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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Term limits are fine... There is plenty of talent to serve. Sure you may retire someone good... but there are others who are good and can replace them. And maybe with an even better person!

Grammar corrected below....will not delete??
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Term limits are fine... There is plenty of talent to serve. Sure you may retire someone good... but there are others who are good and can replace them. And maybe with an even better person!

If terms are staggered in a legislative body you don't lose institutional "memory".
There IS plenty of talent to serve. The most talented never get to serve exactly because most would rather have a wisdom tooth pulled than become a politician. My idea is to have a draft. Vet all the capable people in this country with a fairly simple algorithm. Put the names in a hat and pick candidates for office. Institute term limits. This would dispense with nepotism, cronyism, and the awful fact that the people who want power over others are exactly the people who should NOT hold office. Let's be honest: power over others is the primary reason people run for office. Wise decision making can come from all sectors of society, not just from elbow rubbers and back scratchers. Wisdom and common sense are least likely to come from politicos.
 

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There IS plenty of talent to serve. The most talented never get to serve exactly because most would rather have a wisdom tooth pulled than become a politician. My idea is to have a draft. Vet all the capable people in this country with a fairly simple algorithm. Put the names in a hat and pick candidates for office. Institute term limits. This would dispense with nepotism, cronyism, and the awful fact that the people who want power over others are exactly the people who should NOT hold office. Let's be honest: power over others is the primary reason people run for office. Wise decision making can come from all sectors of society, not just from elbow rubbers and back scratchers. Wisdom and common sense are least likely to come from politicos.
Some good points... serving is a path to wealth.... Money has polluted all aspects of politics.

If we could get money out of politics... and take power away from wealth things might be more just.
 

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Old soul
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The problems with today's political systems, be they Canadian or American, all comes back to money, and hence power. Both countries have tweaked and twiddled with limiting the influence of big money (until the US Supreme Court lost their collective minds with that stupid Citizens United ruling).

Regardless, all the twiddling has not really worked. Smart people with lots of money will always find ways to circumvent limitation rules. So the only solution is to make elections 100% publicly funded. Remove ALL private money.

The second solution, at least for Canada, is to institute some form of proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post. This would produce a far more representative Parliament. Compare our last election:

(https://theconversation.com/what-the-canadian-election-results-would-have-looked-like-with-electoral-reform-125848)

A PR electoral system would be more representative of the public's actual desires. Plus, it would limit the current highly-polarized outcome that is produced with FPP.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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3,688 Posts
The problems with today's political systems, be they Canadian or American, all comes back to money, and hence power. Both countries have tweaked and twiddled with limiting the influence of big money (until the US Supreme Court lost their collective minds with that stupid Citizens United ruling).

Regardless, all the twiddling has not really worked. Smart people with lots of money will always find ways to circumvent limitation rules. So the only solution is to make elections 100% publicly funded. Remove ALL private money.

The second solution, at least for Canada, is to institute some form of proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post. This would produce a far more representative Parliament. Compare our last election:

(https://theconversation.com/what-the-canadian-election-results-would-have-looked-like-with-electoral-reform-125848)

A PR electoral system would be more representative of the public's actual desires. Plus, it would limit the current highly-polarized outcome that is produced with FPP.
Money is certainly part of the mix but I know that "the rich" are often vilified unjustly. The yellow press/liberal media stir the pot to divide America and usher in socialism by vilifying capitalism in general. Don't get me wrong, the disparity of wealth and more, the issue of unearned wealth, in this country MUST be addressed. I wish both pol parties would focus on real problems like this rather than wasting time slinging mud at each other. Regardless of political party, it really boils down to the question of each individual's guiding sense of right vs wrong. The kind of people prevalent in politics are generally ethical relativists. They go where their community, right or left, tells them to go. They see only one side. If it says -lie, they will lie. If it says -steal, they will steal, etc. Trust goes under the bus. It takes an exceptional amount of guts to stand up for right and wrong, especially in this era of white collar crime perp immunity. I believe this is what people see in Trump; he is obviously not a radical, ideal driven career politician, in debt to his manipulators. In spite of his sometimes childish petty behavior, people will vote for him again. It just goes to show how fed up people are with the whole lot of professional politicians.
 

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Old soul
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Money is certainly part of the mix but I know that "the rich" are often vilified unjustly. The yellow press/liberal media stir the pot to divide America and usher in socialism by vilifying capitalism in general. Don't get me wrong, the disparity of wealth and more, the issue of unearned wealth, in this country MUST be addressed. I wish both pol parties would focus on real problems like this rather than wasting time slinging mud at each other. Regardless of political party, it really boils down to the question of each individual's guiding sense of right vs wrong. The kind of people prevalent in politics are generally ethical relativists. They go where their community, right or left, tells them to go. They see only one side. If it says -lie, they will lie. If it says -steal, they will steal, etc. Trust goes under the bus. It takes an exceptional amount of guts to stand up for right and wrong, especially in this era of white collar crime perp immunity. I believe this is what people see in Trump; he is obviously not a radical, ideal driven career politician, in debt to his manipulators. In spite of his sometimes childish petty behavior, people will vote for him again. It just goes to show how fed up people are with the whole lot of professional politicians.
I agree with some of your analysis, but not wholly. From my outside perspective, the conservative media appears to be louder and more effective at dividing your nation right now.

But regardless, my point point is that if you remove ALL private money from elections you would go a long way to undercutting power bases which tells politicians to go one way, or another. If all they did was listen to their electorate, instead of the large financial donors, you'd have a very different government -- and so would we.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I agree with some of your analysis, but not wholly. From my outside perspective, the conservative media appears to be louder and more effective at dividing your nation right now.

But regardless, my point point is that if you remove ALL private money from elections you would go a long way to undercutting power bases which tells politicians to go one way, or another. If all they did was listen to their electorate, instead of the large financial donors, you'd have a very different government -- and so would we.
Agree. Funding of politics here is broken not to mention the incredible WASTE of money that could be used for crazy things like fixing falling down bridges or funding better schools, or.....! There are soooo many problems in America that could be addressed relatively easily by leaders that had some sort of common sense and a vision of what this country should be. Some sort of modified Capitalism is needed, certainly NOT Socialism. The conservative media is certainly one-sided like all the rest of the media echo chambers, left and right. I do not know of ANY unbiased "news" outlet. They are entertainment and should be taken as such. The truth lies elsewhere than on these media outlets.
 

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Money is certainly part of the mix but I know that "the rich" are often vilified unjustly. The yellow press/liberal media stir the pot to divide America and usher in socialism by vilifying capitalism in general. Don't get me wrong, the disparity of wealth and more, the issue of unearned wealth, in this country MUST be addressed. I wish both pol parties would focus on real problems like this rather than wasting time slinging mud at each other. Regardless of political party, it really boils down to the question of each individual's guiding sense of right vs wrong. The kind of people prevalent in politics are generally ethical relativists. They go where their community, right or left, tells them to go. They see only one side. If it says -lie, they will lie. If it says -steal, they will steal, etc. Trust goes under the bus. It takes an exceptional amount of guts to stand up for right and wrong, especially in this era of white collar crime perp immunity. I believe this is what people see in Trump; he is obviously not a radical, ideal driven career politician, in debt to his manipulators. In spite of his sometimes childish petty behavior, people will vote for him again. It just goes to show how fed up people are with the whole lot of professional politicians.
"Critics of capitalism argue that it establishes power in the hands of a minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of the majority working class and their labor; it prioritizes profit over social good, natural resources and the environment; and it is an engine of inequality, corruption and economic instabilities."

Capitalists are interested in one thing only - accumulation of wealth. They don't care about the commons... don't want to pay for it. At its core it's a pretty ugly approach. Does the desire for wealth inspire some to be entrepreneurial and innovate? Yes But wealth is not the main reason for innovation.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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"Critics of capitalism argue that it establishes power in the hands of a minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of the majority working class and their labor; it prioritizes profit over social good, natural resources and the environment; and it is an engine of inequality, corruption and economic instabilities."

Capitalists are interested in one thing only - accumulation of wealth. They don't care about the commons... don't want to pay for it. At its core it's a pretty ugly approach. Does the desire for wealth inspire some to be entrepreneurial and innovate? Yes But wealth is not the main reason for innovation.
I think the ivory towers of economic theory and capitalism (Harvard Business School, etc.) are starting to actually change the long-taught theory of fiduciary duty being ONLY to shareholders. It's becoming apparent that the imbalance of wealth is dangerously out of whack and some mechanisms to curb unrestrained and unregulated greed are needed. Let's hope business leaders can iron this out individually because "spreading the wealth" by socialist politicians is a recipe for unrest. Countries like France found out just how angry people may become over extreme imbalances of the economic system. I do trust business leaders, not politicians, will step up to solve this problem before the populace starts building guillotines:)
 

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I think the ivory towers of economic theory and capitalism (Harvard Business School, etc.) are starting to actually change the long-taught theory of fiduciary duty being ONLY to shareholders. It's becoming apparent that the imbalance of wealth is dangerously out of whack and some mechanisms to curb unrestrained and unregulated greed are needed. Let's hope business leaders can iron this out individually because "spreading the wealth" by socialist politicians is a recipe for unrest. Countries like France found out just how angry people may become over extreme imbalances of the economic system. I do trust business leaders, not politicians, will step up to solve this problem before the populace starts building guillotines:)
dream on... never happen... only getting worse.
 

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It has always been my interpretation of the Constitution that our elected representatives to congress were to be citizens who served their terms and then returned to their professions and continued life as citizens, not politicians. I saw nothing about professional politicians, special laws, medical care, retirement benefits even if convicted of crimes in office or any of the myriad other things congress has voted themselves since that document was enacted.
Without professional politicians, misuse of the offices they hold would not be so easily accomplished.
Of course, congress will never take these things from themselves, and I'm not sure there is a way to revert back to the original intent of the Constitution without some sort of revolution, which if we haven't had considering the blatant misuse of office of this administration, I'm guessing that will never happen.
I mourn the death of our Democracy. It was a valiant experiment, but human nature being what it is, I guess it was doomed to failure.
 

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Old soul
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It has always been my interpretation of the Constitution that our elected representatives to congress were to be citizens who served their terms and then returned to their professions and continued life as citizens, not politicians. I saw nothing about professional politicians, special laws, medical care, retirement benefits even if convicted of crimes in office or any of the myriad other things congress has voted themselves since that document was enacted.
Without professional politicians, misuse of the offices they hold would not be so easily accomplished.
Of course, congress will never take these things from themselves, and I'm not sure there is a way to revert back to the original intent of the Constitution without some sort of revolution, which if we haven't had considering the blatant misuse of office of this administration, I'm guessing that will never happen.
I mourn the death of our Democracy. It was a valiant experiment, but human nature being what it is, I guess it was doomed to failure.
I'm not sure if it's too late for democracy, or whether we've never really got there. For example, it's hard to see how the will of the people can be encapsulated in only one of two choices, donkeys or elephants (and where did this symbolism come from anyway?).

But politicians-for-life should be another thing to get rid of. All elected officials should have term limits. At least in your USA the president is limited to two. Here in Canada there are none. We've had a few Prime Ministers who stayed in power for more than a decade. Of course we've also had PMs who lasted only a couple of months -- part of the joys of a Parliamentary system.

Another big issue should be gerrymandering. The setting of ridings or districts should NEVER be left to politicians or otherwise interested individuals.
 

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Hunter 386
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I'm not sure if it's too late for democracy, or whether we've never really got there. For example, it's hard to see how the will of the people can be encapsulated in only one of two choices, donkeys or elephants (and where did this symbolism come from anyway?).

But politicians-for-life should be another thing to get rid of. All elected officials should have term limits. At least in your USA the president is limited to two. Here in Canada there are none. We've had a few Prime Ministers who stayed in power for more than a decade. Of course we've also had PMs who lasted only a couple of months -- part of the joys of a Parliamentary system.

Another big issue should be gerrymandering. The setting of ridings or districts should NEVER be left to politicians or otherwise interested individuals.
Where are you wintering this year Mike? It must be pretty boring. You seem to have a lot of time on your hands if the various conversations I see you participate in are any indicator (says the man with too much time on his hands.)

One of the stoppers when forming my own utopian visions of how a political system should work is always how much to pay politicians. Capitalism seems to dictate that they need to make enough to attract them from business ventures (Relying on altruism is idiotic). But if we turn politics into a (more) profitable business we are opening a very very dangerous door as humans are infinitely clever in the pursuit of acquiring things.

I might get behind the idea of 8 year terms, $500,000/year with bonuses and you can only spend a publicly mandated and/or provided set amount on a campaign. But even I can think of a bunch ways to screw that sort of system for my own benefit. I am starting to think of politicians as being like hackers: screwing up a system is way easier and more profitable than building one. So there really is no permanent defence—just an ongoing running battle. It's one of the reasons that I really believe a good government is an inefficient one. It's the only real defence against it going completely sideways for the benefit of players. :grin
 

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Old soul
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Where are you wintering this year Mike? It must be pretty boring. You seem to have a lot of time on your hands if the various conversations I see you participate in are any indicator (says the man with too much time on his hands.)
Ah... you found me out ;). We just moved into our first house sit here in Alberta -- Cochrane. Don't suppose you're around?

...I might get behind the idea of 8 year terms, $500,000/year with bonuses and you can only spend a publicly mandated and/or provided set amount on a campaign. But even I can think of a bunch ways to screw that sort of system for my own benefit.
To be honest I've not thought about the salary question. Our PM makes CAD$347,400 (according to a quick DuckDuck search). That includes his basic salary of $175,600 which all MPs get, plus his PM duties, plus all the other allowances he gets. I don't think it includes the free house though, so you'd have to add another say $100k. This doesn't sound like to me.

Personally, I'd a favour a basic calculation for MPs salaries using the average or median Canadian income. Since the median personal income is about $36,000, I'd be in favour of something like a factor of three or four: 3 or 4 x $36k.

I don't actually buy the need to have highly expert folks as elected representatives. We need high expertise in the bureaucracy, but I'd rather see well rounded elected officials; people with decent general educations, but not necessarily folks who could make far more in the private sector.

I am starting to think of politicians as being like hackers: screwing up a system is way easier and more profitable than building one. So there really is no permanent defence—just an ongoing running battle. It's one of the reasons that I really believe a good government is an inefficient one. It's the only real defence against it going completely sideways for the benefit of players. :grin
I think this is very astute of you. It is an ongoing battle that never changes. That's why we, the electorate, need to be ever-vigil.
 

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If there term limits... and the public financed elections... and no legal bribes (lobbying) the abuse would end. Yes some good critters would be gone... but so would all the dead wood. The money spend on campaigns is obscene... they also need to limited in amount spent and time of campaigning.
 

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Hunter 386
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If there term limits... and the public financed elections... and no legal bribes (lobbying) the abuse would end. Yes some good critters would be gone... but so would all the dead wood. The money spend on campaigns is obscene... they also need to limited in amount spent and time of campaigning.
I just rewatched West Wing for fun and, during the campaign bits in the last season, was struck with just how obscene — and powerful — the money was... and that was 20 years ago. :crying
 

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Re: Politics, Current Affairs, Guns & HOT Topics - Forum

I am impressed how successful stupid and unethical people are. In no way is the USA and likely other cultures a meritocracy. This explains how awful media is and especially news which is infotainment. What's with these pundits... are they are uneducated as they sound or are they towing some line because it pays to?

What we should have learned from these "impeachments" is that the constitution is out dated and needs to be re done... or seriously amended. Bill of rights is fine.... things like the electoral college and the senate itself are stupid and undemocratic as is the Supreme court which has way to much power. Some of their decisions such as Citzens United is completely misguided. Money is not free speech... or should not be. The problems are as clear as glass... why is there no will to fix this?
Nobody notices that the Constitution is broken because they spend all their time worshiping it and none reading it.
 

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Old soul
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If there term limits... and the public financed elections... and no legal bribes (lobbying) the abuse would end. Yes some good critters would be gone... but so would all the dead wood. The money spend on campaigns is obscene... they also need to limited in amount spent and time of campaigning.
Completely agree. Remove ALL private money; corporate, union, personal, other special interests -- ALL. The only contributions I'd allow is actual personal volunteering. If you want to contribute to a campaign, then go work the phones or the streets.

The amount of time and money wasted on elections has now reached obscenity levels. Even here in Canada elections now cost in the billions. And I can't even comprehend the amounts spent in American elections. If even a portion of this money was spent address actual issues, our countries would be far better places to live.
 
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