Selection & Removal

It is not the job of the candidate to win. His job is to BE the best candidate. Electing the best candidate is the job of the people. We have to let the people do their job, and if they fail to do it well, we will all pay the price together.
Jon Roland, to a discouraged campaign worker, after losing his campaign for Congress, 1974
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The main methods for selecting officials are:

  1. Election By vote, either by the people or some subset of them.
  2. Sortition By lot, the way juries are selected.
    1. Fetura Alternating random selection and fitness screening, the same method used in genetic or evolutionary algorithms.
  3. Appointment Selection by other officials, also called cooptation, especially when a body appoints its own members.
  4. Examination Use of a procedure to rank or reject contenders, often in conjunction with other methods.
  5. Rotation Each of several persons takes turn filling an office. Usually done under one of the first three.
  6. Seniority Usually a method of promotion within a department or branch.
  7. Conquest Surrender to a powerful individual or group, usually but not necessarily through violence.
  8. Inheritance Method characteristic of monarchical or aristocratic systems.
  9. Purchase Usually a corrupt mode of appointment, it could be made legal.
  10. Infiltration Placement by subversive means, or by influence of a special interest group.

The main methods of removing officials are:

  1. Expiration of term
  2. Non-retention
  3. Termination by superior
  4. Impeachment and removal
  5. Resignation
  6. Death
  7. Disability
During the late 20th century the word "liberal" came to mean someone whose copy of the Bill of Rights was missing the Second and Tenth Amendments, and the word "conservative" someone whose copy was missing the First and the Ninth.
Jon Roland, May, 1994

Selection Alternatives and Reform

  • HTML Version or Menu Text Version Zipped WordPerfect Approaches to Electoral Reform
  • HTML Version or Menu Voting Theory and Reform
  • HTML Version or Menu The Fetura or Sortition Option Articles and links on this method.

Vote rigging

  • Remote HTML Version HTML Version Text Version Votescam, by James & Kenneth Collier Report of investigation of vote fraud in the United States. Guide for how to conduct such investigations.
  • Remote Link - HTML Citizens for Leaders with Ethics & Accountability Now! (CLEAN) Investigate vote fraud. Have online photographic evidence of ballot altering.
  • Remote Link - HTML Citizens For A Fair Vote Count (CFVC) Clearing house for vote fraud investigations.
  • Remote Link - HTML Voting Integrity Project Seeks reforms of the electoral process.
Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
Attributed to Josef Stalin

Campaign financing and disclosure

  • Enforcement
    • Remote Link - HTML Federal Election Commission Administers reports of campaign funding and disclosure laws and posts data online.
    • Remote Link - HTML California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Administers 1974 California Political Reform Act {PRA).
  • Resistance
    • Remote Link - HTML Californians Against Corruption Defense Fund Oppose what they claim is corrupt abuse of California PRA. [cache of inactive site]
    • Remote Link - HTML Opposes legislation to limit campaign contributions and require disclosure of contributors.
    • HTML Version Text Version       Real Campaign Finance Reform, by Jon Roland Article: Mar. 24, 2001
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
John Quincy Adams


  • Remote Link - HTML Ballot Access News Reports on the adventures of those trying to get candidates and measures on ballots in every state.
  • Remote Link - HTML Electorama Extensive collection of documents and links on election reform.


  • HTML Version Coalition for Non-partisan Redistricting.
  • HTML Version Text Version RTF Proposal for redistricting plans in Texas Would make use of existing computer programs to draw districts without regard for ethnicity or voting history.
  • HTML Version Redistricting Software Used to draw district boundaries. Can be used to make districts that do not take into account voting patterns of the interests of incumbents.
  • Remote Link - HTML Fixing the Reapportionment Mess, by Bill Blomberg, Dec. 7, 2000 Calls for drawing electoral districts using impartial computer programs.
  • Remote Link - HTML Class project at Columbia University using Maptitude, 2011.
  • V Demo of Texas congressional redistricting. Video interview of staff of the Redistricting Division of the Texas Legislative Council, May 16, 2003, and aired on public access cable May 17, 2003. Higher-res version. You will need the latest version of RealPlayer to view it, and a high-bandwidth connection to the Internet.


  • HTML Version Impeachment One of the methods of removal prescribed by the U.S. Constitution for the president and other high officials.
Original URL: //
Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 1995/9/25  

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