The American public loves both innocence and defiance. On Bloody Sunday, when white policemen beat down black protestors who were dressed in their Sunday Clothes, Americans were heavily influenced to support civil rights legislation. This sort of protest has often worked where violence will not. The Ruckus Society’s use of a giant rubber duck as a means of protesting the use of PVC is exactly the sort of action the American public loves. It is a picture of innocence, but its size demands notice.
It is something that creates a picture good enough to attract the eye of the media and to be noticed by the everyday citizen, but it is not at all offensive. The Society’s use of a projector to create faux sale signs on Wal-Mart’s walls is another unorthodox method of protest that is both effective and publically acceptable. Because the “signs” are not permanent, they do not deface personal property, therefore, the public is not likely to be seriously offended by them.
On the other hand, the signs are noticeable. They boast that Wal-Mart has a clearance sale on health benefits. This is a clever and almost subtle sort of protest that is bound to make those looking for a good sale think twice about why the goods they hope to purchase from are so inexpensive (The Ruckus Society, 2003). While these forms of protest are not particularly harmful, the Ruckus society does encourage its members to break the law.
Its media manual, for instance, stresses that media outlets are more likely to cover “police aspects” of any protest action, such as what laws protestors are breaking and who got arrested (The Ruckus Society, 2003). The manual also urges protestors to be willing to “do whatever works. ” In spite of this, its actions do seem relatively civil and unthreatening. Therefore, most of the actions – at least, most of the actions The Ruckus Society shows in its gallery – seem to be actions that would be acceptable to much of the public.
#2 During the general election of the United States, registered voters choose electors to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice. In all but two states, all of the states’ electoral votes go to the electors pledged to the candidate the majority votes for. The governor of each state then prepares seven certificates of ascertainment, listing the names of the electors and how many votes they received (Office of the Federal Register, 2008). He sends the original copy, along with two other copies to the Federal Register, before the deadline of December 15.
States must settle any disputes over electors six days before that deadline. On the day of the deadline, electors meet in their state to elect the president. No federal law requires electors to vote for the candidate their state’s popular votes go to, however, several states have such laws. The electors then record their votes on six “Certificates of Vote”, which are sent, together with the remaining copies of the certificates of ascertainment to the President of the Senate and the Archivist.
The Archivist then sends copies of the Certificates of Ascertainments to Congress. Congress then, in joint-session, counts the electoral votes. Congress must give a majority of its votes to a presidential candidate for the candidate to win. If no majority is found, the house selects the President and the house selects the Vice President. Because the electors are under no obligation to vote for the candidates the people of their state pick, the Electoral College inhibits democracy (Office of the Federal Register, 2008).