Politics, politics, politics.

We have a pretty screwed up political system here in the USA. At least from the individual's point of view. Money controls the entire system and we have almost no voice--elections are essentially meaningless, just a 'choice' between two candidates that are variations on the same theme. Almost always lawyers with the occasional partied-out frat boy with an MBA for comic relief.

My solution, you ask? Why, sure I'll tell you! LOL

Anonymous voting in legislative sessions. I know, I know. People always say that politicians need to be accountable and the only way to do that is if you know what those polecats voted for. That's true--but who are they accounting to? Special interests, of course.

When a Special Interest Group (SIG) spends money on a politician they use his or her subsequent votes as a measure of what they're getting for their money. Sure, they're mostly interested in a few key votes but they will be able to monitor everything else as well. So if a SIG like Tobacco or Firearms wants to move a politician's vote on some unrelated issue--they're going to have a very good shot (almost a joke there) at it. You try calling and see if you can get your representative to shift a vote! The reason these SIGs can do this is that the votes are public and as such can be evaluated by the SIGs.

If you take away this public voting, then the SIG money would start to dry up. Not mainly because the SIGs would immediately withdraw their money, but because now that they're not in the voting spotlight the legislators would be able to vote their conscience (or at least in favor of what their constituents want--which is what they were elected for anyway). Once it became obvious that the SIG contributions weren't having much affect, the special interest money would start to dry up.

Do I think this will happen? Hell, no. But I like the idea. Maybe partly because so many people want the opposite --having politicians be more accountable-- and I like to be different. *smile* Essentially this is one more example of a situation in which I think the conventional wisdom, in this case that accountability increases the responsiveness of politicians to their voters, is wrong. Similar to my previous post on the GOP and Roe v. Wade.

A lot of politics is about appearances and here the appearance of having their votes tallied for us the people is really about the SIGs keeping track of how effectively their lobbying money is being spent.

Oh, Hell. You can't take this stuff seriously anyway.


livefreeordie said…
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Irene said…
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Lora said…
Interesting thought, I'm not sure I agree, but I'll chew on it.

I tend to think that politicians sugar-coat their opinions to look less extreme then they are and you'd end with people voting for the most charismatic person without any reality check on the issues. Actually, that sounds a lot like what we do now.
Natalie said…
I see your point but I really want to know a person's voting history before I cast a vote for him or her. KWIM? I do wish there was a good way (short of arsenic) to get rid of all the SIG. My personal unfavorite is the NEA but that's just me;o)
utenzi said…
Yeah, that's true but I think the SIGs get more off of voting record than the voters do. There's no ideal answer unfortunately.

The worst thing is that most of us are part of at least one SIG. I'm a member of at least 5 I can think of immediately--and the biggest tax break of them all is being a homeowner. Deductable mortgage interest is HUGE as a tax break but losing it would devastate the housing industry--and the fallout would be that home values would drop as the market dried up some. LOL Now I sound like a SIG!
Natalie said…
You're right, of course. I can think of several that I have a vested interest in - homeschoolers jumping to mind. And there are certain ones I prefer to see succeed and others I wish would go to hell;o) There's gotta be a better way, though. Gotta be. Course, I'm so naive, I still try to figure out which guy has the most honesty and integrity.

Yeah, crawling back to my crib now.

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