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BTL: Terrorist Alerts: Genuine Threats or Political Ploy?

Interview with Craig Eisendrath, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Instant Run-off Voting a Tool to Strengthen Democracy

Interview with Dennis Burke, electoral reform activist, conducted by Scott Harris

Many aspects of the U.S. electoral system have come under scrutiny since the calamitous presidential election of 2000 was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Issues getting renewed attention include the often burdensome process of registering voters, ensuring that once-cast votes are counted fairly and criticism of the Electoral College and the winner take-all two-party system for being less than democratic.

Any overhaul of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment, and a substantive shift away from the monopoly power of Democrats and Republicans is likely years away. But there is one electoral reform that could be ushered in simply by a majority vote in state legislatures and/or the Congress. It's called instant run-off voting, a widely used method of ranking a voter's preference for candidates, allowing citizens to support third parties without running the risk of the "spoiler effect."

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with activist Dennis Burke who worked in Arizona to help pass that state's clean money campaign finance law. He co-authored 94-year-old Doris "Granny D" Haddock's book recounting her cross-country trek advocating campaign finance reform, and is currently supporting Haddock's bid for the U.S. Senate. Burke explains the difference between instant run-off voting and proportional representation, and why he believes instant run-off voting would expand Americans' democratic possibilities.

For more information on instant run-off voting, call the Center for Voting and Democracy at (301) 270-4616, or visit their website at:

Related links:

"National Lawyers Guild Considers Campaign to Impeach Supreme Court Justices Who Stopped Florida Vote Count,"by Scott Harris, Between The Lines for the Week Ending Aug. 10, 2001

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
(c)2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Credits: Senior news editor: Bob Nixon Program narration: Denise Manzari News reader: Indu Anan Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus

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