Fixing Politics - How?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by swiftaw, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #1
    For some background, I am a Brit living in the US so I am familiar with both of the styles of government in those two countries.

    I think most people (probably more so the US people) would agree that there is something wrong with the system of politics and government. So, two questions, what is wrong with it, and how would you fix it.

    Note, I'm not looking at faults with each individual party, but with the system.

    In my opinion, when I look at US politics, the main flaw I see is money, or more specifically, the amount of money needed to run for office. It's crazy. It basically means that you have to be someone who is mega-rich or someone who is capable of huge amounts of fundraising. More, importantly, if it's the later, you essentially become indebted to those big donors, you don't think they'll want something in return?

    Also, for US congressmen, they have an election every two years, so they basically have to fundraise and campaign from the moment they get elected. Doesn't leave a whole lot of time for actually running the country.

    I would love it (although it'll never happen) if the total amount of money that could be spent on a campaign was capped at a reasonable level. This would make it easier for more people to run as independents, and diminish the party role.

    Alternatively, I had a crazy idea this morning. What if every politician was term limited to a single term. Would this make things better or worse? Since they can't be re-elected they have no need to fundraise or campaign, so they could concentrate on doing the job for which they were elected. However, would having an entire new group of politicians after every election mean that nothing would get done?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #2
    Campaign cap = bad idea. Will not happen.

    Term limits = great idea, we need this. as far as I'm concerned, anybody that desires to spend their life deciding laws and telling people what to do is wrong in the head. On top of that, the political spectrum demands an endless campaign. Its ridiculous.
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  4. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #4
    Anyone who is scared to debate or be interviewed by any and every news outlet shouldn't run for office.

    Everyone over 18 should be required to vote every two years or lose their drivers license and/or pay a penalty.

    News media should be required to separate "news" from "commentary" and clearly designate which is which. If "news" is in any way untruthful, they should be fined.

    (Why is a campaign cap a bad idea? - Because it gives you campaign cap hair!)
     
  5. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #5
    Because if I have worked hard all my life and amassed an amount of money I should be able to use it how I see fit. If I would like to use it to spread the word about my platforms, why should I not be able to?
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #6
    I'm all for term limits, but we forget that all the lobbyists and non-elected "advisors" who actually craft policy will still be around.

    In fact, most of those guys have been around since the Reagan/Bush I era.
     
  7. swiftaw thread starter macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #7
    Oh, I forgot one. TV Debates should be mandatory for any major election (so president, senate, and congressman in the US) so that you can't go through the entire campaign process without being questioned on where you stand on the issues.
     
  8. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #8
    Yep. As much as I hate the idea of mandating things, I find it absolutely insane that candidates can get elected without debating.

    But this opens another can of worms, what about the people who are perfect, intelligent, and oh soo good, but simply can not speak publicly well, or get stage fright or the like? That seems pretty unjust.

    Lobbyists will always be a problem, and I cant think of any good way to get rid of them. I think we simply need better politicians.

    Scratch that, we need statesmen, not politicians.
     
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #9
    I'm all for it, provided those are ACTUAL debates, not the pathetic 90 seconds to answer we have now. Its essentially a showcase for sound clips.
     
  10. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #10
    1. Term limits

    2. Budget limits.

    3. No pay for any politician while a deficit exist

    4. Public employees must have the same retirement options available to civilian employees and no more. No having a pension, a public matched 401k, and social security all at once.

    5. You don't get a pension for being a politician. You can have a salary, a standard 401k, and social security. It should be about service to your country, not the other way around.

    6. Voting districts decided by a non political board. Members allowed to serve two year terms only on it. Must be drawn from a registered voting pool.

    7. Senators appointed by the state legislature

    8. Electronic voting with receipt

    9. You must have proof of citizenship, residency, to vote.

    10. Taxation not to be handled by Congress, farm it off.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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  12. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    How about putting to public vote key issues like potential wars, foreign aid, and healthcare?
     
  13. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #13
    Sounds good, but farm it off to who???

    I think we would do well disbanding public employee unions as well. (Ok, the public coal miners can keep theirs, they might actually need it for something other than more money)
     
  14. swiftaw thread starter macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #14
    Heck no. Majority rule is a bad idea, ask california.

    How about this, anyone (i.e. politicians) that is responsible for writing tax laws have to do their taxes themselves (no accountant). Let see how quickly the tax code gets simplifies then. :)
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #15
    How about actually making sure the morons who run for office aren't morons (cough cough Palin, GWB, O'Donnell, Angle, etc...). I don't expect them all to be tax experts, but at least be smart enough to hire experts and listen to advice.
     
  16. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #16
    Require some kind of test?
     
  17. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #17
    Without question. There should be at least three reps per district, from a single ballot, even if that means districts have to cross state lines. I would go further and have regional districts encompassing smaller districts. Everyone should have at least six representatives, so that at least one would be ideologically similar to them. This would also make gerrymandering more difficult, but with better quality representation, fewer congresscritters would be needed.
    In congress and most state legislatures (except Nebraska), a bill has to make it through two bodies before becoming law. The initiative process could be greatly improved via a double vote: first to approve of the concept, after which the measure would be reviewed by a citizen committee to make it fit for legislation before the second vote.
     
  18. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #18
    Yes, it's called a public campaign consisting of open access to the media, multiple debates, and finally an election.
     
  19. swiftaw thread starter macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #19
    Maybe we should test the votes to make sure they are smart enough to vote, rather than testing the candidates? :D
     
  20. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #20
    Fine idea, how would you suggest we formulate a fair and reasonably unbiased test and administer it without prejudice?

    The truly sad irony is the person most qualified to lead is the one who does not seek a leadership role: our system is literally designed for failure by forcing us to select from the very least suitable of candidates. Figure out how to fix that.
     
  21. benbondu macrumors regular

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    #21
    I never got why people think compulsory voting is a good idea. If someone doesn't have enough interest to show up to the polls or vote absentee, I don't see how they're going to make a very informed decision. In many cases they'll probably just vote however their family or friend (or television) tells them to vote (not that that doesn't happen already).

    I can see the argument for improving access to the vote, but I'm not sure how much that applies to the U.S. You could probably address a lot of the access issue just by making absentee voting available to everyone for any reason. I think some states will automatically send you an absentee ballot for every election, so you don't need to request it every time.

    I get that you're making a joke. Unfortunately, this has already been tried and it didn't work out so well.
     
  22. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #22
    Fixing Politics - How?

    Eliminate all the lawyers from the equation.

    Once you pass the Bar, you are precluded from seeking public office.

    Less messy than killing all the lawyers.
     
  23. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #23
    True, good starting point then remove campaign donations from multinational corporations....hey you think?
     
  24. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #24
    I voted a few times. I cast my vote for president by marking the last box and writing "NO" in the line next to it. Two years later, I voted again, but after leaving the polling place, I felt creepy/icky all over, as if I had been molested. It has been more than two decades since I last voted. I would just rather not experience that awful feeling again. And really, what is the point? Every part of the ballot is Rosencrantz vs. Guildenstern, why waste my time. Some people are too apathethic or ignorant, others prefer to avoid nausea.
     
  25. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #25
    And lobbyists.

    Dunk them for 10 minutes, then if they live, we exonerate them.

    LOL
     

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