Search Box

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Even more planks

A few more positions:

Anything which gets this country further away from a pure democracy is a negative. The Founding Fathers didn't want any one area of the country to get too much power over another, and so instituted the Electoral College. Thanks to modern communications, we are all now just one big unhappy family. Every member of that family deserves to have his vote count, so get rid of the electoral college.

Congress ought to get the same medical insurance and pensions the rest of us get, not the lavish benefits they keep for themselves. They also should not be able to exempt themselves from the laws they pass for us -- which they do on a regular basis, even though the public is mostly unaware of this. They'll think twice about passing restrictive laws if they themselves are subject to them as well.

If a judge or jury deems a lawsuit frivolous, the plaintiff and his lawyers must pay the court costs of the trial.

Although I believe in the death penalty, I also believe that if someone given the death penalty is later found to have been innocent, the prosecuting DA should serve a year in jail. This will not prevent obvious serial killers, killers convicted on the basis of DNA evidence, or killers whose crime was viewed by multiple reliable witnesses from being given the death penalty. But it will prevent the penalty from being sought when there the evidence is shaky. And it should save the taxpayers from endless appeals.

Unions for public employees wield far too much power, which is why they have far better pensions on average than the taxpayers who pay their salaries. There should be no more collective bargaining for government workers. And with campaign contributions outlawed (see original platform), public unions will no longer be able to muscle in their candidates of choice.

Part of the reason unemployment is so high is because we have been exporting jobs. Companies which outsource labor will have to pay a tax equal to the difference between what they are paying their foreign employees and what an American worker would be get for that job. Every time I want my computer fixed, I have to talk to someone with an Indian accent so thick I can only understand half of what he is saying. I'm tired of it. (Those Indians who don't want to lose their jobs needn't vote for me.)

Abolish rubber stamp boards of directors. If a company does something illegal, the board should be liable. Otherwise, why have them?

Let shareholders vote on executive compensation, for at least the ten highest-paid employees of a corporation. Why should the owners of a company have no say in how they pay their employees?

The highest paid employee of a company ought not to be paid more than forty times what lowest paid employee is -- which is the way it was forty years ago. And stock options and bonuses will be counted as part of their pay. This would not prevent an Edwin Land or a Bill Gates of a Steve Jobs or a Bill Hewlett or a David Packard or a Henry Ford from becoming fabulously wealthy, as they all deserved to be. They got rich by founding companies which they then grew. But it would prevent corporate climbers from taking advantage of a company's shareholders. These types tend to rise by virtue of their skill at corporate politicking, then tell us that their presence is invaluable to the company, and reward themselves outrageously. I have a hard time lying back and enjoying it when I get raped this way.


toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. There would no longer be 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of other states.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM-- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR - 80%,, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, TN - 83%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes-- 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


John Craig said...

Thank you toto, or Lloyd. I hadn't realized the popular consensus was so overwhelming.

Nice half marathon time there by the way.

And I see that like a lot of track/swimming types you're a numbers guy.

Taylor Leland Smith said...

So far I agree with practically all of your policies. Especially that we should forget the electoral college and do away with campaign contributions. However I think you could go a lot further than that. Would you agree, for example, that the two-party system is flawed?
Most democracies use proportional representation to determine the seats of their parliament. This allows for a multi-party system, which requires compromise within the parliament. It allows each voter to feel like they are voting for candidates that truly represent their interests, and it allows for voters who would otherwise feel their vote is wasted to feel like they can actually gain representation.
In otherwords, would you agree that a presidential system is inferior to a parliamentary system?


John Craig said...

Thank you Taylor. A parliamentary system is appealing in some ways, but the question is, does it work in Europe? It seems tome that if you have a lot of competing factions all vying for power in those Parliaments, you end up with compromise solutions all the time, and neither party ever really gets their way. Over here that's called a stalemate. So...the answer to your question is, I'm not sure.

Taylor Leland Smith said...

I suppose you're right that in America the majority has a much easier time accomplishing their goals, but I'm not so sure that's an advantage. Legislation might get passed quickly and easily but as soon as the other party gains control they undo everything that was accomplised by the previous majority. In Europe they might struggle to get the legislation passed but once it is it's far more lasting, which I think is at the very least more efficient.
Also, in Europe, parties usually form into two different coalitions on almost every issue, and those coalitions end up being pretty similar to reps v dems anyways. The difference is voters turnout is much higher because voters can actually find a party/politican that they identify with, and approval ratings are much higher because its easier to identify whether your representative took the right side. In America their side is generally pre-determined by their party.

John Craig said...

Taylor --
You make a lot of good points, though I don't think that Republican or Democratic majorities usually undo most of the laws that previous Congresses passed. (Think of the Bush tax cuts, for instance.)

Usually what happens inmost European countries is that representatives of the far left, the left, the moderates, the right, and the far right (whatever names they go by) all get elected, and end up forming temporary alliances and coalitions with each other to get various measures passed. I just don't see the end result being any better than it is here. Look at what's happening in Greece, Italy, etc.