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Election Reform

November 11, 2008 - Dan Voigt
You hear it? Listen! There – do you hear it? The sound of silence – wonderful, blissful silence without the bashing of candidates, empty political promises of the world on a string if elected and all the rest of the political gibberish that we have been subjected to for the past two-plus years. I would venture to say that I am not alone in being a voter who is mentally tired of all the rhetoric that has been spewed forth in the past weeks, months and even years for this Presidential election. But, in all honesty, the mental browbeating that the American people have been subjected to hasn’t just been at the hands of Presidential candidates – oh no. There have been Congressional races, State races, and even local races where remarks, promises and accusations have flown that simply are not acceptable. I’m not pointing any specific fingers, because I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of folks out there who feel the same way I do. In the closing days before Tuesday’s election, I kept getting calls from people I didn’t know, telling me why “You simply have to vote for …….. because he understands you.” Oh yeah, he understands me. Well, I understand something about t this Presidential campaign that really has annoyed me all along, and if we stop and think about it, it should annoy everybody who works and pays his or her taxes. Simply put, I cannot for the life of me understand why we, the taxpayers, allow our tax money to be used by the Federal Election Commission to provide matching funds for Presidential campaigns. I think that’s simply preposterous. I don’t want to sound like a radical, but the Presidential race anymore is all about power. It sure isn’t about the pay - $200,000 a year. Sure, there’s a place to live, transportation included in the job, but you know, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense that you’d spend MILLIONS of dollars to win a job that pays $200,000 a year. Yeah, its all got to be about the power trip. In light of the current state of the economy, I’d suggest that from now on, no more federal money for any political campaign. If the candidate can’t pay for his or her own campaign, why should the taxpayers have to foot the bill? If they can’t raise enough money to campaign, how are they going to run our country? While we’re at it, how about a little more political reform here, in the interest of the mental health of the American People? Give this scenario some thought. In four years, for the next Presidential election, here’s how it will go. On July 1, everyone who wants to be President begins campaigning. They can go state-to-state, coast-to-coast from July 1 to September 1. At that point, the caucuses occur for a two-week period. At the end of September, the Political parties hold their national conventions, and based on the caucus votes, the conventions select their Presidential candidates On October 1, the nominated candidates start campaigning. They have four weeks during October in which to campaign. They can have debates during that time span, and are forbidden by law to televise infomercials prior to any professional sporting event. (OK, maybe that’s a little harsh.) Then, on the first Tuesday in November, the public goes to the polls and votes for a President. Inaugurate the winner in January and away we go to see if we picked right. If not, there’s an election just a few years down the road. Before you dismiss that idea, stop and think about it. I’m suggesting three months of rhetoric, mudslinging and less-than-full-truths instead of nearly three years worth of the “issues” like this last election. I know there are some of you who will think I’ve gone completely off the deep end, but I think it’s actually very realistic and completely possible. Our political system seems at times to have grown so immense and out of control that it makes one wonder if the voter does have a voice or not. Yes, the individual voter does still have a voice, but it seems like in too many cases any more, the voice is being drowned out by the “ca-ching” of campaign cash registers.


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