For the people?

by Nickle on September 14, 2007 · 6 comments

in Uncategorized

So, last night my television watching was interrupted by a presidential address, concerning our plans with the war, along with a democratic rebuttal. I didn’t change the channel, I was actually a bit interested. After watching it though, I thought ‘What the hell was the point of that?’ Why even bother stating your case on national television? It’s not like we have a a vote. The President came out and told us their plan for withdrawal, then the democrat came out and told us their plan, then some people talked about it. Great, so we, the people, have heard both sides of the argument, but why? IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT WE THINK.

Here’s my idea. America loves game shows right now, right? Next time they want to have one of these debates on television, Americans should be able to call in, or jump on the internet, and vote. Have them answer ten questions about the subject at hand, and then vote yes or no. The percentage or questions they answer correctly will determine the percentage of one vote that their vote counts for. For instance, if they answer 4 out of 10 questions correction, their vote counts as .4 of a vote. The cumulative vote of the people would then be some fraction of the total vote in congress.

The system need only be secured by a social security number/4-digit pin combo, and obviously as much protection from ‘hackers’ as we can get, though I’d hope we could count on good will, being as it’s an attempt to actually put some power back in the hands of the people. Also, this system would require increased transparency of our political system and the issues at hand, which would be quite the opposite of our current system.

The same could be done for elections, minus the whole ‘percentage of a vote’ thing. If we had a secure system that we could call in or vote on the internet, our voter turnout would rise tremendously. The main reason I rarely vote, aside from the corrupt nature of our political system, is all of the hassle involved.

Of course, the idea of letting real people have a voice in our government probably scares the hell out of elected officials, who would have to initiate such a program. So the chances of it ever happening are nill. A man can dream, though.

The funny part is, we, as a country, are always storming into other countries to protect the people from corrupt leaders. We question why those people can’t do anything themselves, yet we Americans never question our own government. At least never in a way that might bring about change. Sure, we joke about the corruption, in fact, several hours of entertainment are devoted strictly to pointing out the flaws in the system, but we never actually stand up and demand change. And things are only getting worse everyday.

I don’t know, what does everyone else out there think?

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  • .alphamonkey.

    I’m suspicious of anything that moves our electoral process towards American Idol, but I will agree we need some drastic reform. Participatory democracies don’t work when no one shows up.

  • wellis

    I agree that there needs in our western democracy something a bit more involving. over here we have a prime minister who can pretty much act like the head of state and so on key issues we need some sort of referendum or public vetoing system that is garanteed to work.

    maybe direct democracy is difficult (because of a) the voters, and b) the cost) but perhaps more online participation is needed…

    e-thenian democracy you could say.

  • elkciN

    I feel pretty much the same way, but something has to happen. We really have no say in where our country is headed, aside from deciding which lucky guy gets to screw us over for the next term.

    Like you alluded to in your last sentence, the problem is apathy. We have to make the system more accesible. The whole ten questions thing was really just a way to filter out the opinions of the stupid. If we wanted to fund such a system, it would be as simple as cutting back on the exorbitant salories of our fine elected officials. But really, the point is that in this day and age, there is simply no excuse for the people to be completely shut out of the workings of our government.

    I’m starting to think our Congressmen should have to answer a few questions about each issue they vote on, because it seems alot of their votes have nothing to do with the actual issue. (Lobbyist, pay raises attached to non-related bills, etc)

  • elkciN

    Another thing that gets me, whenver I bring up voting on the internet, someone always harps on about the security risks.

    Because the system we use now is so secure.

  • Achilles

    Well I can say that though I don’t know you I love what your site has done in small ways in terms of getting me even more pissed about things.

    I was turned on to your site through a close friend (IDTMI) who got me blogging daily while i’m teaching ESL at a University in Seoul Korea by way of Cincinnati OH. I have read all of your links to articles from The Washington Post, Slate, The New Republic. I am listening to Roisin Murphy through her web site by way of your video post. I was introduced, indirectly, to Ron Paul because of a comedy central post from you. I saw the shock short and the Zeitgeist movie through your site etc, etc…

    And here’s what I’m thinking. You are right on with this post. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT WE THINK. The people want to believe all the bullshit because if they don’t, things will change including, most importantly, their money. This is why the majority refuses to give a hoot. The fear that the money they have and will have in the future for retirement and such is best in the hands of the people in Washington now. And, to those ends, they are probably right.

    I want to save up X amount of dollars and get really cool people to chip in on an island somehow with the Internet, get a tan, dance a bit, read books, and laugh from afar. That’s not me givin up alpha monkey…that’s me thinkin- damn how much time do I have left. And i’m a healthy 29 😉

    Thanks for your posts bro! LOVE IT!

  • Dan

    I hope the March 15th of the world premiere of the movie Zeitgeist will open up the eyes of the people in this world.

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