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There's Got to Be a Better Way to Run A Country

Time to stop thinking in the box!
There's got to be a better way to run a country. It is hard to imagine a worse scenario than what has been occurring in Washington. The Democratic/Republican members of the ruling class have messed things up so badly, it will take some creative, out of the box thinking to repair the damage. There is a solution.

One of the roots of the problem is the way in which our leaders are voted into office. The level of corporate control of the government has reached obscene levels. The system is corrupted with so much money that a fair electoral process is no longer possible. There is no way to take the money out of the voting process; therefore, we must take the voting process out of the government. The solution to the problem would be to eliminate voting and replace it with a national lottery. All citizens over the age of 18, or 35 in the lottery for the presidency, would have their names entered. At the appointed time the names of office holders would be drawn. This system would have advantages that are impossible under current law.

Imagine a country where no one felt pressured into voting for the lesser of the evil candidates. Imagine a country where wealth was not a requirement for holding office. Think about a country where ordinary citizens, farmers, factory workers, teachers, clerks, health care workers, work-at-home Mothers, etc. had an equal chance of becoming president as elite members of the wealthy class do.

Think about a system where those who make the laws really understand what it is like to live under those laws. Imagine what it would be like to have a president who actually understood what working for a living was like. Maybe there is no better preparation for the Office of President than having been hungry. Many citizens of the U.S. have experienced severe food shortages but, because of the stigma of poverty, it is a hidden problem. The president and the legislators should have life experiences that would help make them empathetic to the average citizen. In 2004 the system put one wealthy fraternity boy up against another wealthy fraternity boy. Unless you are a member of Skull and Bones you have to admit that having a lottery would be an improvement.

Arguments could be made against this plan for a New National Lottery. It would not be a perfect system. Even with a lottery, there would be the occasional rich frat boy or sorority girl who could get into office, but the odds of that happening would be reduced enough so that it would not be an important consideration. There are Constitutional issues. There would still be some possibility of corruption of the process. Even with all the drawbacks, it would be an improvement over what we now have. Now we have, what might be, one of the worse of all possible systems. Even a Benevolent Dictatorship, with emphasis on benevolent, would be better than a government under the control of big business.

One thing is certain. The current system is a Doomsday scenario. Maybe it is time to try something new. If not now, when?

ROSEMARIE JACKOWSKI  dissent@sover.net

Bio Info: Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She was arrested for her participation in a peaceful protest of the war. She was tried and convicted. Currently the conviction is under appeal in the State Supreme Court. If the conviction is over-turned, the government will retry the case. If the appeal is lost, Rosemarie will go to prison. Many of Rosemarie's articles have been published on the Internet. She also has an essay in the new book, Searching For Meaning in Supporting the Troops. The publication date is December 2005.
this could work 28.Nov.2005 13:52

but not the President, please!

A system like this is workable for a large body like Congress. If some antisocial madman gets into Congress by lot, he won't get much or any support from his peers and he'll be outvoted when it comes time to cast his crazy vote.

But you can't select a single executive like the President with the power of life and death over billions of people by lot.

America's independent executive branch is an anomaly in the world at large. In most democracies the executive branch serves at the pleasure of the legislature, and everything works at least as well as it does here, and it avoids the problem of handing absolute power to one man every four years, regardless of how he's selected.

It would be simple to amend the Constitution so that each Administration would be appointed by the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate elected by the other Senators could serve as a "ceremonial head of state" if such a thing is even really necessary. Both houses could be elected or selected by lot. But Americans aren't politically sophisticated even to imagine this, much less decide whether they want it.