Independence Day?

In 1776 it was taxation without representation.

In 2009 it’s representation that is bought and paid for by special interests.

Maybe it’s time to revolt once again? Where did it say we should be limited to two parties? And is it still protecting “free speech” if the cost of getting on a soapbox and running for any major office has a million dollar barrier to entry?

It’s time for a better way to hold elections, because lately, we’ve been getting scammed. Why did it take 8 months to name Al Franken the Senator? How could the “Electoral College” have failed so dramatically in 2000 to elect GWB by the hand of the Supreme Court? And in an age when information is so readily available, is it possible to “swift boat” a candidate for a few million dollars?

It’s time to separate money from political speech. That would be my wish this independence day. When independent voices can be heard, and all votes matter (implement instant runoff systems for starters). Voting by mail works in Oregon- imagine getting a thick magazine with every candidate given a page or two-, references available on the Internet- and sitting down to vote in the comfort of your own home, for the candidate you believe will do the best for you. No more sound-bite politics, or attack ads- just simple reasoned choices.

We could even have major ballot issues polled in prior elections- like the Ohio gambling issue. Present options to voters for a non-binding poll- and then legislation is crafted to match the results. My problem with every single gambling bill that has been on the ballot is that it benefits a few rich lobbyists. Change the language and it may pass.

Health care reform, corporate excess, the “war on drugs” are all issues that are important to voters- yet the current system doesn’t seem to want to touch them. Even the issue of being in Iraq and Afghanistan has been decided for us, not by us.

The biggest failing of democracy comes from the idea that voters are actually informed and capable of making good decisions. A benevolent dictator/monarch is a much more efficient process. Considering how much we spent on advertising candidates, while the jobs don’t pay very well compared to the corporate kingdoms, maybe we have it all wrong?

Should we instead make running all about the money- with a jackpot paycheck for the winner? Should it be about greed?

Imagine a $5 billion dollar jackpot to be president? Instead, it propped up the mass media for a few more years as they fall mightly from failing to do their real job of educating the voter on the real issues of the day.

Lets stop holding auctions and calling them elections, especially when the high corporate bidders aren’t even allowed to vote.

It’s Independence Day. What would you like to declare independence from?

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