Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Endorsements

Instead of the usual editorial focus on 'who you should vote for tomorrow,' here's some items I'd like to see dealt with at the polls, or more specifically, the voters' feet.

1. Redistricting must make sense. I looked the other day at the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Congressional Districts of Louisiana. Wibbiduwabbida. I don't even want to see State House districts. This comes after a long stint of examining the Georgia Congressionals and the absolutely incomprehensible mess of State Rep districts. I know a desire to make districting not suck is like asking to win the lottery, but c'mon folks, aren't we a little embarassed by this mockery? I think if we can get them fixed, somehow, to geographic sense or even 50% - 50% patterns, our Congressmen and State Houses would become an order of magnitude more reasonable, and maybe incumbency wouldn't be so much of a problem. Maybe I'm just a utopian liberal idealist, though.

Oh yeah, and you gotta live in the district you represent for at least a year before you represent it.

2. Term. Damn. Limits. I don't care if it was ever a Republican idea back in 1994, it was a good one. If you serve in Congress, you may serve four two year terms for that district, max. If you are a Senator, you get one, yes, one six year term, ever (I am open to negotiation for a second term possibility, but that is all). If you are President, two four year terms, ever. A Supreme Court appointment lasts ten years.

And: sitting Senators may not run for the Presidency.

Yes, I know this will require Constitutional change. I think that such change, however, would overcome an 8/9ths requirment of the voting population. The only people voting against this would be the 500 some odd people it directly affects, and their staffs who can't find real jobs.

3. Libertarians must get their S*** together and become a viable third party.

4. Paper reciepts for voting.

5. A national holiday for voting in Congressional & Presidential elections.

6. National. Damn. Service. For the military, police, education, public safety or infrastructure maintenance. Yes, that means a draft, and yes I expect to be drafted first.

7. National Consumption/Fair Tax must be directly linked to Universal Health Care. We either make both work, or we get neither. Yes, this will take a great deal of work, but politics is about negotiation.

8. Get involved with your local political infrastructure. I don't care if it is Republican, Democrat or Libertarian, normal folks need to go to meetings to balance the activists in all three.

9. We need a better way to fund education than property taxes alone.

10. Ethics laws must be simple, and Ethics committes must be made up of people the same way we select folks for jury duty. That'll get the folks running the inquiry in the absolutely right frame of mind for the task we will set them to.


patsbrother said...

I don't have the time to enumerate where and why Pat is wrong, doody-throwing crazy, or both; but choosing when not to poke is a solid part of the economy growing up Armstrong.

PB, who will be writing in my classmate's name for governor. She may not be qualified (and she may be a bit preoccupied with law school), but I'd rather arbitrarily throw my vote her way than arbitrarily throw it against someone else.

RightOnPeachtree said...

Re: term limits --

I could go for 6 terms (12 years) in the House or 2 terms (12 years) in the Senate. And NO swapping from the House to Senate to make it 24 years. 12 years should be the total max. Someone recently made a convincing argument to me as to why 6 years is not long enough. That's why my preference is 12 years total (either or combined).

Re: the Supremes, they should be lifetime appointments if I like the next judge or two. 10 years if not. :o)

Nah, just kidding. I could go for 10 or 15 years.

I wonder if there's a way to get a referendum on term limits on the national ballots in 2008. Obviously, it'll never happen if we leave it up to the nimrods in office.

Dante said...

1. I agree completely with this point (and few others). Our states should adopt a formula that takes geography and population into account and just run the formula. Politicians will of course learn the formulas and do their best to work it to their advantage but that would be far better than what they are able to do now.

2. We don't need term limits. We have elections. Term limits are a band aid for larger problems. If you don't like the sheer number of incumbents and career politicians, then you need to address that issue.

3. I agree. I actually voted for a Libertarian this time around for Secretary of Education. But the only reason was that I wasn't voting for Cox and I sure as heck wasn't voting for that political opportunist Majette. The last big Libertarian vote I cast was for Jack Cashin for governor because I sure wasn't voting for Barnes or Millner. It'd be nice to be able to vote for a Libertarian because they're a good candidate instead of voting for them because the other candidates stink.

4. Fair enough. I'm pretty neutral there.

5. Sounds good but accomplishes little. The only thing it does is give the day off to federal employees. This group has a far higher voter turnout than the general population already. Private sector employees and even state government workers would not automatically have the day off in this case.

6. I am curious why you think this is neccessary. What would this accomplish?

7. It's kind of hard to directly link two things that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Then again, I don't really care because I oppose both (unless the Fair Tax crowd gets a certain Ammendment repealed first).

8. Sounds good but I know I won't do it.

9. Do you not have SPLOST? Our county has been using SPLOST initiatives for all new school buildings for about 10 years now. Maybe your local government should try this. Personally, I just wish I could send the taxes I'm paying on education to some schools that need it more. Our school system is hemmoraging money and spending that money poorly. They don't deserve what I pay them.

10. Do you really believe that the jury duty selection process gets "the folks running the inquiry in the absolutely right frame of mind for the task we will set them to?" Maybe if ethics committees were created the way jury duty selection should work, I may be with you on that one but even then I'd be a bit leery of letting ones peers decide their ethics.

Xon said...

3. Unfortunately, I don't see the L's getting their act together any time soon. They tried to do this recently by watering down the official party platform a good bit, but I think this only makes them blend in too much to the two headed monster we already have. The proper way to be a third party in this country is to stand tall on principles that do not jive with either dominant party, not to pretend like you're not really that different.

GP said...

amen pat.