Electoral Reform
If our Democracy is to endure, our electoral system will necessarily have to be "tweaked" according to the needs of the times we live in.  Since as citizens of a bygone era the Founding Fathers could not possibly have foreseen events which now threaten our democracy and its institutions, we hereby propose the following Rational Reforms:
  1. Tax-Returns Disclosure And Divestiture

    Given all the questions and doubts which have arisen regarding the current President′s possible conflicts of interest in the early days of his administration and the potential for corruption at the highest levels of government, it seems quite rational and desirable to henceforth require the following from any and all candidates who wish to run for any federal elective office whatsoever:

    1. Immediately upon registration to run for any federal office and before beginning any political campaign activity, including fundraising, candidates shall unconditionally release complete federal tax returns for the previous 5 years.
    2. Immediately upon being elected and prior to actually taking office, candidates shall either:
      1. place any and all business holdings and interests in a "blind trust"; OR
      2. fully divest him- or herself from any and all business holdings and interests
    3. Failure by the winning candidate to fully comply with item B, above, shall automatically forfeit the results of the election and the office in question shall be awarded to the next runner-up candidate (the "Runner-Up") provided said Runner-Up is able to fully comply with item B, above.
    4. Regarding the Office of the President, in the event that no Runner-Up candidate capable of full item B compliance is available, the sitting President shall continue in office until such time as a "Compliant Runner-Up" can be nominated and approved by a 90% majority of the Senate.

  2. The 11-Month Rule
    1. No political contribution to any elected official running for reelection, whether directly or indirectly, from any source whatsoever, shall be permitted 11 months prior to the date of the next election ("the 11-month rule").
    2. All political contributions to elected officials shall be limited to those officials in fact running for reelection and subject to the 11-Month Rule, above.
  3. Rational Term Limits
    1. Of course, no reform of our current free-for-all, sold-to-the-highest-bidder electoral process is more significant and transformative than term limits.  If you haven't already, please take a look at our Rational Term Limits model.
  4. The Free Press, The Media And Political Ads

    The best guardian of a free society is a free press and media which enjoy the trust of the society it serves. However, when individuals or special-interest groups — with impunity — publish "alternate facts", misinformation or any other "fake news" in order to undermine a free society's trust in their free press and media, it becomes necessary for that society to take the appropriate steps to ensure that the integrity of its free press and media remain uncompromised and protected. Therefore, to protect the freedom and integrity of our free press and media:

    1. All political advertisements ("ads"), irrespective of method of delivery, including but not limited to radio, television, the internet, texting, blogging, printed media, etc., should be subject to verification of content.
    2. In the event that the contents of any such ad should be proved false, misleading or intentionally designed to mislead or libel, the authors and sponsors of said ad should . . .
      1. be held responsible for its contents
      2. be subject to a severe agreed-to penalty
      3. be prohibited from participating in any future political campaign activity in any manner whatsoever
  5. Presidential Candidate Certification: An Idea Whose Time Has Come! ¹
    No institution or corporation in the world would hire an individual as its CEO who does not already possess a certain level of experience and competency indispensable to a successful discharge of the duties required by the position in question.  Neither should the American People!  The Oval Office is not a school for apprentices!  Given the powers vested on the executive branch and its role in the security of our nation, the Presidency of the United States is far too important an office to be held by any individual who, in the words of the Republican Speaker of the House, is ". . . NOT STEEPED in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses . . ." ²

    The difficulties a modern American president faces when first elected are numerous and so it's not surprising that a certain amount of "on-the-job-training" will be necessary.  However, as a responsible American, irrespective of the profession or position a potential nominee may have held before registering as a candidate to the presidency of the United States, that individual must necessarily be familiar with the basic history, traditions and protocols necessary to facilitate the responsible execution of the duties of the Presidency.

    Consistent with the above, in order to prevent the future nomination of any irresponsible, unprepared or unfit presidential candidate, Rational Americans recommends the creation of a Presidential Candidate Certification Panel ("Panel") in accordance with the following articles:

    1. Every four (4) years, in the month of January of the year prior to the next presidential election, a Panel shall be convened for the purpose of conducting a public, Pre-Registration Forum ("Forum") for the purpose of certifying any individual who has not been certified within the previous eight (8) years and is planning to run as a candidate for the presidency.  Party affiliation shall in no manner influence certification of any individual.
    2. The Panel shall consist of three (3) Senators from each of the two (2) majority parties, for a total of six (6) members.
    3. At its discretion, the Panel shall formulate a set of questions relative to the knowledge of constitutional and presidential history and the duties and protocols deemed necessary to form a new administration capable of discharging its governmental responsibilities.  Each question shall be agreed to by at least five (5) members of the Panel.
    4. Candidate certification, without which filing of the "STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY" form shall not be permitted, shall be decided by the results of the Forum in accordance with criteria previously agreed to by at least five (5) members of the Panel.
    5. For the sake of simplicity and fairness, a "Jeopardy-Style" Forum is suggested.
    6. The public Forum shall, in fact, be held no later than the end of the month of February of the year prior to the next presidential election and the results made available to the public no later than forty-eight (48) hours after it has taken place.
     ¹ For those who may have concerns about the constitutionality of a "Presidential Candidate Certification" requirement,
    1. "Citizenship" and "Age" are the only conditions of eligibility to the presidency mentioned in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution
    2. FEC FORM 2 "STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY" is a requirement not mentioned anywhere in Article II.  As a prerequisite to submission of FEC FORM 2, therefore, the constitutionality of Presidential Candidate Certification should be apparent.
Top
©2010-2017 Winston Negron - All Rights Reserved