Editorial #306 How to Improve Democracy?
Fixing anything is a challenge that involves risk. When I fix things, I try to incorporate improvements at the risk of breaking it, ending up with a bigger repair, or the need to replace it. Perhaps this is nature’s way of surviving with our natural tendency to try to improve things to make life easier.
Our constitutional system, which is not perfect, invites human tinkering with the phrase: “to make a more perfect union”. Most politicians avoid clear minded problem definitions, and true solutions. Instead they rattle on about symptoms. Don’t fix the slow leak in the tire, just give it some more air focusing the voters on the symptom. This way they can keep the true problem alive on which they can campaign by advocating that more tire pumps be placed around their state.
Should we give someone a fish, or teach them how to fish? Giving away a fish is easy to do, less risky and more popular. It gets them elected, and they will insist there are more fish from where that one came….”trust me”
The biggest problem we have in this country is not poverty, health care, pollution, racism, security or climate change. It is politicians who ignore problems and focus only on symptoms by throwing more money at it. It is risky to engage in dialog to deal with the underlying causes because solutions can be criticized before it is ever attempted. The result is more money spent on studies with the problem never being resolved.
This country suffers under a “political industrial complex”. This is the “deep state” of special interests, lobbyists, bureaucrats and politicians with a two-party monopoly that perpetuates their power. It makes saints into sinners and politicians into villains with absolute power corrupting absolutely.
In a country of, by and for the people, the real problem occurs when “survival of the fittest” trumps the golden rule and the Ten Commandments. John Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Both are in very short supply inside the “political party” system and the deep state.
The root cause of this political “genetic defect”, is the “survival of the fittest” tendency of party bosses, with their money and machinery. They “Primary” any potential rival out of the general election. Primary voters are fewer in number and more partisan. Party bosses align with the candidate that appeals to the extremes of the party.
A candidate, in a multi-candidate race, can win without getting a majority of the votes. This makes it nearly impossible to upset the machinery of the party bosses. This makes general elections, a race with only the extreme views represented. The primary becomes a “blood bath” for any candidate that did not get support from special interests from either party’s bosses.
Eliminating “party primary” elections, forces each candidate to carry their own platform and be the determining factor. The top two candidates with the most votes would face each other in the general election, regardless of party affiliation. This guarantees candidates whose message resonated with the most voters will be in the general election.
This blunts the power of special interests and improves the opportunity for non-politicians, not under the control of special interests. No candidate would represent the voters without a majority in the general elections, eliminating candidates with extreme views who have little support outside their radical party machinery. We would no longer have to “hold our nose” while voting for the lesser of two evils.
This approach is not perfect, as nothing ever is, but it neutralizes “political industrial complex” from bullying their way through elections. The objective is to stop the division caused by political parties, eliminating partisan bickering that clouds any hope of getting real solutions Implemented.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.
Keith has a regular commentary on WJAG 780 radio at 7:40 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Check his website www.keithkube.com for past editorials.