We all just went to the pulls, some of us, and we made some decisions, but what if that was where the process started and not ended? We take a look at one more hair-brained, half-cocked idea from the depths of a half-drunk, half-crazed rooster.
Imagine a world where you decide whether there is a sixth continuing resolution on sweeping immigration reform? Want to call Congress back from their break to debate an issue? Do we want to eliminate lobbyists? Do you want to take the future of this country from the few hundreds and give it to the millions who must live in that future as much, if not more than, those we elected? Do you want democracy or political plagiarism of a Greek and Roman system entrenched in the idea that the people are literally too ignorant and too far away to be allowed to be a part of the system?
The republic was an invention of necessity. It was designed in the vacuum of the times.
While the idea of the peoples’ voice being heard was a novel and groundbreaking one, the decision to elect and send one to represent the many was one of logistics. People were far away from the seat of democracy. They were literally disconnected. Fast forward to today’s world of almost pornographic connectivity. This is not a world that need elect the most literate and traveled among us to speak for us in the far away capital. This is a world that can speak for itself if that is something we really want.
Let’s face it, we’re smarter than the framers of the constitution. You, me, most publicly educated 6th graders are smarter than the average forefather. An educated people should be harder to control.
Our elected officials need not vote for us, but need to cast our vote for us. The idea of WeVote is to hold our representatives accountable. They cast the vote that we decide from issue to issue after we elect them.
I want my elected officials explaining everything to me, giving me their informed pros and cons list for a bill, a law, a vote, and then doing as the majority of voters would like by letting us decide in a public poll. If enough oppose the representative’s vote, they vote our way. What would be the harm in letting us go to Washington more? I think we can have a government without scapegoats. A place where we can’t blame the fat cats, the disconnected politician, the elitist, the liberals and the conservatives. It’s the system’s fault, not ours. We voted, we did our job. We aren’t responsible for what happens after that.
We have all of the tools we need to have a system that let’s the people begin their involvement in politics at the election, not end it there.
I guess the biggest question is if we want that kind of involvement in our system. We find it frustrating to be choosing between the lesser of two evils, picking one party or the other, and elections which inherently silence any voice because they are underfunded. I sometimes wonder if there was a great president that could have been in some other reality where money didn’t equate success and viability. The leader we need could literally be sitting around somewhere and we’d never know because he or she can’t raise enough money and doesn’t know the right people.
As a nation, we seem to enjoy being treated like children. We like soundbites and pandering. We’re suckers for attack ads and the ooh’s and ah’s of gotcha moments. We like to be entertained, and being able to whine is an intrinsic piece of that. If we take the vote from the elected, if we started our involvement at the election instead of ending it there, and if we were ultimately responsible for what happened in Washington (which, by our inaction to change it, we are) then the political system of America would be less of a show and the actual scope of all the decisions that go into running a country into anything but the ground in a fiery ball would make us all go blind.
WeVote is just one poorly thought out way of implementing the change I want to see: I want to eliminate the distance between Washington and its people. The times we live in could let you stay directly involved in the actual decisions of the business of the country instead of what it is now: A crapshoot election based on the honor system of expecting the candidate do as they say to our face while the business of yay and nay votes happens anywhere but and we can do little other than watch and murmur with displeasure.
Maybe it’s a pipe dream. I know I would like to challenge my representatives to be the first. Oregon is as good a place as any for something weird to become the norm. Why can’t we ask our elected official to do it differently? This system would eliminate just about everything about a candidate besides they’re understanding of government and their ability to follow directions. Does an official’s religion, background, and political positions really even matter if he has to do exactly as we say? We can take the politician out of politics. The real question is whether we’d prefer a whipping boy or a say in the process, but we can’t be our own scapegoat. So what will it be?