Electoral Dysfunction

Taking Political Responsibility

What political responsibility does a government have to its people? In President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address earlier this week, he spoke of the role of the federal government in the United States.

“Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune,” said President Obama on Monday. “Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.”

This week, REACT to FILM takes a look on how a country’s government responds to its issues ranging from voting to national disasters.

Filmed during the 2012 Presidential Election, Electoral Dysfunction takes a humorous and nonpartisan look at the American voting system and the government it reflects.

On the MSNBC morning show Morning Joe earlier this week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the Republican Party needs to be more inclusive when it comes to voting at the poll. Stricter voter ID laws, according to Powell, tend to target minorities.

Though voter ID laws affect those on both sides of the political spectrum, Powell sees it as the Republican Party not being inclusive enough.

“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference?” he asked. “The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier for people to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, and not to find ways to keep them from voting at all.”

REACT to Electoral Dysfunction:

UNDERSTAND voting requirements in your state by visiting your local Secretary of State website.
ENGAGE young people to vote and build their political power through resources such as Rock the Vote.
ACHIEVE systemic change on voting rights and reform through groups like The Advancement Project and the Fair Elections Legal Network.

***

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom takes a look at the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, following the lives of the disaster’s survivors.

According to the Associated Press and Komo News, eight American sailors who served on a humanitarian mission to Japan in the wake of the 2011 tsunami-triggered Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis, are suing the utility company that operates the power plant.

The sailors claim the Japanese government repeatedly said there was no danger to the carrier crew “all the while lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdowns” causing rescuers to “rush into an unsafe area.”

The U.S. Navy allegedly relied on information from the Japanese government, which only belatedly admitted that radiation had leaked into the atmosphere from the damaged power plant.

In months after the devastating tsunami, former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that he wanted his country to learn from its ongoing crisis and become less reliant on nuclear energy.

“We should seek a society that does not rely on nuclear energy,” Kan said. “We should gradually and systematically reduce reliance on nuclear power and eventually aim at a society where people can live without nuclear power plants.”

REACT to The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom:

DONATE to Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund through various outlets such as Global Giving and Save the Children.
SIGN this petition for the Japanese Government to stop the construction of the Ōma Nuclear Power Plant and for the country to look into safer energy alternatives.
VOLUNTEER with an international environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth International to support global awareness of environmental issues.

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