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Thoughts For Improved Representation





Dennise
The American founding fathers had many great ideas. One of their best - in my opinion - was a truly representative government. The intent was that folks from all walks of life go to our capital and take a reasonably short turn at governing. Having done that, they return to their previous life e.g. farming, writing, teaching etc.

I feel many of America's troubles today are because we have gotten away from the real representation the framers intended. More than 35% of our congress men and women are lawyers today and far too many of the rest are career 'revolving-door' politicians. This is NOT true representation. My question is; What might the result of the below corrective legislation proposal be?

By law, Congress must consist of the make-up shown below:

Educators: a%
Farmers: b%
Politicians holding existing or former office: c%
Scientists: d%
Bankers: e%
Lawyers: f%
CEOs: g%


Well you get the idea. From time-to-time, the make-up and the percentages to get true representation could be adjusted

Such a 'formula' together with term limits would, in my opinion go a long way toward getting America back on track.

Thoughts, ideas ???
deanhills
Looking from the outside in (I'm not an American citizen), I'd say the ability of large corporations to fund regular Presidential campaigns as well as campaigns for those serving in the Congress and Senate must be near the top of the list of threats to democratic representation. Also those corporations seem to be owning the media as well - serving on media boards, so the media is therefore acting more in the interest of vested parties, than in the interests of the public.

Then another evil is the practice of lobbying to "buy" or "negotiate for favours" legislation in Congress and the Senate. I find that a real threat to democratic representation as well.
menino
Politics is quite an extensive topic and has many extensive responsibilities as well.

If you say a group of people should be part of the congress party, the congress can easily "buy" those so called people, such as the farmers, educators, etc, who are then just puppets to their legislations, and I also agree to what deanhills mentioned, which is in the same lines.

What your asking is for a comittee to police a comittee... but who is going to police the top comittee?

I think farmers, educators and all the people of a democratic country have a say in their ruling of the country and the leaders that take the reigns, and they don't really need a comittee comprised of these professions, whent he country is already comprised of it already.

Perhaps the problem is that most of the professions don't really know whats going on in the country, untill it affects them (such as raising taxes on food, or education policies etc.).
But the countries economic situation has been brought about by the banking sector, which no one really foresaw. They were even responsible to the housing crisis.

The laws are changing to police the financial sector, but its taking a long time.
Hello_World
I agree with the objections to this. And would add, how can you really format would groups would be appropriate, and what percentage?

I notice you didn't include a percentage for manual labourers or people in the lowest pay bracket. Unemployed people. Nurses and medical workers. Charity workers. Social workers. Waitresses. Musicians and artists. and so on, and so on.

I agree that the biggest barrier to getting representation is financial. I am also aware that America is famous for having millionaire Presidents. (although these issues resonate everywhere). Donations to political parties for elections are corrupt, as those with the money are able to put forward their candidate, the one who is most ameniable to their cause. There needs to be some changes in transperancy and in the election circus.

One reason many people put forward is that America doesn't have compulsory voting. Your politicians have to have a big song and dance merely to get people interested enough to show up on the day.

Not that compulsory voting cures all evils in this regard, our elections are progressively more circus like all the time. But there is no cause here for the PM to be a millionaire and they usually aren't.

Political advertisements should be banned perhaps. These are just propaganda, byte sized slogans. Ban ads and increase debates. Ensure all people are given the opportunity to be debated and interviewed(or if they are refused debate, then by whom should be public knowledge too). You can do this on your government channel, of course the private channels will just run whatever they want and that is their right.
ocalhoun
The OP suggestion sounds kinda similar to lottery democracy.
... Elective democracy is not the only kind... another form is that all eligible people are in a lottery, and if your number comes up, congratulations, you're now a congressman!

Really, it's kind of like direct democracy... but rather than trying to poll every single person about every decision, you take a random sampling method.


One usefull part of the suggestion is shorter terms though. I would be in favor of term limits for all politicians. It should be basically impossible to be a career politician.
(People naturally look out for their own... And for career politicians, who are they going to look out for? Politicians.)

Hello_World wrote:

Political advertisements should be banned perhaps. These are just propaganda, byte sized slogans. Ban ads and increase debates. Ensure all people are given the opportunity to be debated and interviewed(or if they are refused debate, then by whom should be public knowledge too). You can do this on your government channel, of course the private channels will just run whatever they want and that is their right.

Banning political ads quickly runs into a free speech/free press wall.
And -- importantly -- political speech and press is the prime reason we have those rights.
...And if you do make a ban anyway, then you have difficult issues about defining just what is a political ad... All advertisers would have to do is rephrase their ads from advocating a candidate to 'raising awareness about an issue' ... an issue that just happens to be a major part of that candidate's platform.
Nameless
Career politicians might often favour career politicians, but career politicians are also a limited group so the impact of that on the rest of society is realistically low (compared to the same politicians bumping up funding for eg. the military). And at the end of the day, the career politician is going to know a lot more about politics than a career farmer who happens to be elected for a couple of years.

Now if more of the public actually cared about putting that political knowledge to good use instead of rallying behind slogans ...
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
And at the end of the day, the career politician is going to know a lot more about politics than a career farmer who happens to be elected for a couple of years.
I don't agree. The career politician is probably going to know more about how to survive and make it in politics. The strategies. Whether any of those career politicians really know politics to me is open for debate. The part I agree with is the slogan bit, and those are the ones the career politicians specialize in more than the science of politics. Getting elected ultimately is everything to the politician.
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