Elections — Maybe There's a Better Way

The Old Man

Every two years, the political circus comes to town — does it produce the best candidates?

There has to be a better way to democratically select good leaders for our nation. The current beauty pageant is not working. It’s all posturing and no substance. We are supposed to be a representative democracy — a republic. Who does our leadership represent? Certainly not the average US citizen.

Current Election Process

  • Far too much money corrupts our elections
  • Only the wealthy can afford to run for office
  • Candidates slander one another
  • Once in office, too much effort is wasted on staying in office
  • Signs, billboards, and posters paper the country to build name recognition
  • Grandiose promises are made and never kept
  • More effort is spent demeaning opponents than clarifying a candidate’s own position
  • The leaders we settle for have more allegiance to their party and their donors than the voters
  • The debates are superficial, more reminiscent of a game show, and have similar substance. All that’s missing is a gong. Candidates talk over one another in their efforts to gain attention.
  • Hot button issues get much more attention than they deserve.
  • Failure to select good leaders

Our government is dysfunctional because our elections don’t produce quality leadership. The two parties fight for control of the country while the needs of the citizens are ignored.

I don’t claim to have the answers. But, I have come across a model that would provide for a far better representative democracy by radically altering the process of choosing our leadership. This process would produce far superior leadership, democratically chosen, without the disgusting spectacle that our national elections have become.

Before I give credit to the author of this concept, let me describe the process and, as I do, compare and contrast it with our present system.

Imagine

You and two hundred neighbors meet in a central high school gym. Your goal is simple, select and nominate the ablest leader among your neighbors. Anyone who wishes to speak may have a turn at the podium. One of you will represent the group at the upcoming district-level meeting. Some may choose to speak to nominate another. Some may choose to speak on their own behalf. Others may choose to address the general purpose of the gathering. An election is held, and one leader is chosen to represent the neighborhood at the district meeting.

District

Perhaps one-hundred neighborhoods make up a district. Each neighborhood sends its best leader and spokesperson. The process begins anew at the district level — selecting the ablest among you to move on. The focus is on character, leadership, consensus building. Discussions are held, speakers address the group, nominations are made, a leader is chosen to proceed to the next level.

This process advances through multiple levels, eventually reaching the state and multi-state regional levels. From the top eight regional groups of one-hundred, a president is chosen, and a new government is formed from the assembled group.

A new government

  • Independent of political parties
  • The best leaders in the country are democratically chosen and screened for leadership qualities level by level.
  • A government not of the rich but of the people
  • A government not beholding to special interests
  • A new House and Senate filled with representatives of the people — all the people
  • No more money and time wasted on grotesque national campaigns
  • No concern for reelections because the same process begins anew after one or two year period depending on what’s initially decided
  • A responsive government where any representative can be eliminated at any level during the next cycle— campaigns be damned
  • No amount of money can influence the process
  • No special interests can gain a foothold in the process
  • The process naturally screens out crazy people like Marjorie Taylor Green and egomaniacs like Donald Trump.
  • The process limits the tenure of those who wish to make a political career unless that wish was accompanied by sterling leadership and a spectacular record.

I believe this leadership selection process to be far superior to what our national elections have become. I don’t believe the present system produces good leadership. Often, I’m forced to choose between the lesser of two evils — that’s no choice at all.

Our elections are not providing the leadership a great nation deserves

It’s not that our system of government has failed. We have failed to provide our government with great leaders. We have allowed corruption to degrade our system so that it tilts heavily toward wealth and special interests. It does not have to be this way. We have allowed it to happen.

Don’t you often wonder, where are the leaders? Where are the youth?

We limit our selection process to a small minority of people who do not have our best interests at heart. When you are independently wealthy, you no longer share the same priorities as the average American citizen. To a large extent, vast wealth insulates and distances our leadership from the needs and desires of the rank and file citizen. Our present government tends to pit the interests of the wealthy against those of the average person.

Youth are all but barred from running for office. And by youth, I’m referring to thirty to forty-year-olds. It isn’t easy to acquire the level of wealth necessary to run for office early in life. Suppose an individual is that successful. Why stop taking a chance on politics. The do-nothings of inherited wealth would hardly make better representatives than their wealthy forebears.

If this intrigues you, check out Tiered Democratic Governance (TDG). This is the brainchild of

TDG is the most straightforward, uncomplicated approach to democracy I have encountered. It eliminates so many of the pressing problems that plague our government today.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results

Our government is dysfunctional because of our election process, and we keep doing it the same way repeatedly. We are plagued with money corrupting our elections. We are victims of the whims of special interest groups. We get the same sorry representatives back year after year because of gerrymandering and party politics. We get representatives who are out of touch with the electorate. This election process has to stop before the entire country runs off the rails.

I would like to hear your comments. I would especially like anyone to point out weaknesses in Dave’s plan. The biggest problem I see is getting from our present system to a superior one.

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Looking for solutions to improve our world. I write about politics, education, climate change, and any issues important to average Americans struggling to survive in a world gone mad.

Chico, CA
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