I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to remove the human element from politics entirely. Imagine this as an alternative to currently operating systems:
- Every three or four months, people get a notice from the office of party registrations. They can elect to stay with their current party or join a new one at this time. Not registering an opinion keeps you with your current party, but only for four or five consecutive periods. Then you’re moved into the unregistered category. Current running tallies and projection data are always available from the registrations office.
- Every party is required to get some percentage of signatures of its desired sphere of effectiveness to count an an official party, perhaps 3 – 7%. Party percentages are refigured every other year, to allow laws with short-term costs but long-term benefits to not sink a government.
- Every party is required to register short, easily understood versions of their planks, their overarching missions, and their positions on the most salient issues of the day. This should have sharp length and complexity limits, and be standardized by the registrations office. These should be browsable in the selections packets or web page.
- There is a unicameral ‘legislature’, composed of the leadership of all of the parties with more than the 3 – 7% of the vote above. The PM-equivalent proposes new laws, which are then analyzed in a strictly formalized way and made available for all to see. Part of the analysis must be a rendering of the bill into formal language and an analysis of its anticipated budgetary and social impacts. Amendments can be proposed by any party, and must be germane to the matter under review.
- Each party has its percentage of the registered population to one signficant digit of ‘votes’. A simple majority passes and the law moves immediately into judicial review, then into law.
- Laws are structurally dictated by the party or coalition in power and the amendments thereto, but are written by a class of professionals whose job it is to write laws and advise the politicians in a non-partisan manner about their construction.
- All majority-rules laws expire in 5 years. Each additional 5 year term requires an additional 5% of the vote. A law that is meant to be permanent must be passed as a change to the written constitution, which should require a 60% legislative vote, ratification by 60% of regional governing bodies, and perhaps a 60% bar popular referendum.
This way we’re spared all of the lame posturing and unpredictability of individual legislators who occasionally don’t vote for their parties. In the US, most of this stuff is an artifact of electoral pressures that make multiple parties difficult or impossible. So instead of a more socially conservative Midwestern Democratic Party, you get Democrats like Nelson, who’d lose as too conservative in a Republican race on the east coast. I think that getting multiple parties through voting reform is another way to get this, but mostly am proposing getting the people out because shit-stupid factors like height and personal attractiveness often swamp things like ideology, electorally. Without all of the posturing and drama, there would be less interesting news, but we’d get more responsible and accountable governance by smarter people.