Selecting Politicians

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This page is a place to explore an idea of mine to restructure the methods of choosing our politicians in the United States.

Introduction

Why?

The United States has levels of governance, from the federal government all the way down to a city level. In our current system, the people of the country select people to hold seats in almost all facets of the government. This creates a problem of causing the federal government to hold much more power than it should and allows people, me included, who know very little about issues that are not local to me, to select people to govern those who need more localized laws or laws that would not benefit them.

The goal here is to make the local governments hold the most power and the federal government hold the least amount of power.

Legislative Selection

Federal Government (Congress)

The goals of the proposed changes below attempt to make the lower house a representation of the people, and the upper house be a representation of the states.

The House of Representatives (The Lower House)

Currently, the members of the House of Representatives are selected by the people of a particular state's districts and each district is given one member of the House via a first past the post voting system. This does cause an issue where you have an issue of potential gerrymandering of the districts to make the proportion of representatives not close to the actual populace.

The idea I would like to present is to remove a first past the post style voting system and replace it with a proportional voting system or a ranked choice voting system.

In a proportional system, each citizen of a given state votes based on which party they want to represent them, not a person. So if a state has 10 seats in the house and 40% vote Democrat, 40% vote Republican, and 20% vote Libertarian, 4 seats will be given to the Democratic party, 4 for the Republicans, and 2 for the Libertarians of which each party selects who they want to send to congress via the method of their choosing (either by a delegate vote or a voting system of their choosing). This way, the seats would more closely align with the party affiliation of the voters of that state.

In a ranked choice system, each citizen will rank from best to worst which individual candidates are presented to them. Each rank will be assigned a score (for example, a first choice is 5 points, a second choice is 4 points, and so on) for which the candidate with the highest score will be granted the seat. Either by a similar proportional system as described above, or by district similar to what we have now.

The goal of this again, is to make the House of Representatives a body that represents the people.

All territories and the District of Columbia should be given one single representative regardless of population. They pay taxes and are subject to US federal law, therefore they need some form of representation in Congress. American Samoa should also be upgraded in status to an unincorporated, organized territory where citizenship is guaranteed.

The Senate (The Upper House)

Currently, the members of the Senate are selected by a first past the post system on a state level where each state gets two senators. Previously, the state legislatures chose the Senators themselves before the 17th amendment was ratified.

I would like to see a return to that system with the change that the State level upper house (or the legislature itself if unicameral) appoints two senators without asking the citizens of that state. This moves the representation from the people of the state to the state's upper house.

The goal of this is to make the Senate a body of experienced policy makers that represent the state's interests.

The District of Columbia, being unique in the fact that it should not become a state, should have one senator elected from the city's counsel. Territories would not be granted senators until they become a state.

State Government

The Lower House

The lower house's members will be selected similarly to the House of Representatives. This would again, make the lower house a representation of the people of the state.

The Upper House

The upper house's members will be selected by the government of the counties of that state where the counsels of the counties appoints one or more (depending on state law) to the upper house of the state legislature. This moves the state's upper house from a representation of the citizens of the state to a representation of the counties.

Unicameral

In the states that have a unicameral legislature, it will be selected similar to a state with a bicameral legislature's upper house, but it takes on both roles in selecting of executive positions and senators for the state.

County Government

The county will be selected as a counsel of the local townships and cities where the counsels of those cities and townships promote one or more of their own (depending on county law) to the county's counsel.

If there is a case where there is no defined government of a region of the county (unorganized areas), then the people of those unorganized areas will vote to select one or more representatives to the county's counsel depending on county law.

City/Township Government

Each city and township will form a government of their choosing where a counsel or board will be elected by the permanent residents of the city or township. Each citizen of the United States can only be associated with one residence for the purposes of voting.

Executive Section

Federal Government (President)

Currently, we have a system where the states hold elections to decide on what party the electors of the state then have a separate election to decide the next president and vice-president. This brings the worst of the electoral college system and the worst of a first past the post voting system.

There are two options, either allow the lower houses of the states to choose electors for the state or have the Senate appoint the next president and vice-president.

State Government (Governor)

The governor and lieutenant governor of a state should be appointed by the upper house of the state.

Local Government (County/Municipal)

County counsels will appoint any executive officers.

Cities and townships will be free to select the method of selecting executive officers.

Judicial Section

In both the federal and state court systems, the top executor (the president or governor) will appoint judges to sit on the supreme court of their respective jurisdiction. The supreme court will then appoint judges for the next lower court, and so on.

The point is to remove elected judges and have them be by appointment only.

Other Notes

In this system, at any time, the electors of any given position can be recalled if they are unsatisfactory to the electors. This means a state senator (upper house) can be removed at any time by the county that appointed him/her.

For the executor of the jurisdiction (the president or governor) can be removed via the already established protocols.

Term limits will be applied for all positions on the state and federal level.