Model Voting = Better Voting = Stronger Democracy

I am Gopi, Gopi Mattel. Entrepreneur, part-time painter, full-time human, reaching out to you about something very important.

You know a dramatic change is happening across the world. Authoritarians are taking control of democracies across the world. Russia, Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, Poland are recent examples- look it up. Authoritarians come from the right and from the left, but they all capture power and suppress people’s ability to elect their leaders and government. And that is when the really bad things start to happen, journalists getting killed, free press suppressed, opposition suppressed, elections become a sham, and people getting disappeared.

Our USA, land of the free, city on a shining hill, is now facing that same threat. Trump has been elected to power with Russian collusion and hacking of our elections. Mueller just indicted 12 Russians just now. In the past two years, previously unimaginable changes, have already happened to our country.

1 year-old babies are ripped from their mothers, hidden in encampments that look like cages, and are appearing in front of judges by themselves.  A ban on Muslim countries’ immigration has been enacted. A Supreme Court judge has been maneuvered into resigning.  A special task force has been put together to revoke citizenships of already naturalized citizens. Step-by-step authoritarianism has been taking over our country.

These were unthinkable two years ago by anyone who is listening. What are the unthinkable things coming next? Laws that make criticizing politicians punishable with jail? A special national police force formed out of ICE? Suppression of habeas-corpus? Business leaders getting arrested to make them fall in line? Dismantling of the FBI? Withdrawal from NATO? Revoking of all existing visas of residents from un-desirable countries? Removal of the right to be natural-born citizens if your parents are not also natural-born in the country? War against a country like Venezuela?

This is happening. Once Trump nominates a supreme court judge that will protect him against impeachment, then he will fire Rosenstein and Mueller. Then pretty much we are done for. He will purge the Republican party of any opposition. Then he will pass the laws necessary to make the Democratic party into an impotent force. He and the now-submissive Republican party will gerrymander, vote-suppress and hack the elections to assure a re-election for Trump.  There isn’t any other real defense except the people themselves taking to the streets in mass protests. And that is a very long-shot option and maybe too late. We didn’t succeed with

This will all come and worse. You will not be safe even if you are white and belong to the Republican party. Not even Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates will be safe from what is coming.

But there is a small chance that we can act to avert this. The USA is a country of free people. The USA fought the Nazis and rescued Europe and the Jewish community. The USA fought the communist regimes of Russia and China around the world to protect liberty. We may have the ability to save our democracy – unlike in Russia, Venezuela, Turkey and Hungary. It may not be too late.

How do we do this?


We have to harden our democracy.

Democracy simply means the people pick the leaders they want, to solve their problems. And get rid of them when they don’t. The people may pick from the left, from the right or from the middle. But the people always pick. When you lose democracy, the dictator or king decides who your leader is and how much you will obey them. This is not a partisan process – you can represent either part of the political spectrum and should still want to preserve democracy.

The founders worried about the failure of democracy due to demogogues and tyrants taking control. They tried to harden democracy based on lessons from ancient Greece and Rome. And they may have slowed down the possible collapse. And It is now our job to make democracy undefeatable.

Our Democracy has a lot of problems. Low voter turnout, complex ballots, super-delegates, gerrymandering, voter id restrictions, criminalization and blocking of voting rights. The list is long. There are people working on some of these problems. We are going to pick one of these problems and fix it.

The problem we are going to fix is one of poor quality voting.  Our voting ballots now have multiple pages of candidates for many elections: US Senators, US Congressmen, State Senators, State congressmen, local county representatives, local city representatives,  school district, sanitary district, local propositions and measures. There could be 50 or more choices to make in many states. We may may know 3 or 4 races and maybe 5 to 10 of the available choices. Not enou. First we don’t know what our choice is – we simple don’t have the knowledge. Second we are all simply too busy in our lives to be able to make all those choices.

So we either do not vote at all and we have low turnout.

Or we simply vote based on simple choices like, Democrat or Republican, Man or Woman, My ethnicity or other ethnicity, businessperson or non-businessperson and so on.  This makes for poor quality votes and hands power to the parties to instruct you how to vote.  This is a problem now and it will always facilitate Trump-like figures in the future.

I call the solution Model-Voting.

The solution is to rely on people in society who pay more attention to politics that we tend to trust.   We call these people Model Voters.  They can be a national celebrity, a news paper, a think tank, a local leader or even a friend of yours.  They can be Thomas Friedman, Oprah, David Brooks, Rush Limbaugh, San Francisco Chronicle, or your politically active friend.

These model voters will be given an app. They will use it to fill out who they would vote for in the election.

We regular voters are apprentices. We just have to pick three models. The app will combine the three models’ recommendations into a single ballot for you. You can change some of them and then use that to complete your ballot.

It is simple. It is quick. And you now have a better vote in almost every choice all the way down the ballot. And it is easy to fill out the ballot from the app directly.

This will help our democracy tremendously. We simply will have better people elected even at the very lowest levels of elections and they will become better leaders later.  And more people are likely to vote and make our democracy stronger.  This will protect our democracy against all dictators and tyrants in the future.

I want you to join me in this. You can do anything that feels comfortable for you. Maybe just give roughly two hours of your life every week to protect our democracy, our people and our country. Let us not allow Trump to destroy our liberties. If you cannot help me in this, Then, give that time to any other organization that works for a better democracy, and not just about party.

Join me and others at this Facebook group: