Archive for November, 2016

A Menu for Election Change The tragedy of the recent Presidential election has left many of my age group reeling with depression and confusion; How could such a thing happen? It’s obvious that throughout the overly-lengthy campaigns of the main contenders that the “race” devolved into a clash of personalities, and not one of policy. At the same time, many of the proposed changes if implemented would have profound unwelcome effects on many areas of our daily life, health-related issues in particular. I leave it to the pundits to sort out all the collateral damage; instead, I am proposing changes in the manner in which our Presidential elections are conducted. First, let’s look at the primaries. Again, we’re confronted with a number of individuals seeking to attain the highest office in the land, and who have been forced in recent years to engaging in negative attacks on their opponents as the main weapon toward achieving victory. The series of so-called debates did little in letting the public in on understanding what these folks were going to do, if elected. Rather, the personal attacks continued to prevail, and over a time period seemingly comparable to the era when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Many of us became bored with the process; after all, 16 months seems a bit much to have to listen to the same litanies over and over again! My solution at this level is to have each Party’s National Committee create a list of issues which they deem significant for the short and long-term future of our country, and to have national primaries during which their party members vote on some portion, such as the “top ten”, of the issues. At this point, no persons are voted on. The “winning list” then becomes the basis for the political convention, during which solutions to those issues are generated by those persons chosen at their state level to attend and participate. At the conclusion of the convention, there would then be a slate of policies representing the direction that the party intends to pursue, if successful in the Presidential election While this activity was being conducted, at the same time those persons who wished to be considered to lead the party could address the convention, explaining why they are “the best fit” to lead the party as its Presidential Candidate. That fit must align with the policies generated at the convention as representative of the ideas and solutions they will promulgate during subsequent years in office, and not allow for directions inconsistent with the party’s program. For this reason, the final selection of the candidate must necessarily occur after the party’s policies are in place. Note that most of the effort is focused on policy, which should be the major consideration in the election rather than the personalities or past history of the candidates. To summarize, this approach says “Here’s what we intend to do as representative of our basic ideals, and here is the person we think would best implement our policies.” This could be done in a much shorter time period, maybe 60 days like is done in UK, or whatever seems appropriate to the tasks. The big losers would be the cable TV networks, with lots of lost advertising; the winners would be the public not having to listen to many months of intrusive, negative harangues, and to be able to clearly see what each party deems important and how they intend to put those items into effect. It would be hoped that this same approach could be implemented at the state and local levels, and would highlight voters being able to make choices commensurate with their own preferences. State level primaries could establish priorities for the state, draft solutions, and choose leaders best able to implement those programs. Note that this in no way changes the Electoral College procedures; that is something else that needs to be considered. It was conceived in different times, and should probably be eliminated. Although I personally am registered as “unaffiliated”, I tend to lean toward the left due to my many years of experience in human services activity. In general, I’ll vote for the candidate who seems to effectively use common sense in approaching issues, regardless of political party. Our former great Senator, Alan Simpson, is a good example of a Republican I strongly supported. In my home state of Wyoming, which is 70% Republican, a vote for any Presidential candidate other than GOP is a wasted vote. We need to go to the popular vote, as we do for every other elective office. And this is the most important one. Always Be Happy To Our Youth

November 30, 2016