To Reinvent Representative Democracy: A New Approach

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This article is in response to one by Opher Goodwin:

A Perfect Society

 

There is a great multitude of reasons as to why Representative Democracy is the best form of government, but there is a growing number of reasons as to why we need to take a fresh approach to its application: Democracy needs to be reinvented. We need to change how we choose our representatives.

 

Electing our representatives is at the root of the problem; the media has ensured that elections have become an emotional decision, not a rational one. It’s time people take back the power. We need to eliminate elections for office, and make political parties irrelevant: an anachronism. And this is how we should do it:

 

What I propose is an eight-year process to replace the system at hand, and gradually replacing representatives at the local, regional, state and national levels. If you are a US citizen, felony-free and above the age of 18, if you want to participate in government you’ll have to take and pass a detailed Civil Service Examination, and pay a fee (fee waived if you can prove hardship), which you’ll have to do every five years if you want to stay eligible for selection.

 

When the first body of citizen candidates is registered as eligible, an anonymous lottery will be conducted at the local level (similar to jury duty selection), and 10 people will be chosen. With seven voting members, and three alternates, this will be the new city council. Among and from them they will select a mayor, and serve for two years as the administrators of their municipality. At the end of this time, from their group, they’ll select one person to be the next (or continuing) mayor of the municipality, and one person to represent the municipality at the county level.

 

In the second two-year span there will be county council created, consisting of representatives chosen from the municipalities, who will choose a commissioner among and from them. This county council will serve for two years, at the end of which they’ll select the next (or continuing) commissioner, and one person to represent the county at the state level.

 

In the third two-year span there will be a state legislature created, consisting of representatives chosen from the counties, who will choose a governor among and from them. This legislature will serve for two years, at the end of which they’ll select the next (or continuing) governor, and one person to represent the state at the national level.

 

In the fourth two-year span there will be a national legislature created, consisting of representatives chosen from the states, who will choose a president among and from them. This legislature will serve for two years, at the end of which they’ll select the next (or continuing) president, and the remainder of the legislators will be done with service.

 

By eliminating the need for elections, you’d be saving funds that could be used for better purposes than propaganda; you’d be curtailing special interest groups; you’d be squashing the power of big business and foreign interests in the US. By eliminating the need for political parties, you’d be freeing the country from the chains of an internally corrupt two-party monster. But fundamentally, you’d be giving a voice back to the average citizen.

 

By using this process, you’d ensure that people that want to serve can, that they are intelligent enough to make sound decisions, and that they got their power by chance, not by influence, coercion or lies.

Comments

Stone-Eater Friedli Added Dec 7, 2017 - 2:26pm
http://direct-democracy.geschichte-schweiz.ch/
 
To me, the best there is for the time being. Judge for yourself.
mark henry smith Added Dec 7, 2017 - 2:51pm
It sounds like an interesting proposition, but how would you ever get there. The parties would never allow it and from your initial argument the big money in politics would be able to make emotional arguments that would sway the electorate against it. In Greece, when democracy started, they would put list all eligible candidates in a hat and pull a name. From what I remember, if the candidate got more white balls than black balls, they were elected. And then they would vote on one person to be blackballed.
 
The system was filled with inside deals and outright cheating and the Greeks soon settled for dictatorship. The acts of one benevolent dictator can outweigh the sins of twenty, as Rome learned. Too bad Trump isn't benevolent or many of the names were seeing on the landscape that truly deserve black balling. It even appears that's something some of them do in them do for fun. Sorry, bad joke. That's what Socrates executed, too many bad jokes. Fortunately for me we live in more enlightened times. Welcome to the fray, Michael.      
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 7, 2017 - 2:59pm
Stone,
You're right, the direct democracy idea would work the best, but Switzerland is also a bit smaller than the US, not so sure it would work on a macro scale.
 
Mark,
Yea, having to get there... it would entirely go against the US Constitution as it's currently written. A pretty dramatic change... a revolution? It may be worth it.
opher goodwin Added Dec 7, 2017 - 3:38pm
Michael - yes I like it - scrutiny and accountability. It would root out the corruption and fawning to power.
Dave Volek Added Dec 7, 2017 - 4:51pm
I remember a thinker who said the we should ask all those citizens who want to serve in government to put their name in a hat. When all names have been collected, throw out the hat's contents and put everyone else in. Then draw randomly.
 
I applaud anyone who recognizes that the political parties have to go. Hopefully this article will spawn more discussion on this line.
 
opher goodwin Added Dec 7, 2017 - 6:21pm
Party politics has consistently produced unacceptable candidates. It is not right that every election is a choice of the lesser of two evils.
This gives a way forward.
Utpal Patel Added Dec 8, 2017 - 6:26am
“We need to eliminate elections for office, and make political parties irrelevant: an anachronism.”
 
If not for elections, we wouldn’t have a Democracy.  I suspect the only reason elections are suddenly so terrible is that your favored politicians didn’t win the last one. 
 
I’m sorry, but anonymously choosing our leaders is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard.  I want leaders with a proven track record of success.  I want to see how they handle difficult questions from the media.  I want to see their opponents try to discredit them and what they dig up to do so.  I want to see them debate their opponents.  All of these things are how are system currently works and you want to shit can it for names out of a hat.  C’mon, you can’t be serious?
 
Even if you are serious, that wouldn’t preclude the chosen ones from joining a political party / forming political alliances with like-minded fellow politicians. 
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 8, 2017 - 8:36am
Utpal,
I'm deadly serious. No, not just "names out of hat." These would be citizen, law-abiding adults that care enough to pay and pass a Civil Service test. The same criteria for other public servants.
 
There would be no need for political parties, but no need to outlaw them either. It would be like outlawing use of the telegraph. Who cares? A beautiful invention for its time, but that time has past...
 
If you don't want to participate, you don't have to. These comments of yours:
 
I want leaders with a proven track record of success. I want to see how they handle difficult questions from the media. I want to see their opponents try to discredit them and what they dig up to do so.
 
Are unfortunately entirely irrelevant due to Trump's success: HE NEVER HELD OFFICE BEFORE, he doesn't answer questions from the media, and he has the language of a 12-year-old. And this is who you want to represent us? 
 
The system is broken beyond repair. So many goddamn gun-toting Americans claim the Second Amendment helps keep government in check. Well, time to put that to the test. It's time to take the power back. It's time for revolution!
 
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 8, 2017 - 8:37am
TO THE FINLAND STATION!
Dino Manalis Added Dec 8, 2017 - 9:05am
We should do a much better job of electing the best representatives who are much more interested in policymaking than politics.  It's the people's business!
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 8, 2017 - 9:10am
No Dino,
Time to do away with elections. Far too much manipulation, and not nearly enough participation. American government started to go awry with "career politicians". It used to just be people "giving back" at the end of their careers.
 
One of the heads of the monster is bureaucracy, it becomes its own morality. It becomes "too big to fail." Time to kill the monster. Time to take the power back!
 
 
George N Romey Added Dec 8, 2017 - 9:12am
I’m for eliminating political parties. Just maybe a few brave souls in Washington might start to do the right thing with no pressure from the corporate sponsored party bosses.
opher goodwin Added Dec 8, 2017 - 1:14pm
Power to the People Michael.
Dave Volek Added Dec 8, 2017 - 2:14pm
Michael
You have offered several proposals that are very much in line with Tiered Democratic Governance: no political parties and really opening up the process for many more people to participate. The TDG does have elections, but  voting is based on good character and competence for governance. Any one who shouts long and loud for the job should be someone not to cast a vote towards in a TDG culture.
 
A couple of commentators of this thread have alluded that politics is indeed a skill set (which I don't have). Some of this skill set is natural talent and some is learned from experience. This skill set cannot be demonstrated by passing a civics exam.
 
In each TDG neighborhood (approximately 200 citizens), one representative will be elected for a one-year term. If the citizen does a poor job being a representative, he or she will be replaced next year, albeit is a rather undramatic way. If the representative is doing a mediocre job--and the neighbors are happy, that person could be the neighborhood representative for many years. If the person is a doing a fantastic job as neighborhood representative, that person will likely rise higher in the TDG.
 
In this manner, TDG representatives get their political experience at the local level. And the local level is the testing ground to determine if they should be moved up. Those representatives who find their way to the higher levels are indeed very capable of people. The general citizenry will be more at peace with these representatives at the helm.
 
 
Dave Volek Added Dec 8, 2017 - 2:32pm
George
If you are waiting for someone in Washington to marshal Michael's suggestions, you (and your grandkids) are going to have a long wait.
 
The TDG will be built by ordinary people. To start a TDG in a neighborhood, a TDG supporter should find 5 neighbors to start writing local constitution. I estimate each supporter will spend about 10 to 20 hours a month on this task. It will take three to six months to craft this document.
 
Because the TDG will be in its early stage, the constitution will have rules for electing a TDG committee of three to ten members rather than a neighborhood representative.
 
With the TDG Constitution written, the local TDG will conduct its own election under its own rules. Those who are elected to the TDG committee will spend about 10 to 20 hours a month trying to move the TDG into a more prominent position in the neighborhood. Those who are not elected should spend 10 to 20 a year on TDG affairs. Hopefully they will attend a few town hall meetings. This will help in them to cast a wiser voter next election. And maybe their presence will find them elected to the committee.
 
Chapter 6 gives everything for average citizens to get the ball rolling by themselves. There is no need to go to Washington or carry protest signs. There is no need to wait.
 
 
mark henry smith Added Dec 8, 2017 - 3:03pm
Michael, I'm sorry for my fellow WBers, it appears they can't read or don't read carefully enough. I got your point that there would be no need to outlaw political parties, that outlawing political parties is not the point of this approach. The point is to put people in office who number one are qualified, can pass a test to prove basic cognitive skills. Two, have their primary interest in serving for the best of the public, not a party or a special interest. And three, can not rest on their laurels once elected as so many do.
 
How many of you knew how many creeps we have prowling the halls of congress looking for staffers to give the staff to? How many of you know the number of elected and government officials who are actually lobbyists for Israel?
How many of you know the percentage of incumbents who get reelected just because their years in office, despite gross incompetence, have gotten them the chairmanship of committees?
 
The most grotesque argument that has been perpetrated on the American people isn't Donald Trump, it's the idea that business people are better at running governments than thinking people. Make 'em all take a test right now, tomorrow, the basic civil service exam and let's see how many pass without some lackey feeding them answers.
 
And hooray for Al Franken. At least the man maintained a shred of integrity and conscience. Michael do you think you could create a conscience exam too?    
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 8, 2017 - 3:29pm
Dave,
I like your idea, but Mark Henry here got it more to the point: throw out the baby with the bathwater. Elections should only concern things like school board issues and whether or not to raise taxes to build some new bridge, it shouldn't be about politicians anymore. 
 
Mark Henry, 
Although probably said in joking, I'm sure a conscience exam is entirely doable. You can test for just about everything, so long as it's fair and impartial. But like I said, jury duty selection and civil service examinations are used everyday, to wonderful effect, to get ordinary people certified to serve us. Why not legislators too? 
 
The problem with my idea is that it's too radical of a change to be implemented from within. An external overthrow of that system would be needed. And with the power, resources and might of US law enforcement and military behind maintaining the status quo, it's quite a hill to climb....
Bill H. Added Dec 8, 2017 - 4:41pm
 
Politicians are now using technology and media to control and convince those who are easily manipulated, as is obvious as of late. They know to use "strings" like FB and search engines to direct their messages. The Russians are certainly very good at this.
Dave Volek Added Dec 8, 2017 - 5:02pm
Micheal
I used to be an advocate of more referenda in government decisions. This seems intuitive in that the citizen are more involved in the decision. But I went away from that thinking, and went back to representative democracy for several reasons:
 
1) Citizens really don't have the time to understand as fully as they should.
2) Referenda tend to reduce the issue to black/white solutions when the issue is in shades of grey.
 
As well, I advocate for a more consultative approach to decision making (Chapter 4) and referenda are not all that consultative.
 
The TDG representatives at the higher tiers will probably be working full time and should have the time and resources to put more effort into their deliberations. Plus they won't have the obligation of attending party functions to keep their place in the party.
 
 
John Minehan Added Dec 8, 2017 - 8:15pm
The PRC has an interesting system.  Some sources I have seen say they have a qualification system like the one you advocate.
 
The existence of the Party there makes it fundamentally different from what you propose.
A. Jones Added Dec 9, 2017 - 1:17am
What I propose is an eight-year process to replace the system at hand, and gradually replacing representatives at the local, regional, state and national levels.
 
And will your proposal be implemented by means of a democratic majority vote? Or will you simply force it on everyone by means of a military coup? Or haven't you moved beyond the dreaming Utopian stage of your idea?
 
As long as the left remains Utopian in its vision of "what's best for the rest of us whether we like it or not," there will always be the threat of blood in the streets.
 
My advice to genuine liberals: keep your powder dry.
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 9, 2017 - 8:18pm
A Jones, I actually consider myself a rightist.
 
As I said, method of implementation would be hardest part. Actually, I think the idea is more in line with what many of our founders intended, particularly those involved with anti-federalist agenda. 
 
Funny that you think such an idea would be forcing people under a new system, when in reality it would be freeing them from an already broken one....
A. Jones Added Dec 10, 2017 - 3:33am
Funny that you think such an idea would be forcing people
 
How will you implement your proposal? By force?
 
in reality it would be freeing them from an already broken one....
 
There's never been a tyrant in history who didn't think he was actually freeing people from a broken system. Join the club.
Thomas Napers Added Dec 10, 2017 - 4:01am
“No, not just "names out of hat." These would be citizen, law-abiding adults that care enough to pay and pass a Civil Service test. The same criteria for other public servants.”
 
I don’t know about the rest of your readers but that provides almost no comfort.  I dislike most politicians greatly, but at least most are highly accomplished outside of politics in some regard.  By way of example, prior to becoming a politician, Obama went to Harvard and became a lawyer.  He was also a successful community organizer, with many other accomplishments you can look up.  Trump was a billionaire.  Shall we look into the resume of some other politicians to prove my point?
 
To think the average adult schmuck that passes a Civil Service exam and hasn’t been convicted of a crime contains can be as capable a leader is ridiculous.  So sure, you’re aren’t picking a name out of a hat but you are doing something awfully close. 
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 10, 2017 - 8:26am
Thomas,
The civil service test is used to choose everyone from police officers to air traffic controllers. Many of these jobs are very critical public leadership positions 
 
Once a person is chosen at their municipal level, they have to politic their way up to the top anyway, don't worry, same manipulation of bullshit we already have.
 
I fail to see what being a billionaire has to do with public leadership. More like experience at being a professional asshole. And that's what we got!
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 10, 2017 - 8:29am
A Jones,
You seem preoccupied by implementation. That being the case, how would you recommend implementing?
A. Jones Added Dec 10, 2017 - 5:41pm
You seem preoccupied by implementation.
 
And you seem unconcerned by it.
 
It's your pipe-dream, so you answer the question:
 
How would you implement it?
Dave Volek Added Dec 10, 2017 - 10:00pm
A. Jones
 
You are making a very good point. Many creators of utopia have no idea on to move from here to their utopia. Almost as if we will wake up one morning and there it will be on our front step.
 
Thomas Napers Added Dec 11, 2017 - 5:51am
I get the fact municipal employees need to pass a civil service exam to work for the municipality.  Seeing it’s my tax money which pays them, I sure hope all municipal employees are doing needed work (for whatever it’s worth…I have my doubts). 
 
All of this is a digression from the point you made and my criticism of it.  You think the near equivalence of picking names out of a hat is a better way to pick people to run the government and I think we can do better.  Look, I’m sure the civil service exam is a difficult exam, however graduating from Harvard or making billions of dollars is far more difficult thing to do.  Let alone all the other things I mentioned which helps us determine the right person for POTUS or Governor or Register of Probate. 
 
Again, I suspect this all boils down to your political bias and you just tipped your hand.  Seeing that Trump is president, I don’t blame you for thinking we should pick names out of a hat.  I’d have taken a name out of a hat over Obama. 
 
In addition, the civil service exam is generally taken by liberals, seeing it’s liberals who generally work for municipalities.  After all, teachers unions, police unions and fire department unions almost always support liberals, as its liberals that like the idea of providing them ever increasing chunks of the private sector’s money.
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:16am
A. Jones and Dave,
The real pipe dream is planning the revolution. Did you know that what's popular right now for pregnant women is to create a "birth plan"? Like a lesson plan, it spells out the different steps planned for the birth. When my wife and I talked about it with her doctor he started laughing.
 
I think if you look at revolutions it's much the same issue, they can happen a multitude of different ways. Having a set plan is pretty ridiculous. 
 
What makes me sad is that there is this concept that revolution always ends in tyranny; the idea that revolution can make people freer is a myth. I think the opposite is much more so the case.
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:29am
Thomas,
I see what you're saying, but you're not looking at my argument when you say the near equivalence of picking names out of a hat.
 
By the time someone would make it to POTUS, for example, they would have been forced to have served at the inferior levels of government for years, having had passed the civil service examination, shown great leadership, and then convinced all their peers they they're the best person for the job.
 
If you think about it, it has the potential for being a much better system then we have now.
John Minehan Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:35am
Sort of like the old Roman "Cursus honorum?'
Thomas Napers Added Dec 11, 2017 - 11:38am
I’m sorry but by your response I still real a lot of anti-Trumpism.   After all, per your system, Trump would be out because Trump didn’t spend any time in government and career politicians would be in.  The country is far more interested in seeing non-career politicians serve in high office (Trump is not the only example) and I would hate to design a system that would exclude them from consideration.  Everyone should be able to be considered.  If the country values government service as highly as you think, those candidate should win.  I would also add that passing a civil service examination says nothing about leadership, however running a successful business does. 
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 11, 2017 - 12:56pm
John,
Yes, similar, thanks!
Thomas,
True, I'm not a fan of Trump, but he by no means would be out of the equation. He would just have to have experience in government first: which I don't think would be a bad thing.
 
I don't see where anybody would be excluded if they're interested in serving, quite the contrary. I think that more capable people would be serving because you'd basically negate, or severely limit, the influence these groups would have on the system:
 
The Media
Special Interest Groups
Political Parties
Career Politicians
mark henry smith Added Dec 11, 2017 - 1:01pm
 
So Trump is a good president because he ran a business that went bankrupt how many times? Threw how many people out of work? Grabbed how many women's privates? Ripped off how many communities for the tax incentives? Had how many prostitutes give him golden showers? Had how many wives and affairs? Had how many imbecile things to say? Still does? Is possibly certifiable? POSSIBLY? Mr. Nittweet?
 
Napers, it doesn't take that competent a person to run a business. It takes ambition. Not intelligence. Not caring. The best quality business people have is not caring too much about the people in your organization, because the point is to make money, not be a social service.
 
Government is the exact opposite. It is a social service. The goal isn't to profit for yourself, but to make life better for the people you serve. Do you really believe Trump is doing that? You can only believe that if you believe the only people he serves are the people who can go to Key Largo and get into his compound.
 
But, he is exactly what we need at this time, someone who has no vision of the future, what his policies will wrought, a revolution of epic proportions, the kind of revolution that the framers of our constitution demanded when the government stopped being representative of the will of the people and had lost it's moral compass. And I think that will be great, really great, will make America great again.
 
Amd why not demand some basic competency to serve in elected office, not just being some rich asshole, with an ego problem, who has a team of fluffers handling his image and can buy all the press money can buy?     
Jeffrey Kelly Added Dec 11, 2017 - 1:11pm
I think the problem I have is that citizens have to pass an exam which they pay for. This is what makes them eligible.
 
Two issues:

One, you have pay for it, which automatically excludes anyone who doesn’t have the money. Two, it includes a testing component. Only those who have access to the test materials are going to do well, inevitably an industry would sprout up around it. Look at the materials available for things like the SAT or ACT and tell me I’m wrong. Those who can afford it will buy them, get tutors, take the requisite courses, etc. Inevitably you would wind up with a class system, an elite that governs without the consent of the governed.
 
I do like SEF’s system. I also like a parliamentary system, essentially voting for parties who in turn provide the head of government (not all parliamentary systems work like that). I think it makes it easier for a party or parties to enact their agenda and let the voters decide if it works or not. It’s not perfect, no system is but it does make running things smoother. In our current system (the US) when the president is from a different party than the majority of Congress and/or the Senate it makes it harder for government to function.
 
As an aside, I used to think it would be better if presidents were elected to a single, term-limited period of six years. It would give them time to enact their agenda to see if it works and it would free them from having to campaign for re-election starting halfway through their first term. I’ve changed my mind on that, I couldn’t put up with five more years of Thud being in charge.
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 11, 2017 - 2:14pm
Jeffrey,
If you look in my article, I do mention that the fee for the exam would be waived for those that could prove hardship.
 
Sure, an industry already exists around civil service exams... big money. BUT there's also your local public library, that has those same prep materials for free.....
Jeffrey Kelly Added Dec 11, 2017 - 2:29pm
Sorry, Michael, missed that bit.
 
But, I’m still reluctant to accept your idea.  Look at the Mandarin Bureaucrats in Imperial China.  They were appointed by the same kind of system.  Yours has a time limit but there are no guarantees that this “clerical caste” wouldn’t simply change the rules.
 
I prefer imperfect, messy democracy over anything where people can’t step in on occasion and right the ship.
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 11, 2017 - 3:29pm
Hey Jeffrey,
I get your drift, and understand. Unfortunately, any system is only as good as the people running it, and the threat that the people in power could simply change the rules is always there
 
You have to ask yourself if Americans really want dramatic change to the system. Given these last two presidents, who never shut up about the need for drastic change, I think I know the answer... 
 
 
I think the whole point of this system I propose is to create a sustainable, healthy, imperfect, messy democracy that you long for, but unless people buy in, it remains just a dream....
Thomas Napers Added Dec 11, 2017 - 4:10pm
Let’s be perfectly clear about what it is you advocate.  Under your system someone like Donald Trump would not qualify to be POTUS and someone like Hillary Clinton would. To be sure, anyone could qualify, but your system would ensure that people who come from the private sector have a more difficult time. Stated differently, it’s a sneaky way of eliminating our best source of future conservative politicians. This is all more proof that liberals have such low regard for freedom and love more rules and regulations.
Dave Volek Added Dec 11, 2017 - 4:18pm
Michael
 
Just to introduce an elephant in the room, would you say that many of Mr. Trump's supporters would prefer that he be given more power (i.e. he doesn't really have to deal with Congress to make laws). Which then begs: "Do these supporters not really understand the nature of the American constitution?"
 
Then here's the elephant. Many of the Trump base would not pass your civics test, right?
 
 
John Minehan Added Dec 11, 2017 - 4:46pm
"Do these supporters not really understand the nature of the American constitution?"
 
That's not the problem,  The problem is that they think the things the Constitutions says are, at best irrelevant, and at worst are against their current interest.
  
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:15pm
Thomas,
I really don't think civil service tests are slanted against private industry or conservatives. Yes, this would be public service, but impartiality would be the standard.
If it makes any bit of difference, I consider myself conservative, as I believe this idea is...
Jeffrey Kelly Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:54pm
“Donald Trump would not qualify to be POTUS”
 
Thud isn’t qualified to be POTUS.  He proves that every single day.  
Jeffrey Kelly Added Dec 11, 2017 - 8:56pm
@Dave Volek:
”Which then begs: "Do these supporters not really understand the nature of the American constitution?"
 
They don’t and therein lies the problem.
Thomas Napers Added Dec 12, 2017 - 9:53am
It would be one thing if all you advocated for was the passing of a civil service exam but you also said that our elected officials must be “forced to have served at the inferior levels of government for years.”  Once again I see this as nothing more than a ploy to get rid of people like Trump and replace him with career politicians like Hillary and Sanders.  Why don’t you just admit it so we can stop beating this dead horse. 
Michael Cikraji Added Dec 12, 2017 - 12:37pm
Thomas,
If you're looking at my system, you can't just jump in mid-stream to national leadership, you have to have served in local, regional and state legislatures first.
 
As an example, any decent company should have new managers spend a little time on the floor learning the "nuts and bolts" of the business. It helps give them a better perspective as to what they're managing...
 
I think it is wholly fair that anyone who should hold national office should spend time "in the trenches" in state/regional/local offices beforehand. Would this apply to Trump? YES! But also Hillary! They BOTH used other means of fame to catapult them into the national limelight. Bernie did spend time in local government though...
mark henry smith Added Dec 12, 2017 - 1:36pm
We have the classic argument of the status quo here, if you can't make the change perfect, we shouldn't make it at all. As they slowly pervert the two-way role of government into a one-way street. What I mean is, the function of government isn't just to promote business and businessmen. The role of government is supposed to be private citizens taking on public responsibilities, not paid citizens taking on public responsibilities to reward those who pay them to run.
 
I'm not naïve. All political systems are prone to corruption. Government is a monopoly and the benefits of getting that monopoly power in your hands is unmatched by any other social organization except perhaps the military.    
 
How can any thinking person say that we don't already have an elite government? The amounts of money needed to run a viable campaign boggle the mind and the whoring that a candidate has to do to raise those funds makes having time to do anything else minimal. In our system the money has become the generator of ideas, when in a any sustainable system ideas should be the generators of money. The interesting things about Bernie Sanders was that he did run a campaign of ideas. Not ideas that had a viable chance in hell of becoming law in the immediate future, but ideas that sparked the imaginations of a lot of people about what role government should have.
 
Our present parties tend to have a dearth of ideas, it's just the same-old same-old with the percentages changed. 
 
And who says Hillary would have been qualified to run the government? If you can't run your marriage, you shouldn't be qualified to run our government is what I say. And in that scenario, Hillary, Donnie, and me would all be disqualified. But Bill would still be eligible, as long as the questions about marriage were open questions.
Thomas Napers Added Dec 12, 2017 - 1:54pm
Your debate tactics are totally dishonest.  To make your proposal sound rational you made it sound like one only needs to pass a civil service exam.  The truth, as you know, is the requirement to serve many years in government before qualifying for high office.  Again, if the electorate valued government experience as high as you think they should, career politicians would be winning. The problem is that they don’t. 
 
The people don’t want some convoluted set of rules which will only serve to deter the best and brightest in becoming politicians.  Most importantly, they hate the establishment political class.  This is why Donald Trump won and why I’m hoping more career politicians are replaced by successful members of the private sector.  However, as a liberal, I don’t fault you for pushing this idea…it’s actually a pretty smart / sneaky way to seek the changes you desire. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Dec 12, 2017 - 2:06pm
Democracy needs to be reinvented. We need to change how we choose our representatives.
 
IF you need to choose your representatives, make sure that
 
a) they've been integer ever since
b) they stand firm to whatever POV they have BUT
c) are able to revise their views regarding not their personal interest
d) are independent of the economy
e) have long-term visions and are able to LISTEN
 
.....impossible. Humans which have those attributes won't ever be placed in important posts. BECAUSE of these conditions.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Dec 12, 2017 - 2:10pm
Thomas
 
This is why Donald Trump won and why I’m hoping more career politicians are replaced by successful members of the private sector. 
 
This will widen the gap between the rich and poor. Want to privatize water, AIR ?
 
Go ahead. Profit on the back of life essentials. How long do you think this will work ? Until a civil war for a start.
 
Are you really that naive that you think that privatization will NOT look for profit ? And profit has NADA to do with good governance. It has to do with exploitation.
 
Good luck, mate :-)
A. Jones Added Dec 12, 2017 - 5:33pm
The real pipe dream is planning the revolution.
 
Every revolution in history was planned.