Great Ideas for Democracy

Joseph over at monotonous.net wrote a post today that has some incredibly excellent, simple, and decisive ideas for making our government work better overnight. His ideas would unsettle the status quo of entitlement--with a big bang--and set the creeping criminal tendencies of our elected pols like Tom Delay on its head! Check it out, click on the title of this post to see Joseph's 5 ideas... he clicks them off with the ease of writing a grocery list, but i think they show an incredible and creative depth of insight. I for one think they are great, and wish Howard Dean, for instance, could be as clear-headed and simply creative. My um, illustration?, of turning our government on it's head I found a little while ago on a great mod living and architecture blog site: www.landliving.com


Scotto said...

He's got some good points.

I'm not opposed to redistricting at all. Look no further than Fulton County here in the ATL for a prime example of poorly drawn districts. A few more areas like Sandy Springs pulling away from the suckling South and they'll have to redistrict as there won't be any more wealth to leech from.

More politicians? I don't see that. Add more to the mix and less will get done (if you can believe it possible). What they should do is repeal the seventeenth amendment and let the Senators revert back to being appointed by the legislatures of the individual states. It would give us a bit of the bicameralism we've been lacking (since, what, 1913?) and allow for more accurate state representation.*

Run-off voting would be an interesting twist. I would like to see it tried on a city- or state-level before taking it national, however. We do need to open up the field a bit for alternative party candidates to get their voices heard beyond Nader every four-odd years.

Moving election day to a weekend isn't a great idea. I would offer, rather, make it a mandatory national holiday. I would think moving it to a weekend might cause problems with getting people to volunteer to run/monitor polls. Plus I could imagine that turnout might actually drop. At least on Tuesdays most people are out of the house already.

I would offer, too, that polls should be open for twelve hours in all relevant time zones, Eastern to Aleutian. From when polls open at 00:01 Eastern until they shut down at 23:59 Aleutian there should be no exit polls or pontification on just who's ahead and who's not.

Term limits? Eh. I used to be for them, and nothing's really changed my mind aside from what could best be described as rampant apathy.


* See Madison's Federalist #10 (http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm): "Before taking effect, legislation would have to be ratified by two independent power sources: the people's representatives in the House and the state legislatures' agents in the Senate."

Sam said...

Scott, as Joseph says, the add more pols thing is completely counterintuitive...but in a way i think it could actually work. It would mean that instead of having Representatives who play golf all day in DC or hit security guards with their cell phones, it would be US. I just can't stop fantazising about it. Imagine, Scott Thomas representing the Sylvan Hills area, taking one day off each business week to do your rep biz. Tricia could be your policy wonk, and Ms. Betty could be helping with outreach. See, i've totally put together your staff, now get out there!

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