or sometimes just a passing thought.

Poll test

Date of original idea: a long time ago but really needs to be talked about

Happy Voting Day!
In celebration let us add a poll test to the voting process. The “Vote Party Line” (or equivalent) options are already in place for such a test. If any of those boxes are checked on a ballot, the entire ballot is thrown out on the grounds that the voter is obviously not putting in even a minimum of effort.

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Date of Original Idea:  April 9, 2012

Although this idea came first, it really goes one step further starting from yesterday’s idea.  We replace elected representatives in congress with appointed reps from businesses.  (cut out the middleman, so to speak)

When people don’t like the way things are going, the business gets bad press and possible issues in the marketplace which can provide pressure to change things.  It would be structured so that when they’re doing a bad job, it will impact the company’s bottom line.  Transparency would be achieved cause there would be no question about why you’re writing certain laws or voting a certain way.  It would be difficult for companies to ram stuff through since they will have little to no influence over most of the other reps (where now, one company can be funding multiple reps at the same time).   Companies that make money from starting wars would have to negotiate with companies that lose money from starting wars, for example.    It would have to have some rules about the percentage of companies with $x of worth, and percent with $y of worth, etc.. to prevent anti-market pressures that come from monopolies.  And some sort of controls about them voting themselves a raise (corporate taxes = 0), but that’s not too different than now.

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Political Might

Date of Original Idea: the other day

In politics, cash is access, and as individuals or even grassroot groups most of us don’t have it.   But the companies that are already sinking lots of money into lobbying efforts of varying degrees do.  It has been successfully proven (recently SOPA), that by complaining to companies and not your representative.  The company has a finanical incentive to get somthing done at the govermental level.  So why write your congressman while you could convince a company that it is in their best interest to back your ideology?  Boycott Walmart if they don’t support your stance on X, organize a campaign to let movie theaters in-masse understand your feelings on what RIAA is doing.  Even as a small group, a congressman, or more specifically, his/her staff (those that set the schedules) has minimal self interest in helping you.  But if an organization that has at least the illusion of being able to scratch some backs in return (they will not always be staff or congressmen/women you know), then it is more likely that your opinions will be heard.

Companies become the amplifier of political might.

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Learning what’s best

Date of Original Idea:  Since I was 3

People should listen to me.

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Congressional Corruption

Original Idea Date: Oct 28, 2010

With all the talk of lobbyists and other influence peddlers this election season, and the vast sums of money drummed up to try and get elected, there is always talk of “reforming the system”.  I’ve heard all sorts of things from new laws for transparency to mandating only public funding of candidates, but all of these suggestions back into the same problem that makes it hard to crack down, the 1st amendment and freedom of speech.  How can you tell someone that they are not allowed to support a candidate of their choice, regardless of their motivations?  You cannot.    So how about a move from the environmental playbook:  The solution to pollution is dilution. If my memory serves correctly, there are 535 members of congress (435 house + 100 senate).  Expand congress.  Triple the house (1305) and add another 50 to the senate.   The influence per $ spent will go down, since you would conceivably have to spend at least as much as you do now, but each candidate has less power.  The representation levels are not unprecedented, look at Germany.  They have 622 members for 81 million people, over 4 times more representation.   If each candidate represented fewer people, they would have that much more time to deal with the issues specific to their (smaller) district and it would be that much easier for constituents to keep an eye on who is actually being represented.

While we’re having fantasy fun with the governmental structure, after adding 50 new senators (3 per state now), make the vote in the senate along state lines.  That is, 26 states would be needed to carry a vote.  And each state would have to internally vote amongst the three to get that one vote out.  The power dynamics would be very interesting, still with some swing senators yielding lots of power (although there could be as many as 50 swing senators in this scenario), to senators with absolutely no power (where the other 2 from the state always vote as a block).

Of course, having more politicians as a rule is not necessarily a great idea.

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