Electoral Process Reform: A Proposal

Democrats... Or are they Republicans?

Take them out of their suits and rival political party members don't look that different from one another.
Take them out of their suits and rival political party members don't look that different from one another.

Who was the only President who didn’t blame his predecessor for the nation’s problems?

George Washington. He blamed the British instead.

I should start out by saying that I hate discussing politics and have tried my best to stay away from the subject both on Hubpages and in real life. For the record, I am of the opinion that our country’s political process has been supplanted by a long-time and ever intensifying grudge between two parties that consider nothing more important on this earth than soundly destroying the other party, and if this toxic sniping back and forth continues with our future in their hands, then the next battle of theirs will be waged over our bones and the scorched rubble of this once great nation. Imagine the Hatfields and McCoys with nukes

It didn’t really strike me until a newsletter I subscribe to claimed that the most recent census puts 0.75% of the American population in prison at any one time. In other words, for every 100,000 American citizens, 750 of them are in a state or federal penitentiary. This is the largest per capita prison population of any nation on the planet. Russia comes a second at roughly 665 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.

Conjecture as to why this is ranges from the psychological to the political. Psychologically, people are saying that due to public unrest and financial recession, people are committing more crimes as either a way of making a living or as a form of protest. Furthermore, some are saying that Americans tend to be more violent and law-breaking than most because of our history as a nation of rebels, despite the fact that most criminals don’t begin to commit violent crimes until after their first conviction.

Bullshit.

Basically, America has more criminals because our government has instituted more criminal laws than any other country on the planet, and when a person can no longer live free then he lives as an outlaw, regardless of whether his actions are any different than they ever were.

Our country is in decline, so much so that every four years we gear up eagerly, waiting for the next hero to appear over the horizon and depose the previous idiot we mistook for someone who actually cared about our needs and wants. It’s not a chance to hire someone better so much as fire the last guy. And yet, despite the incredible outpouring of hope and the brief resurgence of patriotic zeal, we end up with another idiot in office, often without ever seeing an electoral candidate we would trust to lend money to, let alone entrust the future of our nation with.

Technically, any natural-born American citizen with a clean criminal record who’s over a certain age can become president… So why do we always end up with moneyed yuppies with a sense of morality dating from the Medieval Period who simply serve to exacerbate America’s problems and chip away at our individual rights and freedoms, as evinced by the penal code advancing across this country with all the grim implacability of the last ice age’s glaciers?

Well, the answer comes in several parts, so please forgive me if I ramble more than usual.

First, it takes a great deal of money to campaign for the Presidency, more so than most people earn, meaning Presidents typically come from wealthy families. Also, gaining nomination by a major political party requires the candidate be thoroughly vetted by other major party members, in the process losing whatever agenda they might have had for the party’s agenda (this is part of where things go wrong, seeing as the President ends up a puppet to a political party rather than being a civil servant acting on behalf of the general populace), meaning Presidents come from old, well-connected, wealthy families.

Second, the Electoral College tends to make the votes of wealthy citizens more valuable than us everyday Joes. So, it’s a given that government policy will cater to them.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the process of running for election is so tedious, time-consuming, and debasing that only the sort of power-hungry schlub who has no problem sacrificing any sense of self-respect, honor, and dedication to helping others (and would probably sell his own grandmother for glue if he got a decent price) would go through the trouble. Essentially, politics attract exactly the wrong person for the job.

For that reason, I would suggest an overhaul of the electoral process. This is just a preliminary plan with plenty of room for improvement, so by all means, please make suggestions or point out flaws if you wish to contribute.

 

Source
Source

Here's the Plan, Folks

Since our government is so keen on imposing laws, I feel that we should continue this trend by making running for President illegal. Whoever actually wants to be President so badly that he would subject himself to the humiliations of lying to his constituency and spending other people’s money campaigning is exactly who we don’t want.

Instead, everyone who fits the criteria is a candidate. Preliminary interviews are conducted at a county level by a board of review composed of psychoanalysts, research specialists, and profilers.

From these interviews each county presents their top ten candidates based on accomplishments and preliminary aptitude tests. A statewide review board then looks at these candidates in greater depth, generating full psychological profiles, assessing leadership qualities, trustworthiness, sense of responsibility, and other determinant factors.

Each state then produces ten candidates who are considered by a federal review board until finally ten candidates remain. Any candidate can bow out of the running if they should so wish, but since the work of advertizing, campaigning, and debate is mostly done for them on a budgeted federal stipend, and the pay and benefits of President are quite comfy, few would say no.

These reviews are continuously being carried out, and after the work of the first election, all that need be done is update current records and generate profiles for those citizens who have recently met the age requirements. Thus it’s just a rolling process wherein the most effort is expended at the outset.

At this point, all American citizens take a vote. The Electoral College is cut out to balance the votes of every citizen equally. Candidates do not have the option of choosing a running mate. Instead, the vice-president is also chosen by election from the same group of ten candidates. Note that he is not the election’s runner up, but on a separate ballot entirely, as the man almost chosen for Presidency may not always be the best choice for vice-presidency.

Debates, speaking appointments, and other staples of the presidential campaign continue as usual, but with a few alterations. First, each candidate is allotted the same amount of money for advertising purposes. These funds are taken from a part of the federal budget. Use of personal funds or donations received from private groups or political parties are grounds for disqualification from the running. We’re trying to educate people on the background, leadership skills, and accomplishments of the candidates so they can make an informed vote, not run the most ludicrously expensive popularity contest in the civilized world.

Also in that same line of thinking, at no time prior to, during, or following the elections may a candidate divulge his own party leanings. We want people to vote based on the issues and capabilities of the candidates, not on whether they’re red or blue. Violations of this are grounds for dismissal or immediate impeachment. Keeping this information private will have the added benefit of ensuring congressman and senators don’t see the President as an enemy or a friend so much as a coworker to be judged on the merit of his decisions and views.

This is the most fair and impartial electoral process of which I can conceive, though I fear that it is impractical where the preponderance of city, county, and state elections are concerned. Any thoughts, feel free to comment, but please take it easy on the profanity; it tends to indicate a lack of vocabulary.

 

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

LiftedUp profile image

LiftedUp 5 years ago from Plains of Colorado

I want to mull this over, but am inclined to think your proposal has some merit. I am with you in concluding that our present system does not work overly well, although when a person comes up through the ranks of the political possibilities (congressman, senator, governor, etc.), we tend to get some basic idea of his/her ideas. But then again, as you said, those often get over-run by the parties, and are soon nowhere in sight. WE NEED SOME GOOD STAUNCH MORAL FIBER!


Jarn profile image

Jarn 5 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

I wholeheartedly agree, however I would hazard the guess that politicians tend to maintain a low fiber diet, what with them being full of s--t that it seems no one can shift. The problem is a person of moral fiber is typically of such humility that they would not think to run for public office even if they had the resources to do so; that very personality trait is part of what makes them so moral. So, by default anyone trying to run for office is lacking in moral fiber, meaning the American people must look for leaders amongst our ranks rather than expecting them to stand up on their own.


LiftedUp profile image

LiftedUp 5 years ago from Plains of Colorado

I maintain that we have had a few leaders who actually came through on some of what they set out to do, and that Ronald Reagan was one of those. Yes, he had faults, but he did stand up to the Communists, and was instrumental in bringing down the Berlin wall.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Politicians are part of the problem. The electorate is a large part of it. And this last election The Lame Stream Media failed to do its traditional job of vetting ALL the candidates and not anointing anyone.

Back to the electorate. Many more people than you would think walk into that booth and look for the (D) or the (R) by someone's name. Bingo! That's there candidate. That's insane. They usually know nothing about the individual or their record. Why? Because their apathetic attitude prevents them from doing the research prior to election day of the candidates for each office.

So remove the party affiliation designation. Some people wouldn't know what to do then. They would be clueless, as clueless as many are now but more so.

Require a little test before someone can register to vote. Little things like the US Constitution, the branches of government and their functions, basics civics knowledge and a smattering of US history. What we end up with now is the blind leading the blind in many cases. Or maybe it's the lame brains leading the lame brains.

Just a few thoughts. Good article and well written.

The Frog Prince


Jarn profile image

Jarn 5 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Fair points all, though I think at this point the test should be given to electoral candidates and not just voters. Not sure if many of them have actually read the constitution given the way they walk all over it.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Jarn - Actually I think a test was given in the House at the start of this last session and way too many failed it. They also read it out loud. Might help us tremendously if they bothered to follow our guiding document.


oldgulph 5 years ago

fyi

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Then, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These 7 states possess 74 electoral votes — 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

http://wwww.NationalPopularVote.com


Jarn profile image

Jarn 5 years ago from Sebastian, Fl Author

Interesting literature. Thanks. One question though. Because the bill would only take effect when enacted by states possessing the majority of electoral votes, in what scenario would they wish to deliberately handicap themselves by awarding these votes solely on the basis of popular votes within all 50 states? It sounds kind of like winning the lottery and then choosing to tear up the ticket rather than cash it in, unless I'm not following you correctly.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working