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A Political System For The People

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Here’s my idea of what would work better.  Keep in mind that this will never come to pass.  I’m just proposing a different way of doing things.  Feel free to disagree or propose your own suggestions.  So here goes nothing.

I propose that we get rid of the two party system.  That means no more donkeys, elephants, or any other animal.  Everyone should have an equal opportunity to run for political office.  Despite what you may think, this doesn’t exist in our electoral system.  The opportunity to run for any political office should be open to anyone, whether they are homeless or a live on a palatial estate.  But there is one thing that keeps this from happening and I will get to that in a moment.

My election process would be overseen by the Federal Election Commission.  Every potential candidate must pass a standardized test on their basic knowledge of how our government operates and global politics in general.  Believe it or not, many candidates don’t possess this basic knowledge.  The potential candidates would only be allowed to take the test once.  The window for taking the test would be from June 1 – November 30 of the year preceding the election.  The ten highest scoring candidates would be allowed to run for any federal political office in the upcoming election.  If candidates did not pass the test, they would not be allowed to run for any federal political office for a period of one year. The election cycle would run from January 1st of the next year until one week before Election Day.

Now let’s talk about the one thing that keeps the average American from running for political office.  That one thing is money and I have a radical proposal for correcting this situation.  Keep in mind that I’m talking about candidates running for U.S. senator, U.S. representative, or POTUS.  I propose that we get rid of Citizens United and every other method of fund raising.  Now, you’re probably asking yourself how anyone could possibly run for office without any money.  The answer is simple.  If you’re running for federal office, your campaign should be financed by the federal government.

Here’s how my proposal would work.  Upon passing the standardized candidate test, the top ten candidates would be given one million dollars which would come out of the federal treasury.  This would be the only financing allowed for a political campaign.  Any candidate who knowingly accepted campaign funds from any outside source would have to bow out of the race, return any remaining funds and would be disqualified from running for office for a period of one year.  Federal campaign money would be deposited into a campaign account in the same way that college students have scholarships deposited into student accounts.  Every expenditure would have to be approved by the FEC and would be published on the FEC website.  Proper money management would ensure that candidates would be able to finish the campaign process.  It would also show the voters how well each candidate can handle a budget.  If any candidate should drop out of the race, the remaining funds would be forfeited back to the federal government.  Any funds remaining at the end of the campaign process would also be forfeited back to the federal government.  This would level the financial playing field and allow anyone, whether they be unemployed or a billionaire, to run for political office. Media would be required to charge the same rate for every candidate and those rates would be capped by the FEC.  Without political parties, there would be no need for primaries, caucuses, or party conventions.

Now for the fun part.  Voting would be done via the Internet and would begin one week prior to Election Day.  The website would be overseen by the Federal Election Commission.  Computers would analyze the social security database in order to determine who is eligible to vote.  Voters would have twelve months prior to the election to verify social security number and address information.  If the information on file with the FEC did not match the information entered at the time of casting the actual vote, that vote would not count.  There would be no electoral college because the winner of the election would be determined by the actual number of votes cast for candidates.  It would truly be a system of one person, one vote.

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Copyright 2016 The Year of My Life: reminiscences and rants: Politics by Mark I. Jacobson. All rights reserved.

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