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Elected Official Campaigning Revamped

Have Experience, will travel.
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We need a revamping of the method in which our elected officials can campaign for a position. I think there should be a few very simple rules.

1. No direct advertising via media outlets.

2. Very structured "debates". these would consist of a list of questions (say 25), which the candidates would have to answer ALONE, without anyone else's help. (get rid of other people putting words in h(is|er) mouth. The answers to these questions would be read, or posted via the media outlets for everyone to read. The candidates would then also debate the questions.

3. The posting of the candidates resume, and if they had been in a previous political position pof voting, information about the bills they voted on, and how they voted. All of this would be supplied by a known third-party, simliar to how companies hire places like PriceWaterhouse to oversee giveaways and such. The resume would also have to be checked out for accuracy somehow.

4. get rid of the parties. This is a whole separate subject, but needs to be part of this.

5. NO campaign promises. There is absolutely no way that they can faithfully promise something anyway.

Basically, get rid of ALL of the lies, streching of truth, mudslinging, etc. Just the Facts. We can then vote, knowing that we know what we need to know, rather than hoping that they haven't just been full of shit.

pixel, Sep 15 2000

Bushisms. http://slate.msn.co...2000&idMessage=6066
[Scott_D, Sep 15 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Skeletons in the Closet. http://www.realchange.org/
[Scott_D, Sep 15 2000]

The Center for Public Integrity http://www.publicintegrity.org/
Lotsa stuff on our Honorable elected reps. [Scott_D, Sep 15 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Bush2.0 recall http://bbs.slate.ms.../posts/ow/13430.asp
Just for fun. [Scott_D, Sep 15 2000]

Vote Smart http://www.vote-smart.org/
Public data about how public officials have executed their public duties. [hello_c, Sep 15 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

'What are your thoughts on the protection of religious freedom?' http://www.celticcr.../wiccaquestion.html
Shrub: 'I do not think witchcraft is a religion...' [StarChaser, Sep 15 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Skeletons in the Closet. http://www.realchange.org/
[Scott_D, Oct 04 2004]

Bush2.0 recall http://bbs.slate.ms.../posts/ow/13430.asp
Just for fun. [Scott_D, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       This would ruin campaigns, pixel, by taking all of the fun of embarrasing the candidates, and mercilessly mocking the dumb things they say on a daily basis (see Bushisms) - my main objection - maybe we could suprise them in the shower with the twenty questions of something.   

       Seriously, I'm not sure how you can bar them from advertising without violating the first ammendment. As for their records, there definitely needs to be more accountability in government, but this is actually going the other way, with disclosure laws being gutted right and left at the State level, particularly (see link). As for getting rid of the parties, that's another sticky one, Constitutionally (right of assembly), although the primary system could use an overhaul - the best bet right now would be to bring more parties into the fray. My problem is, I want to vote Green, to make the thing more competitive, but I don't want Bush to win, I think he's gonna f**k up, so I gotta wait till the last second, since Republicans always turn out en massé.   

       As for lying, that is an interesting one - we don't hold candidates liable for perjury in campaigns, since they're not technically under oath, although they always try to sound like they are - maybe if somebody made them swear on a stack of Bibles or something, you'd have a case - when they're afraid of getting called for telling fables, which pundits refer to as "wish lists", they usually retreat into doublespeak, and find longwinded, obfuscatory ways of saying nothing. We can always call them on this stuff later, next election. Really though, this is a much bigger issue than either party would like to pretend - I might have even voted for Mcain.   

       I think they oughta have to debate each other for like eight hours straight - then we'd find out what they're made of.
Scott_D, Sep 16 2000
  

       I like the idea in Scott's post. Let's make all public statements by a campaigning official legally binding. The result is we'll get a lot more waffle words, and a lot more carefully laid out plans.   

       If elected, I will call upon congress to vote on at least the title page of this plan I have in my hand....
tenhand, Sep 20 2000
  

       Scott: I'm curious as to why you loathe Bush so much. While he is not perfect, he seems to posess a level of personal integrity and humility Gore lacks. While Gore likes to promise that the government will give lots of money to lots of people, he neglects to mention that governments never give their own money to people--rather, they spend other peoples' money.   

       If I were to mug someone and pocket $100 of their money, I would be a thief. Suppose, however, I when mugged them I only kept $50 for myself, giving the other $50 to some guy who needed it. Would I not still be a thief?   

       As for Gore's complaints about Bush's tax cuts, if Mr. Jones goes into a store and uses a $100 bill to pay for merchandise totalling $80 (incl. tax) while Mr. Smith uses a $1.00 bill to pay for merchandise totalling $0.80, is it not right and proper for the store to "spend" 100 times as much giving Mr. Jones his change as it "spends" on Mr. Smith?   

       Finally, I should mention something you may not know about Social Security: for all Gore's talk about a "lockbox", the fact of the matter is that the government bonds in which the trust fund is invested are in reality worthless paper. If the SSA expenditures exceed revenues by $1M and it thus needs to redeem $1M worth of its bonds, the government would have to spend $1M of general revenue to redeem those bonds. This is no better than if the SSA had no trust fund and needed a $1M bailout from general revenue.   

       Indeed, the entire Social Security system is a fraud. Applying to it the same accounting practices required of private retirement funds (which, while they may run occasional deficits are required to generally run a small surplus) would reveal that the Social Security system is very badly in debt and runs multi-billion dollar deficits yearly. Most of the changeover "costs" associated with Bush's plan are really an acknowlegement of the off-the-books debt that's been run up in the past.   

       Social Security is like a store that "gives" things away and then charges them to customers' childrens' credit cards and justifies it by making promises to those children (effectively putting itself in debt to them). Changing over from that sort of into an honest business and paying off its old debts would be expensive in the short term, but one way or another those debts are going to have to be borne by someone.
supercat, Oct 21 2000
  

       Unfortunately, we're sort of stuck with two idiots. There are other candidates, but none of them have ever really made more than a splash of 'Look at that doofus, doesn't he know only Republicrats or Democritarians ever win' interest.   

       For most of my life, the presidential 'race' has been 'who to vote against', not who to vote for. The lesser of two evils is still evil.   

       I dislike Shrub because he is planning on abandoning at least part of the Constitution, saying that religions will be Government Approved <as long as they're his flavor of xtianity>.
StarChaser, Oct 22 2000
  

       As someone with his share of graduate-level economics, I'm always disappointed at the naivete of people who assume the government had nothing to do with their making money, so the government has no claim on it.   

       Without government, we wouldn't *have* money. Even in the days of private currencies (such as were printed by local banks), such currencies were only negotiable insofar as a legal basis existed for their acceptance. The entire concept of free market capitalism requires an underpinning of commonly accepted currencies, the rule of law and enforceable contracts, protection from external actors and a way to ensure that capitalism's "losers" won't periodically rebel and redistribute the proceeds. (To quote Anatole France, "the law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor from stealing bread.")   

       Taxes are the price we pay we for those things, and those with the most to lose should the system collapse should pay more, in relative as well as absolute terms.
Uncle Nutsy, Oct 23 2000
  

       Uncle Nutsy said: Without government, we wouldn't *have* money.   

       I have to disagree. We may not have CURRENCY, but we would have money. Money can come in any form. Currency is a regulated version of money that is normally controlled by a nation. Money can be anything... remember something called the gold standard? Without government we wouldn't have CURRENCY, but I guarantee you that I could get rich, and would buy things by trading gold, or simply bartering. Government has little to do with me making money.
pixel, Nov 16 2000
  

       The difference between "currency" and "money" in this context is mere semantics. And even if it weren't, the gold standard was just a form of underlying currency. In the absence of any currency regime, what you have is barter, not a gold standard, which is simply a fixing of a set quantity of gold to an existing currency. Hence the British "pound" and the Mexican "peso" (Spanish for "pound"), both referring to the weight of metal each represented upon introduction. The gold standard is no more "natural" than the silver standard, the hemp standard or the flax standard. In fact, it's substantially less natural than the latter two, which at least have practical uses if you can't use them as money.   

       As for getting rich in an anarchistic world via barter: sure, you could, though barter is a horribly inefficient way to run an economy, which is why currency became so popular. And twenty or thirty guys who aren't getting rich could get together and take everything you earned by force. In fact, they probably would- hard work is hard, obtaining everything you need through barter is hard, conquest with a 30:1 numerical advantage is easy.   

       And, yes, you could hire your own private army to stop them. Suppose you add nine guys who aren't doing as well as you to your barter gang, figuring you can hold out at 3:1 odds. Well, you've just cut your profits by 90 percent (and if you pay them less than even shares, well, you've let nine armed guys past your defenses...). And, bearing in mind they're not as good at barter as you, you need to *keep* paying them. Constantly. Or the 30 spoilers outside the gates will walk in. And, unless your tax bite was over 90 percent (*average*, not maximum marginal rate), you're worse off than you were when you could just call the police. And you're the *winner* of this arrangement.   

       And then, consider what happens when those 30 poor spoilers meet 30 more poor spoilers and, rather than fight over the nothing they both have, decide they'd rather each have half of yours. You have to buy off more people or enter into mutual self-defense agreements with your fellow lords of barter and, before you know it, congratulations! *You're* a government! And a very inefficient and despotic one too.   

       Before anyone buys into a vision of an anarcho-libertarian paradise, they should ask themselves: would people voluntarily uphold contracts when they could rob or kill their contractual partner and get the goods they desire for nothing without repercussions? Before answering, consider how many murderers, burglars, robbers, swindlers, fraudsters and other white-collar crooks we have *now*.
Uncle Nutsy, Nov 17 2000
  

       Uh... you could round up 30 people and beat up someone and steal his money just as easily (probably even more easily) as you could steal his bartered-for goods... so I don't see what the point is of all that.
PotatoStew, Nov 17 2000
  

       Unca Nutsy ain't so nuts. You can't steal my money, because I don't have it -- it's in a bank. You can't rob the bank, not because the bank hired an army, but because we have police.
egnor, Nov 18 2000
  
      
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