An interesting thought popped into my head, and I wanted to sketch it out here and see what folks think. It is a simple plan that can be expressed as an equation:
Shorter Elections + Instant Impeachment = Better Government
polotek99 wrote a bit about why he hates politics. He goes on to discuss the problems with holding job interviews for the office of the Presidency. The thing is, in any business this is a huge problem. You don’t want to hire someone who turns out to be completely ignorant and unskilled in their area of supposed expertise. Sometimes you just have to fire someone (ideally quickly once determining they essentially lied during their interview). Why can’t we do the same thing with our Presidential elections?
The first obstacle is how long election cycles are. If we did away with state-by-state primaries based on delegates and replaced it with a month-long national popular vote primary, followed by a month long national popular vote driven general election, I think we’d be in business. Then if we could have some threshold for impeaching members of the Legislative and executive branch (say a certain percentage of the populace in every state for the executive, or within each state for their state and federal officials and representatives), we could allow for trial periods for new politicians.
The biggest bottleneck is the speed with which voting occurs, and this is a direct function of our ability to trust our votes. Right now, we don’t. Shift to a new, faster system and that cynicism will explode. We need a way to establish fast and verifiable voting systems.
From there we could build on even more innovations. We can hire consultants with contracts stipulating deliverables. Why not politicians? Why can’t we elect say, a Senator, and put in writing that they must pass a certain law or show demonstrable progress towards same? Or even just clauses that compel the elected official to refrain from undesirable activities like supporting the war, breaking party ranks too often, or any other criteria citizens for a particular state wish to impose?
We often lose site of this, be we, citizens, we are the boss. Our elected officials have been taking our pay and only working on what they want to work on. Its time to change that. This might be a start.