Monday, October 1, 2012

Tired Of Campaigning Commercials, Unkept Promises, And More Negative Lies Then Informative Descriptions?

Born of Political Commercial Nightmare

    I have an idea (a dream) where a ballot is a questionnaire.  You answer about 100 questions about your feelings on policies and how important they are to you.  The candidates all answer the same questions and are held accountable for any past votes they have made. They would have to file an official change of position if they chose to do so, on standard questions. So for instance, "How do you feel about legalization of Marijuana?" Answer choices are for or against.  Then you have a "how strongly is this issue of a concern."   At the end of it, a computer compares you, the voter’s answers, with those of the candidate’s answers, and spits out your selection.  Take the marketing of BS out of the elections.  Vote for ideas. 


  The Questionnaire.
   As person who decides to run for election, after collecting a certain amount of signatures to put themselves on the ballot. That part is easy enough. Once the nomination is certified by the Board of Elections, the candidate would get a ballot. This ballot would have some 50 to 100 questions.  “Do you think abortion should be legal?” “Do you think there are acceptable cases for rape or incest where abortion should be legal?”  “Do you think everybody should have the right to own fully automatic assault rifles?”  “Do you think people earning more than $XXX per year deserve a tax break?”  “Do you think illegal aliens and children of illegal aliens should be deported?” With each question a candidate have to choose a rating of maybe 5 grades of concern for the issue addressed in the question.  From “Of little concern” to “Strongly concerned” and you have to use 5 of each for a 100 question ballot.  
    A computer database would compare the ballots and the weights of the questions.  So somebody who is for and somebody who is against an issue, but neither are very strongly influenced by that issue, the vote point may even be given to the opposing candidate.  There will certainly need to be some crafting of the computing process.

Refocusing Of Advertising
  Here is the concept.  As of right now, lots of money pours into each candidate’s election fund. They use it to either make you feel good and confident about their decision making skills about them OR to make them feel afraid of the other candidate’s decision making skills.  Most often it is negative anti other candidate propaganda.  Most of the time the content of the ads and media attention is on things that have absolutely no bearing on one’s ability to make good, functional, healthy decision for our culture, our economy, and our security.  Much money has concentrated on birth certificates, angry preachers, war records, and reactions during hurricanes.  None of which has anything to do with making good decisions at the presidential level.
   With this issue driven election, the different ad campaigns will have to focus on changing your mind about issues.  More time would be spent convincing voters supply side economics is bad or that we should not be invading other countries.   This would completely shake up the debates and the TV advertising campaigns.  Lots more graphs and pie charts, lots less deep voices and flickers of anger and fear. 

Flip flop and incumbent advantage.
    While this seems to be a good idea, we can rest assured there would be two teams of lawyers assembled for each side.  One team to figure out how to take advantage the new system, anther to sue to get the thing changed back to the old broken confusing system.  The team trying to figure out how to corrupt and exploit the system will be trying to figure out how to Influence the questions and how to gage what their candidate should answer.    Incumbents would have less of an advantage then they currently do.  As of now, the most important trait a candidate can have is name recognition.  Ask the Kennedy’s, Bush’s, and Clintons to about that.  But this approach will make ballots nameless.  Unless you know exactly how to answer the questions the way your candidate did? You are not going to get assigned a pre-determined candidate. 
   There would always be some standard questions about the biggest issues in this country.  Gun control, abortion, religious influence, environmental issues, and union support to name a few. Once a candidate runs and is an incumbent, they would be stuck with their answer on those staple questions. They may move the level of importance they place upon it, but their answer to “Do you believe Social Security should be privatized” would have to stand.  They of course could change their position, but they would have to submit a formal letter of change with a paragraph accompanying it as to why they changed. What new information came to light? There may be a limitation to the strength you can choose on a new position for a specified number of years or terms.  Knowing that your opponent switched positions would be public knowledge. Your opponent could actually use that to strengthen his/ her position. 

No more choosing between “lesser of two evils”, 3rd party candidates have a chance.

  With no names and parties on the ballot, people who are afraid to vote for a candidate they actually believe in, will lose that fear under this voting approach. As of now, people vote for party and players in politics with the same zeal as they root for their sports team. That would stop. Instead, they would be expressing their ideals and electing candidates who share them.  The libertarian party would have just as much of a chance as the Republican Party.  The country may wake up one day and find out that it is actually communist or, dare I say it, socialist.  But a release from being controlled by fear and spurred on by divisions and hatred would be truly set the place free.

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