My neighborhood didn’t explode in celebration when the race was called, but we did have some strong moments:

– The guy walking in front of me, blaring a remix of Beethoven 9, and clearly feeling it.

– Multiple instances of people blasting “Fuck Donald Trump”.

– The pure relief on the face of the woman who asked me what happened, when I said that Biden won.

Bad Ideas About Democracy

Filtering a bit of pre-election stress by writing down some bad ideas about political systems. Examples are Canadian, but the ideas are as transferrable as they are generally bad.

– Draw deeply arbitrary (as in, random shapes greater than 10 km^2 and less than 1,000 km^2) districts every year, elect representatives accordingly.
– Every watershed is a district, every Köppen climate classification is a district.
– Allow each party to define their own districts, and let folks also vote for their specificity of representation – maybe those districts can overlap!
– Have districts of large or varying sizes that elect multiple or varying representatives.

Neighbours Matter:
– Ask other countries (or provinces?) to draw the boundaries for your districts – in return you get to draw their districts.
– All heads of state must come from outside the country – the Bernadotte method.
– A district votes to elect the representative for a neighbouring district – in either pairs, or in a wheel within a province, or at random.

Contrarian Libertarianism, via The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress:
– Form “districts” by age, or occupation, or at random. At-random within a larger boundary (say, a province of Canada) is an interesting idea – especially if those people could talk to each other and lasted for several years. The happy path here is that I, a coastal elite, might learn some compromise with a conservative voter from the Peace River.
– Elect a third house with the explicit job of repealing laws.
– Re-ratify each law every N years, or else it expires.
– The candidate with the least votes wins. Almost certainly not feasible, but you could have some fun whereby 1% of your house is picked from a random selection of last-place candidates (maybe over some threshold – 5%?).

Voting on Bills:
– Representatives get a certain number of votes per year, and can use more than one vote on an issue that they care about – like “dots” in Agile-speak.
– Representatives get a single “double vote” (or triple, etc) once a year.
– Representatives can exchange speaking time, or some other valuable commodity, for votes.

– Pick N representatives by lot. (open to abuse by lobbyists, alas).
– Everyone can be a representative if they want to be; the winner of the popular vote selects a cabinet of some size, or the popular vote picks an upper house, etc.
– There are no representatives – everyone can / must vote on every issue.
– Individuals can self-organize into groups (of some minimum size, probably) and ask for / require a representative.
– Every district has multiple representatives, but they only get a single vote, together. If they can’t agree on a position for a vote, they don’t get one. This one could be enough of the top candidates to get 50% or 75% of the popular vote, or every candidate except the winner, etc.
– Any candidate who scores more than 10% of the vote “wins” – with a number of votes in proportion. 50% = 5 votes, 10% = 1 vote, and so forth.

Term Limits:
Allow up to N terms for presidents, senators, etc – but raise the margin of victory required for each subsequent term. Second term requires +2%, third term +4%, fourth term 8%, and so on.
– There are no term limits, but everyone is limited to no more than N days (5,000?) in political office, at any level. This could also be split across local / provincial and federal offices.
– Every position has overlapping terms, e.g. President-Elect, President, Past President.

“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” – Churchill, 1947

The Zoo

On Broadway

They say the neon lights are bright.

20|20|20 – 20

I could have told you, really, that this set of sets would be done before November 3rd. Keep calm and listen to The Pointer Sisters.

1: Joe Bataan – The Bottle [Epic]
2: Tito Puente – Wata Wasuri [Fania]
3: The Love Unlimited Orchestra – Satin Soul [20th Century]
4: The Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can Can [Blue Thumb]
5: The J.B.’s – Doin’ It To Death [Unidisc]
6: African Music Machine – Black Water Gold (Pearl) [Soul Power]
7: B.T. Express – That’ What I Want For You Baby [Scepter]
8: B.T. Express – This House Is Smokin’ [Scepter]

20|20|20 – 19

Northwest Africa, swooshing drones, ambient, etc – autumn is here.

1: Les Filles de Illighadad – Eliss Wan Anas Douban [Sahel Sounds]
2: Maalem Houssam Ganina – Moussa Barkiyo [Hive Mind]
3: James Holden & Maalem Houssam Gunina – Baba Hamouda [Border Community]
4: Holden / Zimpel – Saturday [Border Community]
5: Shackleton / Zimpel – Primal Drones [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
6: Julianna Barwick – Oh, Memory (ft. Mary Lattimore) [Ninja Tune]
7: Roomful of Teeth – The Magic Constellation [New Amsterdam]
8: Sarah Davachi – Gold Upon White [Late]

20|20|20 – 18

CRJ / JL / JP, and similar abbreviations – and basically some delightful pop music, really.

1: Carly Rae Jepsen – Fake Mona Lisa [School Boy]
2: Jessy Lanza – Lick In Heaven [Hyperdub]
3: Jai Paul – Track 7 [XL]
4: Carly Rae Jepsen – Stay Away [School Boy]
5: Jessy Lanza – Over and Over [Hyperdub]
6: Carly Rae Jepsen – Julien [School Boy]
7: Jessy Lanza – Calling Card [Hyperdub]
8: Jai Paul – Track 13 [XL]
9: Carly Rae Jepsen – Want You In My Room [School Boy]

20|20|20 – 17

Some steps and some grooves and some rollers, really – not much more to say.

1: Polymod – PG1000 [17 Steps]
2: Sofia Kourtesis – Home Is Where I Can Dance [Studio Barnhus]
3: Sofia Kourtesis – Sarita Colonia [Studio Barnhus]
4: One Tribe – Is This All (Instinctstrumental) [Above Board]
5: Cascandy – Hills [Cascandy]
6: Joy O – ELLIPSIS [Hinge Finger]
7: Slowlglide – Reigi [Antinote]

20|20|20 – 16

If you said “oh, you just picked records around 105 until they made sense”, well, you wouldn’t be wrong – but there’s some cleverness hidden in the balaeric / dub shoegaze vibes.

1: Robyn – Baby Forgive Me [Konichiwa]
2: Maya Jane Coles – Dreamer [I Am Me]
4: Joe – Line To Earth [Comeme]
5: Objekt – 35 [Pan]
6: Elika – You Win Hearts [Chat Blanc]
7: Holly Herndon – SWIM [4AD]
8: Sun Electric – O’Locco (Kama Sutra) [R&S]
9: Mønic – Deep Summer (Burial Remix) [Osiris]
10: Maggie Rogers – Alaska [Capitol]

20|20|20 – 15

Keep on fighting, keep on fighting, hold on – this one, sonically, is probably more about the holding than about the fighting.

1: Kali Malone – Hagakyrka Bells [iDeal]
2: Nobuo Uematsu – March to Narshe [Square]
3: Jóhann Jóhannsson – There is No Safe Side but the Side Of Truth [NTOV]
4: The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World [NTOV]
5: The Westerlies – In The Morning [The Westerlies]
6: The Westerlies – Robert Henry [The Westerlies]
7: The Westerlies – Saro [The Westerlies]