in General.

On April 5, Detroit elected members of Citizens’ District Councils in non-partisan elections. The city has 19 districts for this office, and each district elects six members every year, for three year terms. Each council has 18 members.

Matt Erard, a leader of the Socialist Party, was elected this year in the Downtown District. The election was not suspenseful, because only five candidates’ names appeared on the ballot. Erard had been a Socialist Party nominee for Congress in 2010, but did not get on the ballot; and he had been on the ballot as a Green Party nominee for the legislature in 2008.

Since last year, the Socialist Party has been asking the Michigan Supreme Court to hear its ballot access lawsuit. The court still hasn’t said whether it will hear the case. The application has been pending in the court for twenty weeks. The party challenges the law that requires almost twice as many signatures for a new party to get on the ballot, compared to the number of votes an already-established party needs to remain on the ballot.

10 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    Any lawyers in the SP able to detect

    Separate is NOT equal.
    Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954 ???

  2. steve schilit

    I might be able to give a little background on these citizens’ district councils. I’m also from Michigan and live in a city that uses them. The election is not like a regular election (like that for city council or county commission); regular or special elections can only take place 4 times a year (for specific dates). I guess there is some leeway with CDCs. A CDC’s only function is to provide recommendations on how to appropriate some grant moneys. Usually the city council rubber stamps the recommendations, but sometimes, there is some push back (and changes to the recommendation).

  3. steve schilit

    tl;dr also, these CDC elections have worse turnout than regular elections for city council.

  4. Demo Rep

    The CDC stuff is one more USELESS piece of JUNK used by the incumbents to distract and confuse the public.

    P.R. and App.V.

  5. Derek Gorman

    Demo Rep,

    I would support a system where voters can vote YES/NO for as many candidates in any race. I would also like to see elections where candidates must reach out to most groups and form coalitions.

    Imagine a system where there are 3 groups of voters: Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Among the independent voters, these voters may express a preference of a party.

    Voters cast their ballots. Candidates gather points, which are votes cast for them. A candidate with the least number of points, which can be either 2/3 of its votes across a district or its lowest percentage of votes in any one group, is eliminated and the votes are re-counted. This would happen until someone gets a majority.

    If you vote for 1 candidate, that candidate gets 1 vote. If you vote for 2 candidates, each candidate gets 1/2 votes. If you vote for 3 candidate, each candidate gets 1/3 votes. And so forth.

  6. One small correction and clarification regarding my prior candidacies for elected office. Although I did initially file nomination papers to run as an SP candidate for Congress in 2010, in connection with the ballot access lawsuit the SP filed the same month, I did not later file to run as a write-in candidate in 2010 after we were denied an injunction for ballot placement in that year’s election.

    In 2008 I ran for State Representative as a dually nominated candidate of both the Socialist Party and Green Party, and was generally identified accordingly in most media coverage despite the fact that the Michigan SOS would not allow use of the SP label on the Michigan ballot (see: http://erard2008.org). I also ran as an SP candidate for the same State Rep. seat in 2006, but had “No Party Affiliation” listed with my name on the ballot that year, due to the same prohibition from being listed with the SP label.

    Should anyone be interested, my campaign website for the recently held Detroit Citizens District Council election can be found at: http://erard2011.spmichigan.org

  7. Demo Rep

    # 7

    P.R. = Total Votes / Total Seats = EQUAL votes needed for each seat winner.

    — via pre-election CANDIDATE rank order lists — to move votes to ANY candidate in ANY district — surplus votes from winners down and loser votes up.

    Any New Age P.R. system must be super-easy — due to the armies of math MORONS in the media especially.

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