In Part 4, I talked about the election process. Now for the nifty bit about what elected officials do once elected. The short answer is “what their constituents actually want”. The long answer involves a whole lot of what they don’t get to do.
biggest problem I see with legislation and legislators is conflict of
interest. The people in power make rules to benefit the people in
power. No one is actually working for the people as a whole. Except
for maybe Bernie Sanders, but he’s going to retire soon.
is supposed to be a public service, not a road to personal power.
Elected officials should be servants, not masters. I have a few ideas
of how to make sure they stay that way, but they’re nowhere near
comprehensive. I’m sure I’ll miss a few obvious things. Feel free to
point them out in the comments.
get paid the national minimum wage plus a housing allowance. No voting
themselves a ridiculous salary while the rest of the nation suffers
with insufficient income. The independently wealthy must put their
fortunes into a trust where they cannot access them the entire time
they’re in office. The trust must be both secret and blind. Elected
officials should have no clue who’s managing their money, and the trust
should have no clue whose money they’re managing.
and other organizational lobbying is strictly and expressly forbidden.
Only the people have access to their elected officials, and
corporations and organizations are not people. I have more thoughts on
corporations, but they’ll have to wait for another post.
if corporations and organizations can’t lobby for legislation, where
does it come from? The answer is, of course, the people. But how do
the people get ideas for legislation into the hands of their officials?
As often happens while an idea is floating about in my head, somebody else has already come up with the answer.
legislation, while being the best way to get people input, is not
necessarily going to do the job of making sure it’s constitutional, or
even a good idea in the first place. The question of constitutionality
goes to an appropriately-named constitutional review board consisting of
legal experts. Assuming the proposed legislation passes constitutional
muster, it can proceed to a vote.
forcing legislation to pass through constitutional review before it can
become law, you prevent all the legal challenges that are necessary to
get bad laws off the books, saving an awful lot of money in legal fees
and reducing workload on the court system. The ounce of prevention
rather than the pound of cure.