I’m generally not a very politically minded person. I’m much more interested in meditation and spiritual practice. However, when our government goes completely haywire, then it’s time for people to step forward with ideas to make it better.
At all levels of government, a way to keep it simple is to adopt a one issue – one bill – one vote policy. While this will exponentially increase the number of bills and votes, we now have the technology to do this. Long ago when everything was recorded by hand or typewriter, it made sense to consolidate issues into packages. With our computer technology, we now have the luxury of simplifying bills by single issues and posting the results of each vote online in an easy to access database for the public.
By separating issues into their own bills, politicians can be held accountable for how they vote. No longer will we need to wonder if our candidate voted on a bill because of the main issue or because of some “rider” that was attached to it. Instead of a huge “Farm Bill” there will be a long list of separate issues of environmental concerns and agricultural concerns. When we as the public vote on a proposition, it will be limited to one issue, which allows us to make a simple, informed decision. No longer will politicians be able to bribe each other (or us) by holding disparate issues together and saying if you want this, then you also have to vote for that. Now of course this will still happen, with politicians making side room deals; however it will be apparent who voted on what, and we can use that information to make a decision at election time.
The budget process can be separated into its two basic issues by creating two phases. Phase one determines what items should be in the budget with a simple yes or no. (And again, the results of each candidate’s vote should be available to the public.) Phase two will be the hard work of figuring out how much money goes to each item. No doubt this will continue to be a challenging task; however this is a main part of the job politicians are hired to do.
I’m sure others have thought of this. If enough of us demand that it happen, it will. Please feel free to share this essay, or copy it and claim it as your own if that helps get it to the people who are inspired to improve our political system.
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