I've been writing fictional stories of one kind or another since I was old enough to write. I currently have several novels planned, in fact, in addition to the short story series I'm developing for my website, Fourth-day Universe. In all this time, though, I've never seriously considered writing a work of nonfiction until now. I've had vague plans about publishing a collection of my blog posts, some day, depending on the success of the blog itself; but this is a far more deliberate and specific project.
I posted a pair of polls over the summer asking two questions: Would you support altering election laws so that candidates' party affiliations and identifications are removed from the ballot, and Would you support changing the ways that state and federal governments operate so they are no longer divided into "majority" and "minority" parties. For a while, the responses were overwhelmingly "yes" to both questions; but as the window for answering drew to a close, the responses grew more even. The first question ended up perfectly split, 50-50, while the second question drew 64% "yes" and 35% "no".
I asked the questions because I feel they are important steps both in reducing partisanism in Congress and increasing voter participation during the entire election process. Last May, I wrote a trio of posts entitled "The Beginning of a Solution, Parts I, II, and III." In them, I wrote of the need to reform the way in which this country nominates its candidates for elective office. The primary/caucus/convention system has more than its share of flaws. I intend to explore the alternatives and even present my own. I also wrote about how allowing Congress and state legislatures to be divided into majority and minority parties gives a virtual stamp of approval on partisan warfare. My book will explore the possibilities of eliminating this practice, which, in conjuncture with reforming the nominating process, would hopefully ease the pressure to conform to national party standards. In all, the goal is to create an environment where representatives pay more attention to their states and districts than they do to their "leadership".
Those who know me and/or follow my blog know that I'm both passionate about writing and highly opinionated. I hope you've at least been enlightened if not entertained or educated by my posts. However, as virtually any of my teachers or professors (or parents) could tell you, while I'm highly intelligent, I'm not highly organized. This isn't usually a problem when writing fiction or even blog posts; my style tends to be more organic. Fortunately, I'm intelligent enough to realize that my normal method of writing won't be as productive when writing non-fiction. As soon as the elections are over, I'm going to begin researching my subject in earnest, as well as outlining the book itself. You'll be able to read updates on my progress on my Twitter account at FreeExofIdeas.
I'll also take time every now and then to update the blog on the more important issues, including major presidential addresses such as the State of the Union. But my target date for completion, if not publication, is late-2011/early-2012 before the presidential primaries and caucuses begin, so don't expect to see many posts here during the next year.
I haven't decided on a title yet; I imagine that will take care of itself. For now, I'm calling it "The Project". (I know; not terribly imaginative, is it?) Wish me luck.
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