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congress, secret ballot switch

allow congress to vote via secret ballot for matters where there are grave results for inaction
  [vote for,

Here in the U.S. our infrastructure is crumbling. Our SCUDA systems are insecure (especially as a lot of them run end of lifed Windows XP), our bridges are crumbling and don't pass inspection, our power grid and water systems need billions worth of work. But there is no political will to get any of this fixed. Conservatives know that if they vote for any spending bill they will have to answer for it at home with their constituents.

I propose giving some legislation the option of being voted on via secret ballot. An independent panel of scientists would analyze the content of a piece of legislation and figure out whether it tried to fix something that, if left unfixed, would be of grave danger to the country. An infrastructure bill would fall under this category but in the more far term climate change legislation might also. Even when legislation conservatives disapproved of passed they wouldn't be in the hot seat, they could make their constituents believe they voted against it (like the guy on a firing squad who believed his bullet was the blank).

Now I know there are a lot of problems with this idea, foremost of which is what constitutes grave danger (it could be used as a pretext to invade another country). But problems need to be solved and what we have now isn't working at all.

lepton, Apr 23 2014


       "Hi, I'm the lobbyist from XYZ corp. You know, senator, that we've been a long time supporter of your re-election campaign. If you don't mind, can we look over your shoulder as you cast your "anonymous" vote? If not, then, I guess we may have to discontinue our support."   

       The lobbyists can & would get that privilege. Their millions of constituents would not. So, this would just lead to even further entrenchment of vested interests (bribes)
sophocles, Apr 23 2014

       A secret poll of the legislature on any issue can have value. Particularly if there are two options = How would you vote in private ? And How would you vote in public ?   

       IF both straw polls would pass ( or defeat) the bill, it just doesn't matter.   

       Only if the straw poll has different results if public or private, does it matter. Send in the arm twisters and backroom deal makers.
popbottle, Apr 23 2014

       The general rule for all power you hand over to be used for "the good" (according to the fleeting whims of your own little puff of conscious dust in time) is that it will be used for Their purposes, not yours.   

       Democracy is, meant to be a leash on Them, but they're sneaky insects. They chew through things you weren't thinking about when you built the cage. Just as a burglar might saw through the burglar bars to get into your home, so your would-be king keeps gnawing on the bars of that cage.
skoomphemph, Apr 24 2014

       I would absolutely support running a 'public' and 'secret' ballot both as a matter of course, just to bring up red flags on issues where lobbyists/donors/other pervasive influences are distorting the political process.
gisho, Apr 24 2014

       This would just feed into the public trollishness that the parties currently bow to, (I'm looking at the conservatives mostly on this one), by not admonishing the public for itself riding off the rails of spending requirements.
RayfordSteele, Apr 24 2014

       How do people get appointed to the "independent" panel of "scientists"?
Wrongfellow, Apr 27 2014


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