Monday, November 23, 2009

Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.

I've been trying to think of ways in which our rule-making process could prevent things like this. Riding major laws on things like troop funding in order to shame those who might vote against it is not only disgusting, but reveals some sort of flaw in our system. My guess is that a majority of the representatives who voted for (or against) the health care bill read the thing, so the main driving force behind the vote was wanting to be identified with health care reform (or a more honest word, befuckupment), or not.

I propose that every bill that is voted upon first be read out loud, in its entirety, and in order to vote on a bill a congressperson must be present for, say, 90% of the reading. So not only do they have to learn how sausage is made, they have to have their eyelids pinned open and watch while each creepy element is put through the grinder.

I would love to watch around the time the budget is passed. "We're spending HOW much on WHAT?"

Perhaps I am wrong in thinking that public officials have shame, but I do know they value their time.

I also have at times thought the idea of a line-item veto would be useful, but I think that it might too often be used as a political weapon more than anything.

Any other ideas?


  1. Another thought: those who wield power best are those who do not want power, and have it thrust upon them. Now, I would never be in favor of drafting citizens to serve in congress, that would not only be immoral, but I have a feeling that they would be even more malleable than our current crop. I would suggest that congresspeople be drafted from state representatives and senators, at random (and of course, still proportionally). We don't have the screwy incentives that go along with reelection, we still have people that are - presumably - educated on the political system, and we have politicians who are accountable to their constituents more, because after their term in Washington they have to go back to their homes. I think that would be a good way to put a bit more power back into state governments from the federal government.

  2. This is kind of pork necessarily inefficient? Is it possible that money-for-votes just eliminates the need for a double coincidence of wants in law making?