Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Snow and politics
We got our first big snowstorm of the year. They had predicted 2 inches and we ended up with a foot of snow. I haven't seen them this wrong on a snow forecast in ten years. Fortunately, I am a weather geek and I did see it coming so instead of driving to the hinterlands Monday for my afternoon courses, I took public transportation. Apparently the afternoon commute was a three hour drive for most people. Even with public transportation, it took me an hour and a half, but so what, I got to read and play games on my ipod instead of feeling frustrated and nervous driving in a winter storm. Georgie just loves to romp in the snow. I tried to take a video last night but it came out too dark. Above you see him rooting around looking for his toys buried in the snow on the back patio. It has been snowing since 1pm Monday and it is still coming down this morning.
It's been disappointing watching the gridlock in Washington. I was watching the talking heads on TV the other day and it was pointed out that compromise is political suicide for candidates, so instead everyone digs their heels in and no governing really happens. Plus, no money is pouring into candidates from corporations over social issues like marriage equality, so those issues don't get addressed. It got me thinking on how the system could be changed so it could actually work again. Yesterday's "deal" extending unemployment benefits coupled with tax breaks for the top 2 percent seems wrong on all kinds of levels to me. Shouldn't one of those have paid for the other? Here are some of my ideas, naive as they may appear.
1. Voters should be qualified. You have to pass a test to become a citizen, but not if you're born in the US. Why not? This may sound elitist, but why do simpletons get to shape our country? You have to pass a test demonstrating your knowledge of the issues and candidates' platforms to have the privilege of voting.
2. Corporations are not people. They should have no business shaping the debate. Individuals should be the only supporters of candidates.
3. A viable third party needs to gain seats in Congress
4. Term limits. Not just for the president, but for everyone in Congress. Once your term is over, run for some other seat. This would lead to more compromise and less intractability on towing the party line.
5. Votes need to be weighed differently. Why do 80 year olds have the same vote weight. The younger people have to live longer with the legislative consequences. So, 1/2 vote to those 18 -30 (immaturity penalty), full vote to those 31-55, half vote for those over 55.
6. Wealth inequities will lead to civil unrest. Thus a maximum wage should be in place. Say at 50 million. If the rich want to avoid the 100 percent tax rate above that amount, they can give the excess to charity.
7. The only TV ads when running for office should be the candidate speaking to the audience. If they're gonna smear, they'll have to do it face to face.
Any one of these would improve the gridlock. What do you think? I don't even have to care about this since I am a citizen of Canada, but it's hard to watch your homeland wither.
Happy hump day peeps, the weekend is in sight!