Thursday, December 01, 2005

Politics: Reducing Corruption in our Government

Now what I'm going to write next is going to be a little bit radical, but it's an idea I've been mulling over for a little while. The idea is far from perfect, but I'll be working out the kinks in the near future.

I think one of the largest problems in our government is the lack of true Representation in our government. Since our Representatives are elected, and most Americans don't vote, the people that end up getting elected don't represent the vast majority of Americans. The elected Representatives end up representing a few interest groups / businesses. The Representatives then make decisions based on the wishes of the interest groups that elected them instead of making decisions that are best for the general population. Since one can be a Representative for however long they get elected, they will always pander to the people that consistently vote for them.

Now that I've outlined the problem, here's my solution: get rid of elected representatives. Instead of having elected representatives, representatives will be chosen at random from the population, like a jury pool. The people chosen can decline if they don't want to participate. Chosen Representatives must have a H.S. education or equivalent real world experience and they must not have been convicted of any felonies in the past 20 years. Each Representative would serve a 6 year term, and 1/3 of the Representatives would be rotated out ever 2 years. The first year each new Representative would be paired with a Representative that is being replaced in the next drawing, and would not be allowed to vote. They would use that year to get accustomed to the way things worked, and get up to speed on the current topics facing the House of Representatives.

I think there are a few flaws with the system I'm proposing. One of the worst flaws is setting arbitrary requirements for eligibility. I'm all for second chances and can see issues with situations where good people have made mistakes early on, and now can't participate. I figure I'll work out that problem in the future.

I'd love to hear comments, so reply if you have any input, good or bad.