Thoughts and Things

This is my blog for random thoughts on the events in my daily life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Random Thoughts on Electoral System Reform

So... a quick lunch hour blog.

I was reading this article and thinking that a big part of the problem is that media/advertising has left the realm of product promotion, and entered into other parts of our life, i.e. politics. That's just crazy.

The more I think of it, the more it seems like the article is hitting the nail on the head, we're busy, we don't have time to delve into the issues and make educated decisions, so we pick the pretty face, or the sound bite that grabs our attention. This is nuts. It awards the flashiest catchiest and sometimes stupid policies/politicians/platforms...

I'm an optimist though, and I think we still have the capacity to pull up before we become a global Idiocracy. I think the internet, while exacerbating our downfall, is also a tool for the future. We exist in a world where we can get access to anything, and express an opinion on it. Why aren't we using that for our politics? Why are we so attached to electing someone that is like us? Screw that, I want someone who's smarter and more educated, and who's leading a team of experts. How do I get that?

1. Voting is done via internet. Internet access is provided to everyone either directly or through public facility access (i.e. libraries)
2. Voting is done on specific policies and/or platform points (for and against), and is done over a longer period of time. With every user having to click to confirm that they've actually read the policy/platform point in question. The party/person in charge is the one who get's the most votes. Each policy/platform point provides a space for links to popular web-sites/social media for unstructured debate, and links to supporting evidence/rationale as compiled by the party. (i.e. a pro-life policy would potentially provide statistics, scientific articles, etc. supporting the policy)
3. During non-election periods, a party can pass a policy even if it doesn't have popular support (as determined through the still active system described in point 2), but they must clearly state that they are doing so. (Sometimes the masses are stupid, and it's better to have decisive leadership)
4. Funding must be transparent and limited.
5. Peer reviewed journals should be carefully considered to ensure that they're beyond the influence of concerned capital concerns.

The result of this would be that "boring" policies might get only a few votes, while others might get massive attention, resulting in a lively debate. The quality of the evidence/rationale would be a determining factor (rather than the looks or fidelity of the person supporting it). Ad campaigns supported by industry would still potentially exist, but any party/person endorsed advertisement would need to be separate (with transparent funding). No policy is boring to the people it affects, unless they don't really see the difference with or without the policy, and you should only get to vote if you actually read enough to care.