Courses

  • 4 Lessons

    C-101 Identifying a Good Candidate

    One of the most common mistakes made in politicis is a candidate running for office who is either unprepared or unsuited for the race. This course is designed to help you evaluate someone's (possibly you) suitability to run for office.

  • 7 Lessons

    Elections: Voting Methods

    Elections are the only mechanism by which citizens can hope to maintain effective control over their government.  It is obviously crucial that elections work well. Equally obviously, elections have not been working at all well.  It is both critical and urgent that airtight integrity of elections be achieved and maintained.  Citizens must always be able to implicitly trust election results.  There are indeed serious integrity risks that need to be addressed, but that is a whole separate topic that is outside the scope of this course.  However, there also are several things which need to be fixed that would significantly improve how elections themselves function.  By far, the most serious single problem is continued use of the Plurality (or "first past the post") voting method, and that is our topic here.  In this course, you will learn why the Plurality voting method is truly awful and about the serious damage it is causing.  We will examine some of the many possible replacement voting methods and their characteristics.  Finally, you will learn about two newer voting methods, either of which is able to provide the large quantitative and qualitative improvement that is desperately needed.
  • 4 Lessons

    Gerrymandering

    Elections are the only mechanism by which citizens can hope to maintain effective control over their government.  It is obviously crucial that elections work well.  Equally obviously, elections have not been working at all well.  It is both critical and urgent that airtight integrity of elections be achieved and maintained.  Citizens must always be able to implicitly trust election results.  There are indeed serious integrity risks that need to be addressed, but that is a whole separate topic that is outside the scope of this course.  However, there also are several things which need to be fixed that would significantly improve how elections themselves function.  By far, the most serious single problem is continued use of the Plurality voting method (see the separate Voting Methods course).  The second most serious problem is known as gerrymandering, and that is our topic here.  In this course, you will learn what gerrymandering is, why such a widely-known, ridiculed and reviled practice has not been fixed, and how it could easily be dispatched in a straightforward and permanent way.
  • 8 Lessons

    Homesteading 101

    Are you already familiar with the concept of homesteading but want to know more? Or are you just starting to consider a life on the farm? Whether you already own a wheelbarrow, or you’re just starting to daydream about a chicken coop, read on!

  • 4 Lessons

    T-101 How To Be A Treasurer

    All board members share the responsibility for a nonprofit organization’s financial health. The treasurer is an officer of the board. Like other board officers, the treasurer has additional responsibilities. It’s important for the treasurer to manage the financial matters of the nonprofit appropriately. In addition, the treasurer must make sure that fellow officers and volunteers also understand the organization’s financial policies and procedures.

    Nonprofit organizations help bring communities together for the benefit of a common cause. Nonprofits that follow all laws and regulations earn the trust and respect of their communities, which means they must be responsible and accountable for the organization’s money management.

    The treasurer must be certain that all accounting records and books are up to date at all times to avoid any suspicion of wrongdoing. In addition, most nonprofits limit the length and number of terms their board directors and officers serve, so it’s important for current treasurers to get things ready to transfer duties to a new treasurer. The outgoing treasurer will want to make sure that all financial matters are current and clearly laid out so that it will be a smooth transition for the incoming treasurer.

    National nonprofit organizations that have state and local affiliates sometimes have electronic portals set up for financial standardization and accountability. Organizations usually provide training for the treasurer or membership chair in these situations.