The Love Chronicles: My Dream for Politics in America

Posted: July 27, 2011 in News and politics
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The Love Chronicles
My Dream for Politics in America

I have a few thoughts on how we as Americans need to change the basic way we get our candidates nominated and elected, then how they should run a campaign after they are selected.
Let’s start by changing how we pick our elected officials. Jim Mahon, a very good friend and a fellow blogger put forth this idea when responding to something I wrote and I have been thinking about it in the back of my mind ever since. He stated that he would like candidates to post resumes for the office or position that they are interested in. He did not specify exactly how the process would evolve, but this is a rough idea that I have been kicking around. Everyone in this day and age should have access to the internet, for the purpose of this proposal; we will assume this is true. Then I would like to see a resume submitted to a site set up for the purpose, along with a paper outlining more in depth why the candidate wants the job, what they think the job really is, and why they think they are qualified along with their plans and designs if elected. There would not be any party affiliations, each candidate can state his or her preferred party in the resume, along with why, but the paper they submit would be restricted to statements about the position or office they were seeking, no party politics allowed. They also would not be allowed to mention their competitors in any way, only what and how they would do the job if elected. After a reasonable amount of time has been allowed for the American people to review this information, a preliminary vote would be taken. The ballot would contain only the names of the candidates, no party, no affiliations allowed. The top four vote getters would then be officially nominated by the public, regardless of their stated party affiliations.
The candidates would not hit the campaign trail; this is where all of the he said she said lies and innuendo start. Instead, based on the resume and the paper submitted for the initial vote, the public will start formulating and sending in questions they want answered by the candidates on live television. This will also be limited in that questions about religion, sexual orientation, or questions of a personal nature would not be allowed. If, for example, the candidate was running for congress, questions about his or her feelings on abortion, right to life, the debt, social issues, crime, term limits, pretty much everything will be on the agenda. Questions will be ranked by popularity, so the question that was asked the most will be the first question asked the candidates as the live telecast and webcast starts. The candidate will be given two hour segments to answer on live television on two adjacent nights. If the candidate decides to go off on a tangent and proceeds to frame an answer that was not what was asked, he or she will be admonished once to restrict answers to the questions asked, if this is ignored they will immediately be cut off and informed that they must wait for the next question. This will keep the candidate from spouting out canned messages that have been rehearsed. No questions will be allowed that asks for candidates to make any statements about their competitors. None of the candidates would be allowed to hear what the others reply is and they would all be asked the same questions. Candidates would not be allowed to make commercials, buy ads or any other form of media. This way, all candidates are on an even keel, there would be no campaign chests, no donations by big business to garner favor after the election. No muck raking or character assassination. After each candidate has gone through this process, one last speech of their own design will be allowed, with only one proviso, they still cannot mention their opponents, only what they are about, what they have to offer, what they stand for, and why we should vote for them. Then it goes to a final election vote and ballot, still with just their names on it, no party affiliation. The largest vote getter is elected.
I know lots of things still need to be worked out, such as how do you keep a party from flooding the question site with just the questions that favor their candidate or from everyone on the planet from trying to participate. One idea is when you register and vote in the primary, your ballot will have an identifying number or code, which you will have to input to submit a question. Maybe each ballot will come with more than one identifier, if more than one question per voter is thought to be necessary. With all of the different voters in different areas and with different interests, a very wide set of questions should appear, the most popular of course accumulating the higher ask ratio, and so making it onto the candidates question and answer portion of this process.
Now comes the biggest problem as I see it, how to limit the candidate pool to people actually qualified to run for the office or job. We have, I hope you noticed, eliminated the need for huge amounts of campaign funds to run, opening up politics at the national level to a huge segment of individuals who could not have afforded to run before. This however does open the door for every crack pot and know it all on the planet to get involved. So this is how I see it going. Just like any job you would apply for in corporate America in upper management, you either must have already proven yourself in a job that reflects the skills you will need to accomplish your goals in politics, or a degree that says you are qualified to try! But, and here comes the hard part, in order to even qualify to enter your resume, you will have had to pass a test. Yes a test, much as lawyers have to pass a BAR examination in a state in order to practice, a potential candidate will have to pass a Political Science Aptitude Test or a Psat in order to qualify. This test would be very in depth and designed to make sure the candidate has the basic knowledge it would take to help run a state, a country, or administer an office he is running for. There might be a general test for all politicians, and then certain offices, say the Attorney General, would require a secondary more specialized test to run for that office.
All this and there still might be term limits, no provided health care except a group plan you can join and pay premiums just like the rest of us. In my new world there would definitely be no retirement benefits. You would get these either from the company you own or work for in the private sector, but not paid for with tax dollars. Serving your country in public office would be a privilege and a sacrifice on your part, not a career. You would get a salary commensurate with the responsibilities that the job required, and like now, you would be given an allowance to set up and run your personal office and pay for office personnel. I think it should not be overly extravagant, and the same for every candidate, no royalty of politics allowed!
Every politician should have an open forum with his constituents where the people he or she represents are making their wishes known as issues come up. In the case of congress and the senate, the speeches, voting records, and all work on any committee, etc, will all be posted and available for his constituents to evaluate how well their representative is actually representing them. All lobbyists will be proclaimed illegal and forbidden to contact a public official. Any official taking a trip not paid for by themselves, accepting a dinner they did not pay for, is out of the question and may lose them their jobs. There will be no campaigning, no fund raisers, as the only avenue they have to reelection is the path laid out in this article.
Ok, anything like this is going to have some drawbacks you are going to see right away, I get that. I am just trying to show you a way to rid ourselves of party politics, at least in the selection and voting process that gets a candidate into office. This fact alone will free up a politician to work with others in getting things done because he or she does not depend on the party to get reelected. I would think after a while, most politicians would not even claim a party affiliation. Although I am sure there will always be special interest groups, but like everyone else they will have to address themselves to congress as a whole, and not as a lobbyist behind closed doors.
So this is what has been floating around in my head the past few weeks, what do you think? I think that anybody fool enough to still want to be a politician will be an individual who loves his or her country and want to see America flourish and thinks they can help it do so. Hopefully this will end the trend to elect only what Jim Mahon and I call American Royalty who are tied to big business, banks, and powerful special interest! Feel free to comment on Facebook, email, or post your opposition paper! I welcome any and all input, positive or negative, it is all educational!
In my next blog I want to introduce you to a new way to treat those individuals who have fought for their country, with an emphasis on the wounded vet, see you then!

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