and I attended this event (http://californiaspeaks.org/
). It was fun, tiring and strange. And what's the odds that we would go to a forum of 800 people, picked randomly from the entire Bay Area and meet 5 people we knew? And to add to the fun, arriving late and seated right next to me a person (L), who we've known for years and years and he has no editor between what he things and what he says. Plus, he manages to,say with one hand "oh, no I'm okay" and with the other "help me, this isn't right, fix it". The pattern of wave one hand, wave the other and then both ,often distracted me from the conversation at the table.
Did I say we were at tables of 10 people, including one facilitator, There was video and live feeds from the other sites, as we all went through a series of
insurance issues. Our table was very cool. Everyone wanted single payer. Even though it was stated quite plainly that the Single Payer bill, now working its way through the California political system, did not have a chance because the Governor said he would Veto it if it came to his desk. Did we let that stop us? Nope. Each table had a computer to connect every site together. We expressed our "likes, dislikes, and concerns" for each issue in this manner. On every issue we made reference to why that particular issue would be better under a single payer system. And we weren't the only ones, in the room or around the state, because towards the end they put in a vote on the Single Payer option. In addition to a computer at each table, everyone had a keypad to vote on the issues. They tried really hard to keep insurance companies in the mix, but it was pretty obvious that there is a lot of energy for really changing the system. We'll see what, if anything, comes of it. Was this real democracy at work or a PR event/collection of statistical data to serve their predetermined purpose. I really hope it was the first, because the second will piss me off and depress me - not my favorite combo of emotions.