Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Introduction

Our purpose is to consider whether current election processes produce the best-qualified candidates to serve in government, and, if not, how they can be made to do so. To cite Dr. Jane Junn in a 2003 lecture at The Teachers College at Columbia University:

  • "To properly address the problems of democracy, we must train the focus of our policy recommendations ... on the structures and institutions of government itself ..."
  • "... We must ask whether citizens are being presented with adequate resources to act, and how we might reenvision the incentives for political engagement to be more inclusive of all citizens."
  • "... we should continually strive to improve our democratic system of institutions and structures."
  • "But it must be a democracy that is enacted in a way that provides equal access and opportunities to participate."

The task is formidable.

While I may have an idea or two
The important views will come from you
Concepts devised in a single brain
Can oft by logic be split in twain

We seek productive participation with a touch of humor to help the flow of ideas. Posts should focus on the selection process and avoid discussion of specific political issues or candidates. Such topics are fraught with emotional triggers. Participants must not only post with courage and honesty, but also with courtesy and respect. Posts should make or counter a point. When one agrees with another poster, their contribution will be more effective if they add insight or logic supporting the point.

Participant's views are important. To insure that they are prominent, I will (upon request) add serious, thoughtful posters as additional authors on this blog. In that way, their posts will appear at the primary level instead of as (buried) comments.

Our discussion will be in English (the only language I know). Since English does not have a monopoly on great ideas, I will be happy to help non-English speakers with English phrasing to the extent of my ability and time.

Fred

4 comments:

TimC said...

Fred: You need to check out www.GOOOH.com. GOOOH (pronouncd "go") is a plan to evict all 435 members of the U.S. House of Represetnatives and replace them with everyday Americans just like you.

GOOOH allows participants in the process to determine, in pools of ten, to select the best person to represent them. GOOOH will fund the campaign.

Check out the Web site. It will take the participation of patriots like you to return control of our government to the people, and ensure our grandchildren and theirs have the same opportunities that we have been blessed with.

tim@goooh.com

koikaze said...

Good Morning, TimC

Thanks for your note. I've been to GOOOH, and, while I can't claim intimate knowledge of its purpose, I was able to pick up on the theme.

To me, it seems unwise to propose a solution without knowing the ills we are trying to correct. As Edwin Friedman said in A Failure of Nerve, quick fixes don't fix anything.

I prefer to base a solution on a clear understanding of why the "Noble Experiment", our Constitution, failed. Seeking such understanding is the purpose of this blog. If you, or anyone else, can describe how our great nation went awry, it will encourage all of us to support the changes necessary to achieve a rational government.

Fred

TimC said...

How our nation went awry: Politicians have taken over our government; we no longer have representatives as our founders intended.

Politicians serve a party, the special interest groups that fund them, and their career. We the people are fourth, at best, on their list of priorities.

The solution is simple: replace the politicians with true representatives.

I do not believe our Constitution has failed. Milton Friedman was correct when he said, "Power will attract men of a different stamp."

In 1780 Samuel Adams warned us, "If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” The time has come. We are the patriots. It is up to us to prevent the ruin.

Best regards,
TimC

ben said...

"it seems unwise to propose a solution without knowing the ills we are trying to correct" ... an interesting principle, if a little long winded.
Doesn't that translate into "it's good to know what you're doing"?

But to something more substantial: in most / all the sites talking about this material I rarely / never see anything concrete. And the only test of theory is praxis.
In my experience those who "talk about" get defensive / resentful at any mention of actual practice.

When I talk about actual implementation, the nuts and bolts, the hammers and tongs, theoreticians quickly turn away.
But politics is about practice.

(And yes, evasion is actually a practice! It works so well it's actually addictive.)