Did this election offer candidates that reflect your own interests?
An idea came to me a month ago for a new more equitable system of democracy. It deals primarily with revamping the system in the States but could apply to other countries as well.
Society has changed since the early founders created our current system more than 200 years ago. We don’t need to secure the rights of states who are no longer homogeneous regions with common interests to protect. The Electoral College is archaic and obsolete. The current system of two houses doesn’t insure that all groups and individuals in the US are adequately represented. Running for office is financially out of reach for most, so the ones elected to office do not share common experiences and concerns with the majority of people they represent.
The idea that came to me insures more equitable representation by creating categories under which each adult can vote and run for office:
- Three AGE groups: 18-30, 31–50, 51-80+
- Two GENDER groups: Female and Male
- Six RACIAL groups: Black, Latina, Asian, Native, White and Mixed (each person picking the racial group in which they self-identify)
Each person over the age of 18, who lives in the USA, who has a Social Security number can vote and stand for office. Any person over the age of 18, who lives outside the USA but is a citizen of the USA with a Social Security number can vote but not stand for office.
There will be only one city council per city, one house for the State Assembly and one house for the Federal Congress. There will be no political parties and no Electoral College. The percent of each of the above groups will be determined by the 2020 census (adjusted every 10 years). That percent will determine how many elected officials there will be in each category, i.e. how many black females age 31-50, how many Asian males age 18-30, etc. Everyone votes only in their own category. There will be 430 members of Congress in total.
Federal Congress will not have representatives by State but rather by group category. A provision can be made to ensure at least 2 people from each state are in the Federal Congress. State and City candidates have to live in the state or city they represent. Only residents of those cities and states can vote in those elections by their category.
Everyone will vote on line using their social security number. There will be a special website for candidates in each category where the person running for office in that category can post their CV and a video sharing why they want to be a representative and what they stand for and plan to do. The first 35 candidates in each category who register 6 months before the election, will be the ones who have the possibility of being elected. No paid advertisements will be permitted. There will be official “conversations with the candidates” online by category. Voting citizens are responsible for informing themselves about each candidate in their category so they can choose who they want to represent them.
After the election, the Congress will meet together to receive training in Non-Violent Communication and other community building skills. After 4-5 weeks together, they will nominate 12-15 candidates for higher office from among themselves. Through a series of ballots, that number would be reduced to three. The Congresspeople vote on those three. The one with the most votes will be president. The second will be the vice president and third will be Chair of the Congress. Everyone will have a term of 5 years. This process will also be done at State and local levels to elect mayors and governors.
This model removes money from the electoral process. It insures that people of different ages, backgrounds and gender are represented in Congress, speaking to the needs and concerns of the people they represent rather than special interest groups that pay to elect certain candidates to do their bidding.