As Americans, we expect our government to serve citizens efficiently and effectively--minimizing taxes without hurting our quality of life. We want our leaders to be people whom we respect and trust--individuals who seek to do what is in the best interest of their fellow citizens.
Yet our government frequently works against the best interest of its citizens, instead catering to Big Money and special interest groups. Our infrastructure crumbles and puts us all in jeopardy, yet our government is paralyzed through gridlock and political gamesmanship.
We can overcome these problems, and we can do it in a bipartisan-friendly manner using the following strategies:
Multiple choice/cumulative ballot proposals. Too often, a millage rate is placed on the ballot, and even though everyone knows the service it supports is necessary, the rate proposed seems unreasonable. Why not allow more than one option--not just "Yes" or "No"? Implementing multiple choice/cumulative ballot proposals will provide voters with greater control and (when needed) help thwart waste and corruption. From a financial aspect, it also saves taxpayer dollars: a proposal will pass in the proper form the first time (rather than after one or two rejections!)
Multiple-choice/cumulative bills. The circumstances legislators encounter with legislative bills are very similar to the issues voters face with ballot proposals. Many good (and critical!) bills get delayed because there is disagreement over a few values. A bill that everyone agrees needs to be passed can take months to be finalized due to negotiations. Yet merely attempting to get two sets of legislators to support a value is the easy part for most bills. If a legislator believes he/she can support $500,000 in annual funding for a project but thinks $600,000 is too much, will this legislator get lambasted during the next campaign season for voting against this bill? So instead, the bill gets delayed until there is public outcry that nothing has been done, at which point the political blackmail turns ugly. There is a better way, and one that does not involve legislators losing face or creating animosity. By creating legislation using a multiple-choice format, legislators can identify what they can support, and this legislation can swiftly pass through both houses without any need for haggling. This will reduce lead time on a bill down to a matter of days (instead of months), eliminate much of the conflict that currently exists among legislators, and make the legislature more productive in accomplishing its primary mission of serving the people.
No more government shutdowns/scare tactics. When bureaucrats/officials don’t get their way, they often try to bully/intimidate citizens into getting what they want. Sometimes called the Washington Monument Syndrome, the Mount Rushmore Syndrome, or the firemen first principle, political leaders will threaten to cut the most visible/necessary services in order to pressure citizens and lawmakers to approve of their wasteful spending. We can eliminate this issue by requiring the state and local governments to prepay for necessary services first; this will ensure that there are no more shutdowns/scare tactics when lawmakers have bad budgeting skills.
Cut Big Money’s spending power in half. In 2014, more than $80 million was spent on TV campaign ads in Michigan. This does not include other campaign-season media (robo-calls, radio, internet, or printed ads) or the dollars lobbyists spend to sway elected officials after the elections! If we required that half of the money raised/spent for political activities be allocated to covering the current cost of holding elections (and using any additional funding to increase voter access–such as expanding the absentee ballot program), it would reduce our tax burden, greatly weaken lobbyists’ influence, encourage legislators to instead work for their constituents’ interests, and allow the voice of reason to triumph in our elections. Essentially, a 50% tax on lobbyists and special interest groups. By itself, this measure alone will probably fix at least 15% of the problems we currently see in our government, and it is one that legislators from both sides can and will support.
Corruption Slayer. Corruption Slayer is the most powerful anti-corruption tool the world has ever seen. Corruption Slayer gives citizens real-time control of their government (instead of the current system in which voter input is frequently ignored) and shatters the grip of the political establishment. This solution will enable citizens to protect themselves against the bad judgment of unelected appointees and powerful politicians alike. We shall once again have a government of which we can be proud. We will finally be able to enact true and meaningful reforms in government, but instead of fighting an excruciating uphill battle against the political machinery of the corrupt for even the slightest reforms, we will be able to achieve them with the blazing speeds and convenience of the modern era.
Citizens will be able to research issues, make informed decisions, and fix our government with the same ease as ordering something on Amazon--one click! Want to introduce a new solution yourself? It's easy: fill out a quick online form, and your solution is on its way to become law! Changed your mind on something? No worries! By allowing citizens to place their votes well in advance of the deadline and change them if needed prior to the deadline, many of the logistical difficulties and misinformation campaigns we see with “one day only” voting will no longer be issues. Moreover, this early entry allows these results to be compared against current polls to correlate and validate the results, destroying the opportunity for fraud which has plagued online voting in the past. How it works: Voter preferences will initially be set with the existing law as a default; once the appropriate number of voters have changed their preferences, the new results will carry the force of law. When a threshold is crossed, the law must be changed within 30 days. (Need something that can't wait 30 days? There will be a feature for that too--see the FAQs below!)
It will allow many measures to bypass government gridlock and get resolved quickly. And, thanks to the Build-A-Budget tool (discussed on another page), the budget will be balanced on time, every time. Click here to check out the demo of Corruption Slayer!
Also, I encourage you to look at the other good ideas that the other candidates are offering: Corruption Slayer allows us to achieve all these good ideas!
Corruption Slayer was designed to eliminate the need for 1,000 page bills. Instead of giant bills where the sheer volume of the bill is used to cloak the details, Corruption Slayer splits it into its different parts to give you full control of each item separately--just like the settings on a social media site.
With Corruption Slayer, emergency managers aren't necessary because the system automatically ensures balanced budgets on-time, every time. If there hadn't been an emergency manager blocking the city council, the city council would have fixed the situation immediately on its own!
That's one way. And actually, even a mere balanced budget, debt-free strategy would have done that. (I've been recommending this to our existing legislators for years now, but they haven't listened.) But what happens the next time that government mismanagement sets the stage for another government-created crisis and it's the fault of elected officials or--even worse--unelected/appointed bureaucrats? Corruption Slayer will let us fix that too--and fix it fast! With the Initiatives module, voters can create new initiatives and get them passed into law, overriding the bad decisions of unelected bureaucrats and powerful politicians alike.
First, any voting citizen can go to the Initiatives page and post an initiative. Most initiatives will have a 30-day window to give the elected government officials time to draft the corresponding legislation before the change takes effect. (For emergency measures that need to bypass the usual 30-day waiting period, the "Emergency" option would be used.) Other voters would then recommend the initiative. After a sufficient number of recommendations, it would be transferred over to either the State Laws page (when no tax increase/financing is necessary) or to the State Build-A-Budget page (when it is necessary to raise/dedicate revenue to fund it). (Local measures use the Local Ordinances page and the Local Build-A-Budget page.) Voters could then log into the system whenever it was convenient for them to give their support for the measure. For most initiatives, a 50% threshold of support among all voters must be reached and sustained for 30 consecutive days. (This gives government officials time to draft the appropriate legislation.) Emergency measures (responses to natural disasters, etc.) have no delay.
Everyone likes to call something an "emergency"--even when it isn't--so there are a few ways we can handle this. As shown in the demo, there is a small confirmation textbox that must be completed exactly to register it as an emergency measure. When it is implemented, I would recommend having five successive captchas that users must complete if they want to label it as an emergency. This will keep most people from abusing it. A second technique would be an automatic downgrade in the event that a significant percentage of the total electorate (perhaps 5% or 10%) indicates its disapproval of the "emergency" initiative.
Many old cell phones with internet access are currently being recycled or discarded! These old (but still functional) cell phones can instead be provided to senior citizens who need them. Additionally, the savings from implementing Corruption Slayer will allow us to add more public Wi-Fi/internet access locations (or work with local businesses to host them--whichever is the best value for taxpayers). Voters can save (and edit) their votes at any time prior to the deadline, so citizens will have much more flexibility than they currently do. The best part: there will no longer be situations where absentee voters "wished they had voted for someone else"--they can fix it!
No worries. For officials, you can edit your selections any time prior to the election deadline. In the case of initiatives and taxes, you can edit them at any time!
No, this system was designed with you in mind! For an initiative to be approved, it needs at least 50% of all registered voters to support it. You only need to show support for the initiatives you like.
There are a few options--depending on what voters prefer. The "easiest" way is to operate it through the Secretary of State's website, but we could also have it managed by an independent nonpartisan organization that has a track record for being unbiased (such as Project VoteSmart or Vote-USA.org). (It's also possible to have it jointly managed by two organizations--one right-leaning and one left-leaning--where the administrator functions are locked out unless both organizations agree to work together for that function--easily achieved using a dual password entry requirement.)
Most likely it will be in a few phases. "Full" implementation will be in 2020 when the state constitution is updated.
Email is best: I will then be able to post the answer for everyone!
Macomb County, MI