If our Democracy is to endure, our electoral system will necessarily have to be "tweaked" according to the needs of our times. As citizens of a bygone era, the Founding Fathers could not possibly have foreseen events which now threaten our democracy and its institutions. Thus, we hereby propose the following Rational Reforms
- National Uniform Registration & Voting Standards ("NURVS")
Given the Republican Voter Suppression Efforts Targeting Minorities in Georgia, Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere in the U.S., the time has come for Democrats to pass National Uniform Registration & Voting Standards legislation. This will ensure voter equality and participation during presidential and mid-term elections.
- the starting date, time and duration of all campaign-related activities, including absentee voting, early voting, vote-by-mail and voter registration methods, should be the same throughout the nation.
- Election Day should always be held on Sunday and declared a national holiday
- Voter registration should be up to 21st Century standards. See Brennan Center For Justice Recommendations.
- Tax-Returns Disclosure And Divestiture
With 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:
- 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.
- Immediately upon being elected and prior to actually taking office, candidates shall either:
- place any and all business holdings and interests in a "blind trust"; OR
- fully divest him- or herself from any and all business holdings and interests
- 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.
- 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.
- The 11-Month Rule
- 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").
- 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.
- Rational Term Limits
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 . . .
- be held responsible for its contents
- be subject to a severe agreed-to penalty
- be prohibited from participating in any future political campaign activity in any manner whatsoever