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Criminally Reckless Voting

Require lawmakers to make audio recording of themselves reading bills aloud before they can vote on them.
  (+7, -3)
(+7, -3)
  [vote for,

I'm sick of legislators saying that they didn't realize what they were voting for when they do something stupid.

The solution to this recklessness: Make it a law that legislators provide PROOF that they've read the bills they're voting on BEFORE they can vote on them.

The proof would be a simple audio recording of them reading the bill aloud.

What should punishment be for voting on a bill without reading all of it? I think at least a few years in prison would be appropriate.... maybe death. After all, recklessness at that level puts millions at risk.

seal10, Sep 28 2001


       Hey, at least this idea would fund great text-to-speech automation.   

       I think it would be fair for a lege to either demonstrate having read the law, or say whose opinion was being taken, the responsibility for demonstration then devolving to that advisor. (Don't know how many levels of that should be allowed. I don't want responsibility to be divisible, since pieces of Acts often depend on each other.)
hello_c, Sep 28 2001

       hello_c: there's plenty of politicians, at least in Britain, who sound uncannily like existing text to speech systems. I'm thinking of John Major particularly. But Al Gore has a similar robotic quality.
pottedstu, Oct 01 2001

       On the recording there should be a section that lets people say how sure they are doing the correct thing. This way the voting public could either praise or criticise their decision making skills or emotional responses.
Aristotle, Oct 02 2001

       Perhaps they could be made to summarise the legislation upon completion of a successful reading.
sdm, Oct 02 2001

       I'd like to see congresscritters required to copy the Constitution in longhand. Too many of them seem not to have read it (except Ron Paul, who actually seems to understand it).
supercat, Jan 12 2002

       I think you misunderstand just how many bills flow through congress each year. Of course they don't read them all. The represenative is usually given summaries by his staff. Imagine the time it would take to record it. I think you underestimate congress, I have never heard a represenative say, "oops, I didn't mean to vote that way." Unintended consequences, yes, but nothing reading the bill out loud would stop. Besides-- reading it doesn't mean you comprehend it.
wix, Jun 10 2002

       "I think you misunderstand just how many bills flow through congress each year. Of course they don't read them all."
Then something is seriously wrong. And the representative isn't doing what I'm paying him/her for.

       Shouldn't the idea be called "Un-Criminally Reckless Voting" or something similar?
phoenix, Jun 10 2002

       "Corruptissima republica plurimae leges"--The more corrupt the Republic, the more numerous the laws. An observation made by Roman historian Tacitus, but as true today now as then.   

       When the Constitution was adopted, it was expected that any learned person should be able to understand the law; the whole purpose of having a written Constitution and written laws was to ensure that everyone could understand the laws under which they were required to live. It was never intended that laws would grow so much that only the elite few could understand them, or worse--for them to grow so much that NOBODY understands them.   

       If congresscritters rely upon summaries of what's in legislation, they are handing too much power to unelected clerks. There have been cases of legislators who have been [or at least claimed to be] surprised by what was in legislation they voted for, and there have been court cases whose syllabi get cited even when they disagree with what the decisions actually said.   

       [BTW, true or false: the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Jack Miller and Frank Layton for the possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun]
supercat, Jun 10 2002

       I think they should also have to add something to the effect of "I am agreeing to" or "I am voting for" every so often during the recording.   

       However, I do agree with some others that this could mean more money for more time spent. Of course, the representatives could just record the summaries that they were given by their clerks.
lsteinho, Jun 10 2002


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