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Professional Statesmens' Association

A way to ensure quality leadership
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This is mostly directed at US politics, but I suppose it could apply to other republics as well. It is designed to combat the corruptness and general dumb-ness of our leadership.

Clearly the best form of government would be a meritocracy, but the logistics of implementing it make that pretty far fetched. The next best option, in my opinion, is to have standardized testing for anyone who wants to run for office to make sure that they are not, in fact, an idiot. Unfortunately any major change like that to the political system would be impossible due to public views on liberty and election laws. I suspect that even many of you here would be opposed to that idea.

What is needed then, is a way to test elected leaders for quality without infringing (at least blatantly) on free elections. How could this be accomplished? Form a professional association for statesmen. In order to be a member of this organization, a candidate must be able to provide credentials proving that they are qualified for a job in public office. They should also be able to pass tests on the basic operation of government, and have a complete background check that would reveal any issues with cocaine, underage boys, or affiliations with corporations that could hurt their impartiality. An accreditation board will then individually approve politicians for membership. In the interest of fairness and impartiality, the board must be composed entirely of Canadians.

Now comes the important part - if elections are still free for anybody to run in, how can we make sure that only Statesmens' Association members get elected? That will require a large media campaign by the board to convince voters to ONLY elect board members. Of course, lots of attack ads will have to be run against non-members to paint them as incompetent cretins (which they probably are). Association members can use their membership as a benefit to their own campaign. As more members are elected we will eventually have a government in which the leaders might actually know what they're doing.

DIYMatt, Mar 14 2014

"Study" on average IQs of Congress http://weeklyworldn...filled-with-morons/
[theircompetitor, Mar 14 2014]

[link]






       A few points:   

       Some people might prefer to have a dumb, corrupt representative. Indeed, on the evidence to hand, this is true of the majority in my town.   

       "[A] candidate must be able to provide credentials proving that they are qualified for a job in public office." Such as?   

       Elected representatives don't need to know, in any more than basic terms, about how government operates; that's the job of the civil service.   

       "... affiliations with corporations that could hurt their impartiality". Corporations, but not other organisations (Greenpeace, for example)?   

       Who appoints the accreditation board? Who decides who appoints the accreditation board?
angel, Mar 14 2014
  

       Of course, the most coveted (and hence potentially corrupt) position would be to sit on the board of this association, or on one of its direct competitor organizations, of which there will be many. And it will remain a targeted irritant to non-members who will do nothing but attack its credibility, nonstop, a la the case of Politifact.   

       Perhaps Good Housekeeping could oversee it.
RayfordSteele, Mar 14 2014
  

       I nominate Rob Ford.
FlyingToaster, Mar 14 2014
  

       Is this not the House of Lords?
not_morrison_rm, Mar 14 2014
  

       Actually, in my studies I've uncovered data indicating that the best form of human government is a Benevolent Dictatorship --except the problem, as you might expect, is, "how do you ensure that the dictator is benevolent?"
Vernon, Mar 14 2014
  

       //dumb, corrupt representative// [angel], who doesn't love to be cynical, but non-withstanding the linked "study", that is quite unlikely to be true   

       First, though many representatives occasionally -- and more than occasionally -- say dumb things, I would bet that their IQ tends to be at the very least higher than the IQ of their constituents ( despite some hoaxes, for instance, George W. Bush's IQ is estimated to be in the 120s based on his SAT score) The "intelligensia" may average IQs that are higher than those of the political class, but then again, Rush Holt, a physicist of some note and a a Jeopardy champion, was my congressman.   

       As to corruption: there is a view that money should not mix with politics. In reality, the only reason money mixes with politics in the first place is because money is not represented fairly in politics, i.e. it compensates for taxation without representation. Since most incumbents get reelected, one must assume that whatever corruption occurs pales in comparison to their name id, or the value they actually bring to the district   

       And [Vernon], SkyNet will no doubt deliver that Benevolent Dictatorship before long, no worries.
theircompetitor, Mar 14 2014
  

       I should note that on the Brawn vs. Beauty vs. Brains Survivor, the Brains tribe is seriously flagging from a lack of effective organization. High IQ's are not necessary for everyone to have in leadership, just good organizational skills over teams.
RayfordSteele, Mar 14 2014
  

       //High IQ's are not necessary for everyone to have in leadership, just good organizational skills over teams.// I think there are multiple types of leadership and being good at organizational skills isn't the only factor at play here. In our representative system these elected officials are the ones actually making technical decisions about everything from marijuana to what country we're invading next. It's not just a matter of managing people well, it's a matter of being smart enough to know when you need more information and seek it out before making a decision. That's why I think it's so important to elect smart people, not just people with charisma.
DIYMatt, Mar 14 2014
  

       [DIMatt] It is not really hard, after all, to come up with lists of "provably" smart people, whether you use IQ tests or not, nor is it hard to juxtapose those with organizational skills, just look at any consistently successful tech company.   

       Elections surface those kinds of qualifications already, but ultimately it is up to the people to decide who they want to represent them -- I'm thinking for instance about the miserable failures both Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman were as candidates.   

       As to whether elections actually make sense, well, it's what we have so far. The assumption that leaders don't know what they are doing is highly simplistic.
theircompetitor, Mar 14 2014
  
      
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