This week, we asked our two Mikes this question: What campaign reforms are most needed to make it easier to vote, less expensive, and less confusing during the campaign season?
We are interested in your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Please take a few minutes and weigh in by posting a comment at the end of this article and tell us how you feel. We also invite you to participate in this week's unscientific poll asking about your thoughts about the subject. Access the poll in the left menu column.
Mike Young's turn
The campaign reforms most needed are; Photo I.D. to vote or use ATM machines which seem to be able to identify the owner of any account anywhere in the world, and a radical idea that maybe people who are too confused shouldn’t vote.
I was talking to a good friend today and he suggested a basic understanding of what’s going on in the country should be a requirement to vote. I began to think about that. When you see on T.V. some people who are asked questions on the street and they obviously don’t know anything about our country or its government, should they really have the right to vote?
When our country was founded, only land owners could vote. At that time they were, for the most part, the only ones that knew what was going on. Today we send all people to school where they hopefully learn which end is up. Yet even after a very expensive but free education for them, some still don’t know which end is up or how their government works.
If you think about it, maybe some basic civics tests every few years, like a driver’s test, would be a good idea. Care must be taken not to revert to the exclusion of any qualified voter as was once done in the south but what about the idea?
Many people are concerned that numerous people have learned that they can vote themselves benefits. That could lead to a collapse of our economic system. It is certainly true that if government spends more than it has coming in, it could lead to an economic collapse. Some have suggested that only people who pay for government should have a say in how it spends their money.
But is that right? There are many instances where people need assistances to get by until they can get back on their feet. And even if we don’t pay income tax, we do pay some kind of tax. So maybe the question should be, do you understand the implications of voting for more benefits? If you do, then that’s what you have a right to do. But what if you don’t understand the effect and burden you put on others? Do you have a right to vote? I think not.
But what about those people who live off the government with no intention of ever getting a job? Tough love. People who are parasites should not have a say in how other people’s contributions are spent. Get a job, even if it’s a menial job. People should still contribute to society. If not, then no vote.
What about confusing ads and claims? Isn’t that why people need some basic understanding of government functions so they can sort things out and make good decisions?
Elections are important and if people don’t care enough to study up a little, then they shouldn’t vote. And if we reach a point where we can’t understand what is going on, maybe it’s time not to vote.
Mike McGreer's turn
Campaign finance reform is the key to making it less expensive to select candidates and on-line voting would make it easier to vote. That leaves the question of “confusion” for examination.
When a political system is impacted by external fluctuations, such as that caused by the Tea-Party, serious and permanent distortions occur.
These fluctuations are considered as “noise.” Currently, the noise from the Tea Party is expressed as delays in legislative actions and in positions taken by those running for the Presidency.
In the Presidential race, one breaks down the relations between the party's and the candidates' behaviors.
The Tea Party has turned traditional republican ideology on pro-business, pro-tax cuts, pro-defense, and pro-Christian evangelism to the far right. The behavior of Republican presidential candidate reflects that right turn.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum reflects a turn to the right on one issue: Christian evangelism. As an evangelist, Christians expect him to preach on governance. Those who believe that Christian evangelism should be incorporated into government find Santorum appealing.
Republican presidential candidates Willard (Mitt) Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul, attempt to reach across the right leaning Republican ideology for support.
The specific condition for Democrats is based upon social freedoms, affirmative action, balanced budget, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention (mixed economy). Therefore, while Democrats expect President Barack Obama to represent those views, he too is impacted by the right-turn of the Republican party. These impacts show up in his comprises with the right-wing.
In an election, when a candidate's behavior strays too far from traditional party conditions, chaos reigns. However, the implicit assumption is that political actors will make their own decisions on how to act within a chaotic party environment. This makes behavior prediction extremely difficult.
In a chaotic political environment, future economic, social, and political developments are largely disturbed and become subject to the influence of accidental events that undermine traditional values. A desire to reflect a more stable collective conscious in politics is the prime reason that the Tea Party will eventually fade away, along with its advocates.
In the meantime, accidental events will continue to create confusion resulting in Wall Street ups-and-downs, mass mobilization in political campaigns, and the formation of social movements, such as Occupy Wall Street, and violence.
Accidental events also take down candidates as Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Perry have experienced. Another accidental event is the surge in the Santorum candidacy and his theocratic approach to governance. Theocracy is counter-intuitive to Republican democracy and therefore Santorum will soon fade away as well.
Politics is best understood as the work of a society to constantly return parties and politicians to some form of political stability that represents a collective conscience.
In conclusion, confusion in politics is a chaotic event best understood by examining the cause of the disturbance, and following the unexpected consequences to the ballot box.