The United States was a leading democracy two centuries ago. Now many other nations have leap-frogged over the US by developing better political/electoral systems. As a consequence, they also have better systems for healthcare, higher education, housing, and justice combined with increased personal safety. 

   The locked-down two-party system has joined with the vast inequality of wealth and power in the US in order to raise hurdles to block solutions that people want, create, and support. We will take a good look at those hurdles, many of which are now being highlighted during the presidential campaign of Cornel West, who is running as an independent “third party” candidate.

   There are solutions, and steps we can take. We will discuss why proportional representation is key to an inclusive multi-party system, and why ranked choice voting by itself has not lived up to its expectations.

   Laura Wells has been a Green Party activist since the party became ballot-qualified in California in early 1992. She is a co-coordinator of the state Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of California (GPCA). She has run for State Controller and Governor, and ran once for Congress. Laura Wells, both as a Green Party candidate and behind-the-scenes organizer, has experienced first-hand the roadblocks put up by the two Titanic parties, including being arrested outside of the gubernatorial debate in 2010 for the accurate charge of “trespassing at a private party.”