Independent Minnesota 8th Congressional District candidate seeks nomination

I realized back when I was a young man the United States of America was not the pillar of democracy that the propagandists claim it to be. Expressing what I knew as a 19 year old, I could name quite a list of ruthless dictators that clandestine parts of the U.S. government had at least some responsibility of bringing into power if they did not outright install them. They included the Shah of Iran, Baby Doc, Marcos, Batista, Samoza, Suharto and Saddam Hussein to name a few.

In those youthful years, I also knew that within the internal workings of our nation; in spite the ‘privilege’ of a chance to vote on the two party partisan candidates to represent me; in reality I had far less than even one divided by the total population, now about a 310-million-to-one of a say.

The issue of installing dictators around the planet is just one example of many things our government does that conflicts with the well-being and morals of the majority of American people. Another is the Federal Reserve Act which put our monetary system in the hands of private bankers who very seldom if ever act with the interests of the United States as a whole in mind.

One of the few decent U.S. Senators, Independent Bernie Sanders, informed me of the true extent of the banker bailout at over $16.1 trillion dollars. Because your current Senators and Congressman failed to acknowledge and inform you of this ongoing unconstitutional financial crime; they themselves are now accomplices. We are not broke; the deficit is nothing more than a sleight of hand, an unconstitutional transfer of wealth from workers to an infinitely greedy class.

Then another issue is the fact that more than a handful of individual defense contractor CEOs each have profited in the hundreds of millions of dollars range and possibly billions from the questionable wars we are all expected to pay for. To express the extent of their sinister dysfunctional lead: do you feel protected by the more than 5000 nuclear warheads pointed at us, enough to kill every man woman and child on the planet 4 times over?

You say it is too radical and over the top to label the majority of our elected officials criminals? The U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, contains no article, section or clause to allow widespread government secrecy, torture or murder of our citizens whether at home or abroad, nor the selling of weapons to our enemies, nor the uninvestigated disappearance of trillions of dollars of money added to our collective national debt. The constitutionally guaranteed rights of each and every one of us are being systematically violated on a daily basis and that undeniably constitutes criminal activity.

We are so obviously led by a group of insane narcissistic sociopath individuals who do not serve or represent the morals or interests of the majority. In fact the trillions of dollars exchanged in the above scenario is just a small iota of our Nation’s problems. We hear enough about our problems everyday and next to nothing about solutions. I propose a solution based upon a way for everyday people to have meaningful participation and involvement, which I call direct participatory democracy.  Democracy is not a spectator sport, participate or lose.  

Understanding this lack of a real say and a real way to participate, around 1996 I theorized a method which the majority could have a meaningful vote and say. You see, the Internet came to be a viable means of communication around then. I knew at that time that computers and the Internet would provide us with the method through which every citizen would be able to vote on law and appropriation rather than on a pompous, prima donna individuals installed by the moneyed elite leaving us to vote on the lesser of two evils.

It is now possible for a congress person, a real representative of “We the People,” to use readily available computerized technology to offer each eligible person a chance to vote on each piece of legislation to come before them and enter the collective majority of that vote as the vote of the congressional district.

Since that initial realization of the possibility of true democracy; I have also studied those multiple-choice tests and utilization of optical mark recognition scanners. Using this technology will allow eligible people who don’t use computers, but still want to vote, a choice to return a ballot sent through the mail containing the bills most likely to come before the legislature. This way people who can’t or won’t use a computer can still vote. These methods of collecting the will and vote of the majority of people who exercise their right and responsibility of voting would have a say by their collective majority vote becoming the vote of the representative. One person one vote, direct participatory democracy is now possible on a district, national and worldwide basis.

So with this letter I put my name forward as an independent direct participatory democracy candidate for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. All I need is one person to nominate me and then for me to deposit a $100 fee, collect 1000 signatures, then Direct Participatory Democracy will be on the ballot in November 2012 for the first time in human history. 

Again, Direct Participatory Democracy in this sense means I will implement the technology to put in place a one person one vote system for every registered voter within the 8th District willing exercise their right and responsibility to vote on legislation and appropriation of our national funds. When elected I will contribute half of the Congressperson salary to get the Direct Participatory Democracy system in place and make it the best possible system. A $174,000 a year Congressperson’s salary for pulling the wool over our eyes is out of touch with the common American to begin with. I can live high and fine on half that. Every citizen is a stakeholder and deserves a say and a meaningful vote. I am smart enough to be able to supply each of you with the pros and cons of each bill, to write the bills the majority of the 8th District wants to put before the U.S. Congress and humble enough to be your vote counter.

Although I have spoke and played music in front of quite a few people and I have been a union steward, I don’t have a lot of experience as a politician. Yet on the other hand I am not afraid of any of them. The opposition can cut me down in any way that they like; it is not me alone that the people will be voting on, it will be a vote for themselves; a vote that will help lead this once great nation to it’s true potential of liberty, justice and a high standard of living for all; not just the few.

Yes, I will accomplish what I am saying here if I am elected, yet I remain modest. If someone else will take up the cause of direct participatory democracy with more name recognition and experience I would be happy to support them instead of running myself. I believe in the people of Northeastern Minnesota. What we have now is not democracy; it is a neo-capitalist cabal of a government with their being little or no difference between the democrats and republicans. I believe we can start an evolution within the system right here in Minnesota and avoid the growing necessity of a revolution that will most likely become violent. Once our district falls away from the neo-capitalist cabal toward a true one person one vote democracy others will follow. We can empower ourselves to change our neighborhoods, our state, our nation and even our Earth for the better. I welcome you to be part of it. Please let me know if you want to be part of the DPD movement or want me to speak to any person or group to promote DPD.

Ken Driessen
1225 1/2 W. Fourth St.
Duluth Minnesota 55806
kendriessen @


Stephenos LaFleur

about 11 years ago

Ken, I applaud you for initial efforts and bold plan.  The idea of a true one person-one vote system is one that I've been harboring for many years, but I always took the perspective of the whole system needing to be reformed from the ground up, a task which seemed virtually impossible (without some serious destruction).

The U.S. government, as it has come to be, is a very powerful entity based off of the preservation of status quo, one that serves to withhold power amongst a very small group of people (notably, politicians and wealthy businesspeople).  To stand up against this system, I believe, is to take a perilous journey, as the oppositional powers will likely stop at nothing to preserve their power.  But what I can say, is that in the scenario of your ideas coming to fruition via election, I think you would be supported strongly by the electorate, as Northeastern Minnesota is the best place in the country for this change to happen, in my opinion.  
It appears that you have strong constitutional values and a solid retrospective into what our founding citizens had envisioned for this country.  I've been disenchanted by the political system in the U.S. since before I could even vote, and the whole binary argument of red vs. blue (if you're not for this, you're for that) is a complete and utter fallacy of logic - it's a false dilemma (anyone who thinks there are two clear cut solutions to a problem are quite out of touch with their perspective of reality). 

So, thanks for finally providing a refreshing take on a system that I have little faith in - best of luck!


about 11 years ago

What you are talking about is called "direct democracy." It is an idea that certainly sounds appealing, but has some downsides as well. Most notably it is the governing by popular emotion. Yeah, our politicians can be nasty pieces of work, but they do come pretty directly from the people, and I would argue they are no more, or less corrupt than any given member of society. I tend to think that the intelligence of a group of people diminishes the more people that have direct input upon it.  

Want to see direct democracy in action? This fall will be a great time here in MN as the state legislature is doing an end run around the governor veto pen  by putting to ballot numerous changes to the State Constitution. Including inserting a ban on marriage equality directly into the constitution, and limiting voter access to the polls by requiring state ID. Both of which can be seen as a restriction of rights. To me the majority voting on the rights of the minority seems more than a little squicky. 

Direct democracy is not a panacea, it is something that I think would work well in a well-informed, engaged population, but then again if we actually had that many of our problems would be resolved already. To me "the rot" starts with an ignorant and fearful and emotion-driven population which is something that doesn't "just happen" but is indicative of how people chose to live their lives and make choices. What we see in government is just a visible manifestation. So changing the type of government would do little to changing the national character (and may actually make things worse).

Ken Driessen

about 11 years ago

Hi Edgeways:

As far as the majority voting in laws that restrict minorities, that is why we have a constitution and supreme court, supposedly. You would think members of the high court would be smart eh? Well if catering to infinite greed is smart, they are. Free speech is money and corporate eminent domain is constitutional. Is smart like Rick Santorum who votes and speaks as though Viagra for men is something insurance should pay for but not birth control for women? David Brooks of DBH sold bullet proof vests to US and had a salary of over 70 million dollars in the same year, when he found that some of the vest produced did not pass standards, he quickly sold his stock and made a total of 250 million dollars in one year, he is smart eh? So in your analogy, that we need smart people to tell us all what to do, he should be president right? 

I've worked with physically and mentally challenged people. Ask them if they want elected officials within our government to control the money or private bankers. What do you think any person who is smart enough to ever make or spend a single dollar would say? In a time in our history when infinite greed is considered smart and those sociopaths that follow that tenant buy our government, I will go with the will of the people right off. 

The vast majority of US people were against the banker bail out. The majority of US people want US to get out of Afghanistan. The majority of US people want universal national health care like every other civilized nation. The majority want cannabis regulated like alcohol and tobacco.   That is what major polls and surveys have said only they are meaningless. Yes, the movement I am working on could be shortened to direct democracy but that does not allow for meaningful participation.  Please rethink your reservations about Direct Participatory Democracy.

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