The three-ring circus that is the republican campaign for president points out just how ridiculous our elections have become. Anyone with enough money can toss his or her hat into the ring and the media concentrates on the spectacle rather than substantive issues affecting our country. Candidates run to stoke their own egos rather than to serve the electorate. The whole process has become totally divorced from the jobs these candidates are running to fill, and once one election is finished, the next one begins in an endless cycle of fundraising and courting voters. There’s little wonder that people have totally tuned out the process, which, in many cases, allows the most unqualified candidates access to the most important offices.
Below are some suggestions for overhauling the process and for returning the focus back to the job and not simply the pursuit of it.
- Campaigning cannot start before January of the calendar year in which the election will be held.
- All campaigns will be publicly financed and all candidates will be allotted an equal amount of money.
- No candidate may exceed the allocation of money received.
- No private funding will be allowed either by the candidate or outside parties.
- Debates will be managed by a non-partisan organization which will select the venue, moderators, and agenda, and will arrange all media coverage.
- Any eligible candidate may participate in the election regardless of personal beliefs, political affiliations, or background in office.
- All candidates receive the same treatment, consideration, and scrutiny from the media.
- A primary will be held sometime between May and July in which any qualified candidate may run for any available office. The top four with the most votes in each race proceed to the general election in November.
- Congressional apportionment of states every ten years will be governed by a nonpartisan council comprised of individuals determined at the city or county level.
- Campaign ads must deal with the issues and refrain from personal attacks or ads which otherwise disparage another candidate outside the confines of his or her conduct in office.