Showing posts with label elected official. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elected official. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

As we celebrate another 4th of July in the United States, I cannot help but think back to the first 4th of July I was a part of, in 1990. I was in this country for exactly 5 months, 11 years of age, and understood English only to the degree the network cartoons and 2 months of public school could teach me. I had very little knowledge of American history, and honestly was mainly drawn in by the fireworks.

As time passed, I learned a lot more about Independence Day, my English improved, and this country that welcomed my family and I with open arms became my own. I was proud to become a citizen of this great country and understood that its system of government was far better than the country where I was born.

This country was born out of the desire to break through oppression from an overseas ruling party and an idea to govern better, with the majority of the country's population playing a factor in how it is run. It is this spirit of defiance, perseverance, and self-improvement that we celebrate on this day.

Our system of electing public servants may not exactly be categorized as a Democracy. In fact, with the electorate college, two party split, and the electoral college system that comes with it; we would be more correct to call it a Polyarchy. By Polyarchy we mean the elite few, who represent the many, making decisions within our government regarding how our country is ran. Nevertheless, it has held a standard for some time since its establishment on how modern Democratic style governments function.

Within the past few decades the system, which I have proudly been a part of since that first 4th of July back in 1990, has become more immobile, ineffective, and inadequate; for the American people to even consider it a representation of the United States population. In effect, the only thing this system of government performs well is create career politicians that are within the fiscal fishing nets of the American corporations for the duration of those careers.

As a result, the elected officials have no desire to serve the people, but just appear to do so enough to get elected and re-elected. We need a better way. In honor of the country I love and care about, I suggest the following basic points to reform our government to return it to its stated form: "...of the people, for the people, and by the people".

1. Abolish political parties - a politician must represent the people whom elect him or her, not the party money or corporate money that determine an ideology that does not resonate with majority of the American people. Multiple points of view will also force politicians to work with each other to reach a consensus, rather than the current stalemate in American politics.
2. Abolish corporate and private contributions to elected officials (or any proxies that exist for those officials). They are supposed to be officials elected by the people, not bought by the corporations.
3. Equality in elections - pass a law that gives each candidate with a certain amount (deemed significant for their home population) of signatures to be given equal amount of television, print, and radio exposure. Obligate network news corporations to provide objective equal airtime to candidates, without any commentaries, opinions, or editorials. Publicly provide the candidate's career records in the same fashion.
4. Civic Duty Holidays - introduce 4 new holidays a year (Civic Duty Days) that obligate the American population to familiarize themselves with local and national candidates and their record.  We, as the American people, should be seeking out the candidates that represent us best, and not allow the best looking image full of hollow promises to push their campaigns onto us. Each one of us must take a certain degree of responsibility for the politicians that represent us.
5. Abolish careers in politics - term limits in politics that force politicians to come back into the workforce after serving their term(s), which the laws they passed have impacted. Currently, the career politicians are detached from the general workforce, which in many ways leaves them isolated from reality.
6. Performance Reviews for Elected Officials - on the aforementioned Civic Duty Days, the voters that elected the officials into office will hold them accountable by conducting a public review of the politician's performance with respect to campaign promises made and any unforeseen decisions made. This will keep elected officials honest to the people. If the politician suffers two unsatisfactory performance reviews in a row, their seat will be vacated during the next election cycle and a new set of candidates will compete to fill it.

There are more nuances to each of these points, which I am more than happy to discuss. So leave me a comment to suggest what you think or any ideas you may have. We need to do better, and all of us must be responsible in doing so.

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