Okay, first and foremost, I happen to believe I live in one of the greatest countries in the world. I enjoy freedoms that many are denied because of the particular style of gov’t they live under. I can’t argue that. However, I also believe that for a gov’t to remain static in some of its principles for over 200 years is not going to work in the long run. Yes, our forefathers were literal geniuses to have come up with a document that was adaptable enough to handle as much as it has up to now. Astounding really, when you think about it.
I’ve put some thought into it, and tried to think of ways we could put more control back into the hands of the common citizen, as opposed to the way things currently are. I’m fiercly opposed to lobbyists, and the level of control that money has in the top line gov’t thinking. It seem ridiculous to me (for instance) that just because the cigarette manufacturer’s of this country have such a huge amount of money, that legislation restricting the use of such a poison is so slow in coming.
Another example of the this. Whether or not you realize, the largest lobby in the country is the aged. The largest single contributer of campaign monies is still people over 60. I actually remember a commercial during the last campaign which at the very end proclaimed in large text “Vote for <x>, and put money back in the hands of the elderly”. Astonishing. Now, I’m not saying that the aged don’t have a right to be represented in the election process… what I *am* saying is why should they have more say than the geeks, or the homeless, or those attracted to poodles?
I’m also not saying I have all the answers, but here’s one idea.
First, get rid of campaign commercials, and all the campaigning monies needed to run for high office. If we need to see our soon to be elected officials in debates, then sure, let’s get them up there on publicly broadcasted, and heavily mediated and controlled questioned environments by a third, and hopefully objective party. Maybe even base all questions on input from a user community that has decided on a set number of questions they want to hear the answers to. Also, no going back and forth, dragging each other through the mud. Each person gets one chance to say how he feels on the subject asked about.
Second, it would be nice if we could vote on ‘topics’, instead of people. If we could have electronic forums (newsgroups, if you will) in a heirarchical format, divided by region (federal, state, and local) and topic, where people who were interested could go to discuss, and then finally vote on particular issues, we would see several results. First of all, only people who were informed enough about a particular topic would typically vote on them. Sure, you’d still get people heading to particular areas of the heirarchy, and just randomly voting on things, or voting based on relatively uninformed opinions. But hey, I still see that as better than the MASS MAJORITY voting on issues they only know about because of some biased tv ad they just saw. We’d see important issues being resolved by people who were seriously interested in the results of the issues.
It seriously bothers me that the ‘popular vote’ is so swayed by money and media. Those are two things that should have absolutely NOTHING to do with decision making on serious issues.