Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Election Reform - a modest proposal

With ll the mudslinging going on out there in the Democratic primary process I just had to step back and ask myself if there was a better way. There must be. It has been more than 200 years since our founding fathers set the basic rule down for our republic. But despite the constant call for change by even the candidates themselves the American people seem to not want change. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Well, I frankly think it is broke. At the very least you have to ask yourself what could be achieved if we took all the manhours, money, energy and creative thinking being spent to get one person elected above another and directed it toward just one problem like global warming or the economic crisis.

What if instead of going all out to gather delegates we gave each person running for the highest office of our land the task of making some measurable improvement on just one national problem. The various pressing problems could be written on a slip of paper and tossed in a hat. Each presidential hopeful would pick just one piece of paper. They would then take their staffs, all the money donated by the people, and set out to tackle the problem.

The news media instead of rehashing over and over what one candidate said about he other and how many ways the popular vote, the pledged delegates, and super delegates could report on the progress of the staffs of the candidates in defining the problem, blue-skying a few outside the box solutions, and steps taken to move forward.

The candidates would have to constantly assess the success of their staff and make staff changes to facilitate progress toward the solution. Even seek out and hire experts in the field. Isn't this what we ask of our presidents? We have currently a president unwilling to make any staff changes or modify his failed plan in anyway or listen to any voice other than his own. We want a new president that will behave differently. One that will not be concerned with his legacy but with whether or not he left this country a better place to live in. Not Iraq. Our country. Not that he has done better with Iraq.

By reforming our election process in this way we would not only be able to pick the candidate able to lead and not just run for office. We would also accomplish something toward the improvement of the major problems we face in the future. The election process would actually benefit something other than just the advertising firms and media commercial markets.

I don't want another president with "all the answers." I want one willing to admit he does not have all the answers and willing to listen to experts who just might have the answers.
I want a president who is good at something other than running for office.