Change the Rules: New Structures to Drain the Swamp

Jeff SalzmanEthical, Free, Integral Live, Perspectives, Politics, The Daily Evolver, Video, Worldviews 1 Comment

In this episode Jeff visits with integralist Tom Curren, who has launched a new non-profit initiative with the goal to Change the Rules of the American political system. Tom has identified four structural problems in American politics that exacerbate the electorate’s most tribal impulses:

  • How the election system sorts for a “lesser of two evils” choice
  • Why the most extreme ideologues have disproportionate power
  • The big money machine that is successfully enriching its clients
  • Barriers to large scale citizen participation

Our political system seems to be carved in constitutional stone, but actually many of its most dysfunctional rules are not in the constitution, and have been built to support the business of politics. Listen as Tom explains a series of non-flashy, non-partisan strategies (ballot initiatives, legal challenges and legislative pressures) that are already proving to drain the swamps in states and municipalities across the nation..

While The Daily Evolver usually focuses on integrating the polarities arising in consciousness and culture, this episode offers exciting, third-person structural solutions with high leverage. Tom also offers listeners an efficient way to participate personally on-the-ground in their communities.

Tom Curren is founder of Hawthorne Consultants, a firm specialized in the integration of strategy and organization change. Find out more about his new non-profit, Change The Rules.

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Jeff Salzman

About Jeff Salzman

Jeff Salzman worked with Ken Wilber for several years in building the Integral Institute. He is a co-founder of Boulder Integral, the first bricks-and-mortar venue dedicated to the development of integral consciousness. These days Jeff provides integrally-inspired commentary on politics and culture on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.


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    Excellent stuff! Mind you, looking from Australia, No.2 – Rank Voting – is very old news. It goes by the name of preferential voting, and all our elections are done by versions of it. The result is to drastically limit the ability of the two major parties to do exactly what they want without consulting more broadly. Mind you, it’s far from perfect, and there are even more advanced systems that we have in some places, namely proportional representation, where multiple candidate are elected from a pool according to their proportion of support. We are less far forward on some of the other issues, such as campaign financing, but we do have gerrymandering and voter registration under control, more or less. There are also problems caused by our Constitution, which are similar to what the US has – over representation in the Senate of the smaller states and drastic underrepresented of people in territories is the major one.

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