I have given this subject a lot of thought over the last few years and after due consideration and a lot of angst and disgust with the current condition of our country’s politics, I have come to the following conclusion:
Politics should be like jury duty.
Yes. EVERYONE should have to do it, whether they want to or not.
I believe that the President/Vice President should still be elected, and maybe the governors of each state as well. And I think the judicial appointment process should remain the same.
However. For Congress, both houses, at both the state and federal level, everything should be done like jury duty. If you’re eligible to vote, you’re in the lottery for government service. Terms would be the same as they are now. And guess what? Unlike jury duty that pays you only a stipend to serve, you would be paid your usual salary, PLUS a housing allowance–not in the millions, but certainly something good enough for a mid level corporate executive.
Obviously, there would be dispensations/exceptions for serious physical or mental health issues as well as criminal records. In fact, I would say that NO ONE with anything other than traffic violations could be in the lottery. That would eliminate a lot of folks already serving in office.
Think of it–NO campaign finance scandals, because there would be NO campaigning. And, the corporate “hoo-ha’s” who manage to buy off all the members of congress with their lobbyists would be at a disadvantage because they wouldn’t know WHO was going to be in office next so could not influence them ahead of time.
And think of all the money that would be saved on “negative campaign ads”! That could certainly be channeled into something more productive.
Hey, I have NO desire to service in Congress. I would never willingly run for any office up to and including dog catcher. But if I thought I was going to have a chance to make some kind of consensus with other interested citizens who weren’t just in it for the perks and the power, then maybe it would be worth it.
A Congress of a real cross section of the country, imagine. People still in the trenches, not isolated by aides and hangers on and entourages. People who really just wanted to get in, do the job and go home. See, that’s an incentive. Okay, I have to do this, but let me do the best I can. That’s been my experience with jury duty. People DO rise to the occasion and I think we might all surprise each other if we each really had to take an active responsibility for running our various governments. Maybe we’d learn how to listen to each other. Maybe we’d actually find that we have more common ground than we realize.
And maybe we could finally, once and for all eliminate daylight savings time!
I’m Grumpy Granny and I approved this message.