h a l f b a k e r y
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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
corruptness and general dumb-ness of our leadership.
Clearly the best form of government would be a
but the logistics of implementing it make that pretty
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
basic operation of government, and have a complete
background check that would reveal any issues with
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
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
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.
"Study" on average IQs of Congress
[theircompetitor, Mar 14 2014]
||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?
||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.
||Is this not the House of Lords?
||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?"
||//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
||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
||And [Vernon], SkyNet will no doubt deliver that
Benevolent Dictatorship before long, no worries.
||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.
||//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.
||[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
||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