The suffering of the American people during the election process; Is it really necessary? In 2000, 52% of the eligible voters voted,about 49% for George Bush, 49% for Al Gore. The election in 2008 wasn’t much better in total turnout. We are losing both the current voter, but also our potential voters because of the process we believe is the only one that works.. We Can and We Must do better.
It has become a series of non-informative non debates about who the GOP wants in the White House. The political season is far too long, acrimonious, childish, and destructive to the voting process. I do not believe the American people need to subject themselves to the antics of the candidates to determine who is the best for the job.
We need a process that is narrow, clearly defined by issues, and effective. The debates are more about personal attacks, accusations, falsehoods, misrepresentation of facts, and being a politician for politics sake. The elected officials of today have an agenda that in many cases does not fit the electorate. Perhaps the voter needs to be more assertive in demanding better representation and reliable and factual information from the fourth estate.
An idea that comes to mind is something like the following;
1. The entire election process should be held in the same year as the election. This would include all primaries and caucuses. The election for office between the major parties would be between September 1 and election day in November.
2. No campaigning prior to January 1st of the election year.
3. Full disclosure of all financial records, all campaign funds, and any non- financial, gifts, contributions, other politically related monies. All funds spent from the candidates personal accounts must be recorded. Political Action Committees and other political organizations would be free to contribute to their candidate, but only after the 1st of the year of the election year.
4. Businesses, corporations, companies financial institutions, unions, and other business / political organizations will not be allowed to fund an election as if they are an individual voter. Individuals within such organizations can contribute to a candidate’s campaign so long as it is representative of the individual voters. Business are not people.
The last three elements listed below should be the ones that put the pressure on the candidate.
5. The media must be investigative and thorough when investigating all candidates. It is the responsibility of the press to inform the electorate.
6 The electorate must keep themselves informed about all issues.
7. Currently no debates. They are forums in crisis. Let us make the forums worthwhile, challenging, and clearly defining for both the candidate and the voter The moderators must have specific questions and demand short specific answers without the crossfire dialogue. The candidate must answer the question. The candidates must know what the ground rules are and they should be public. If the candidate cannot work within this framework than they can be excused from the forum. The moderator must inform the public why the candidate is a no-show.
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr