In our fondest dreams ...

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Swingman wrote:

[snip]
The problem is not the Congress, it's the voters who elected the members. An approval rating of 23% really says "I don't like 80% of me!" ('Does this dress make me look fat?')
We don't get the Congress we deserve - we get the Congress we elect.
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The problem is "who" gets to vote, and the fact that congress does not have to get a majority of the registered voters vote.
Elected officials should not win because they simply got a majority of the vote, they shoud get a majority of the registered voters vote. For example if there are 10 registered voters, only 3 show up to vote, and all 3 vote for candidate "A", that is not good enough. Candidate "A" must get 6 or more votes to win.
Not voting is a vote that the candidates are not wanted and should be cast aside.
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OK, but suppose Candidate A and his opponent B are both chumps, each with lukewarm support from only one of the ten voters -- but A is *opposed* by all of the other eight. If the one voter that supports B, and five of the eight that oppose A, show up and vote for B, he's in, even though he's a chump.
That's actually not as far-fetched as it seems. I think we saw something similar in the 2008 primaries: Hillary Clinton has very high disapproval ratings, even among Democrats, and I suspect that a substantial number of the votes that Obama received were votes against her, not for him. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, several of the candidates appeared to be nutjobs; probably many of the votes McCain received were votes against them, not for him.

Better yet, require the choice "None Of The Above" to appear on every ballot. If NOTA "wins", have another election in which the losing candidates are not allowed to participate. Repeat until someone wins. Or leave the office vacant.
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wrote:

Trying to keep up with that... ;~) I think if you simply did not vote unless you wanted a candidate to win... If during that election if neither A or B won, Candidates C and D would be up and so on untill one got 5 or votes. Not a fool proof method with out problems but far better than what we settle for now, IMHO. Remember the candidate had to get more than 50% of the votes from registered voters. If 49% of registered voters vote neither candidate wins. I think that if we had candidates that we actually wanted rather than what we are present with by each party we may be more inclined to actually go and vote.

There, you have my idea. I would go for that too.
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wrote in message

You file a ballot and you vote a blank for that person.
Enough blanks and the candidate may start to wonder. Even more important, enough blanks and citizens may run against an incumbent thinking they can be defeated.
IMHO you should always file a ballot, blank them all if you want, but file a ballot.
Also, people need to educate themselves more about what is going on. I saw a bumper sticker that read: "Pay more attention or pay more taxes"
Larry C
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Larry C wrote:

I'd like to see three options on every ballot for every office--"none of the above", "shoot them all", and "abolish the office".
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On Wed, 30 Dec 2009 11:54:05 -0500, the infamous "J. Clarke"

I think I could second that! Bwahahahahaha!
But think, if we abolished all the gov't we didn't actually _need_, many additional millions would be out of work. I guess, as they've thought of us, "It's only paeons (gov't workers), so why worry?"
-- It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars. -- Garrison Keillor
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Why do I suspect that if six of the ten registered voters show up and vote for the candidate you disapprove of that you'd still be pissed-off?
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Leon wrote:

Nope. I've worked the polls. Since voting is free, many people want to get their money's worth. They will pull every lever possible, such pull predicated on the name, office, party, or eeny-meeny-miney-moe.
So, then, what's a potential voter to do who knows none of the candidates, none of the issues, none of the promises? Would you FORCE him to vote for SOMEBODY? Those in this category, who stay home thereby leaving the decision up to those who presumably are educated on the concept, are doing the right thing.
Personally, I think TOO MANY people vote. I would limit voting to people: 1. Who registered, each year, in January, and 2. Who owned property, and 3. Who paid a modest fee ($10 sounds about right), and 4. Who've never been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude.
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On 12/31/2009 3:48 PM, HeyBub wrote:

5. Served their country in the military, Peace Corps, et al.
--
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Swingman wrote:

I dunno. I'm tempted to say anybody who works for any agency of government is automatically disqualified from voting.
In the case of the military, they may vote for a candidate who promises them more opportunities to kill people and blow things up (not that that's a bad thing). In my view, the basis for a war should be something greater than the fun it provides its prosecutors.
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On 1/1/2010 9:46 AM, HeyBub wrote:

I could agree with that, but "serving your country" definitely has a different connotation to some of us.

Stange POV. Personally, I never knew a soldier that really wanted to go into a battle, or thought of it as "fun".
Ever been in combat yourself? Doesn't sound like you have ...
Now, you get above field grade rank, and into the "politician general" arena where you don't have to go into combat yourself, all bets are off.
Many of these guys are politicians, not soldiers, and just as chickenshit as a congressman ... more interested in serving themselves than their country.
--
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Please .."STEP AWAY FROM THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS" Politician is one of the best paying jobs

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On Tue, 29 Dec 2009 18:35:17 -0600, Swingman wrote:

<snip of some excellent ideas>
I have an even simpler idea which, of course, also doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell.
One of the big problems is congress/senate members sending pork to their home state to buy their re-election. So:
All representatives and senators, after their initial election, will have no choice of venue when running for re-election. They will be randomly assigned a state/district and must convince the voters of that state to re-elect them.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Then they'll just send the pork home to THAT district, and campaign for District Y based on their track record of bringing home ample bacon. Re-election rates for incumbents would likely remain static.
Nah. If anybody wanted serious change, two things need to happen:
1) Some sort of serious lobbying reform, and
2) Public financing of all federal campaigns, only.
There is no single factor that corrupts our political process/system as much as the infiltration of money into its core.
The other corrupting elements, in aggregate, don't come anywhere CLOSE to measuring up.
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That #2 was worded ambiguously. Should have said that ONLY public financing may be used for those campaigns.
Get the $$$$ out of politics or NOTHING substantial will change.
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I have long held that there should be a voting system where the contributors to society have the say, and the takers get what's left. In my ideal system, the citizens of our country would get ONE VOTE for each dollar paid in Federal Income Taxes. Period.
--
Nonny

ELOQUIDIOT (n) A highly educated, sophisticated,
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Nonny wrote:

So you're saying that Bill Gates runs the country?
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wrote:

Better Bill Gates than the committee of 535 baboons on Capitol Hill...
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a) They must all do their income taxes, personally, by hand, and are audited every other year.
b) They must run their offices by the same laws as any other business of equivalent size and are required to personally file all required paperwork.
c) They will draw no government salary when running for office or otherwise tending to business other than the taxpayers'.
d) They are subject to the same limitations on gifts, meals, and trips as any other government employee.
-- Doug
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