Is our political system failing?
I’ll start where the system works…
Imagine a large community symbolized by 10 people. Out of those 10 people you have one individual focus on government and policy. Let’s call that individual Paul for the sake of this conversation.
The rest of the people elect Paul since they either are focused on other areas, don’t have the time, do not want to do it, or are not as knowledgable about it. Where this is great, is that Paul can help be the expert for the community on government and policy. Paul can help to be the voice for the 10 people and understand everything regarding this.
When Paul goes to congress or senate, he’s the expert that has the community’s back. He understands the issues intimately and can support the poor, wealthy, and middle class as a whole. He knows when to stand up for his community but also understands when a complex law is actually quite good for his people. Or when the complex law is not so good and puts in action to stop it or lobby against certain portions. There are many laws that are just very complex and you need an expert to review to make sure it’s good for the community or a majority of it is. If you have someone like Paul, your community will be in good hands.
Where the system starts to breakdown…
Let’s say Paul is doing pretty good but wants to advance up the ladder and grab the gold. He could go and get funding from local groups and the people of his community but that might take too long and Paul won’t be able to get to move up fast enough. Rather, if he went and supported larger organizations and lobbied for them, they’ll support his future campaigns to receive more power in the government.
Now Paul is still considered the community leader but now he’s supporting large corporate donors who may not have the same view points as the community. In this case, Paul is going to support both but when they conflict, he’ll go with the large corporate donors positions.
Where this really starts to suck…
Paul is going to support the large corporate donors and he’s going to make it even more complex because he knows those 9 out of 10 people in the community will have no idea how to even understand the policies he’s implementing. If you wanted to find out that Paul actually wasn’t doing his job for the community, you’d have to elect another person out of those 10 to become an expert on policy. Then after awhile you find out that he’s not being trustworthy. You’d then have to elect another person out of the 10 to go focus on policies and hope they have a good moral code to not take advantage, like Paul did.
But that’s where this cycle just continues to spiral down into endless corruption. Every time you think you’ll elect someone that doesn’t do what Paul did, some other person will take his place and probably do the same thing. The reason isn’t because of their bad moral code for all of them, but because that’s how the system rewards politicians today.
Some ideas to solve this…
Communities fund the politicians
Rather than allowing large corporate donors to be a part of the political system, let’s have the communities fund the politicians. Because then, the communities are the donor and supporter of the politician rather than the companies getting priority on policy. If the politician is not supporting the community and they find out, the politician can’t run to corporate donors to fund his beyond that community. Paul would simply no longer be able to support that community because he would not have their support. And that makes sense, because he is not supporting them any longer.
Not everyone is knowledgable about policy and government
Even the more knowledgable citizens that follow government and policies, are not able to understand the complexities of policies. If we really want to solve the issues, we need to eliminate corporate donors so that we can have a majority of the people that are in positions of power, have a good moral code and lead their communities rather than destroying them for personal gains.
Don’t blame the politicians, blame the system
It’s not exactly their fault. Yes, some of them just have a bad moral code. But it’s the system at fault. Basically a good portion of politicians are puppets. They are controlled by the money in politics. The money controls them because its their life. They rely on the money for their families and are not going to sacrifice their pay and put their families in harms way. But if we change the way that the system works, then you won’t have as many bad apples in the mix. Rather it will flip from having 80% bad apples to 20% bad apples. There will always be bad apples, but if you can reduce the number, hopefully you’ll be in a better situation.
Limit funding for politicians
If you limit the funding for politicians, politicians then can’t go and raise millions from corporate donors. Either they’ll raise from the community or small amounts from corporate donors. And a majority of them probably will utilize online campaigning as the main source of promotion. It will be much easier to check on the politicians and you won’t have a lot of Paul’s out there that can trick the public.
The future of campaigns
With limited financing, costs have to be kept low. Due to this most campaigns will be online and driven via video. I can imagine a majority of campaigns shared among friends on facebook or videos to watch on YouTube. Then, maybe in a far future, we can then vote for our favorite candidate online. Additionally, you’d in theory be able to promote election voting online via facebook or other sites. It will become much easier for all elections to have higher turnout. Especially the senate and house of representatives elections, where many people don’t know when they are (i.e. I have no idea when they are).
Moral of the story…we need to bring back the community to be the focus. That one politician needs to be the policy expert that assists the community to find what’s best for them, not self interests. If we want to stop the endless cycle of corruption, we need to first start with the core of the system. And from there, we can make real change happen.