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Abstract:
A short meditation on how to reorganize the executive and legislative branches of the US government to improve its functioning.

For a Trustworthy Government

by Leon Stevens

2015

Observation:

Our government and its components, the executive and legislative branches, have become poorly functioning entities. Those in charge have sometimes become self-promoting and sometimes the targets of increasingly uncivil opponents. It may be time to reorganize our government, removing some elements and introducing others.

Start Clean:

Transform the voting system, by eliminating all political parties, eliminating the procedure of announcing candidacy, of campaigning, of party membership and the like. The election ballot would be a blank ballot, with no names. Each elector must record on that blank ballot the names of those persons who are known to be unquestionably loyal to the nation, trustworthy, selflessly devoted to its principles, possess a well-trained mind, have recognized ability, and mature experience. The fulfillment of this obligation requires an educated population.

Transform legislative functions from the now-unwieldy system to a single unified legislative council, whose members belong to no political party, and who are charged with the task of electing the executive council (see the preceding paragraph), remaining fully aware of the needs of the citizenry, and creating such legislation as becomes necessary for the good of the people and of the nation.

Transform executive functions from a one-person responsibility to a multi-person executive council. At present, chief executives are highly praised for a perceived successful performance, and are similarly criticized for a lack of success. Success or failure is frequently due to factors beyond one-person's responsibility. Let us recognize the need and learn to function together as a cooperative entity, and avoid the personal emphasis.

Because the scope of one's individual acquaintances is limited, the elections themselves must be tiered. The first tier elections will be at the local level for representatives of a local (city / county / other) council, who would then be delegates to an election for a broader geographic area, and so on. The election for the national tier may be a third or fourth level election, with the elected at each tier electing those at the next higher level.

The tiering of election levels implies that those elected must have the complete trust of those who elect them, and they must be always informed of the needs and conditions of their fellow citizens. The same requisite personal attributes apply, as listed above.

Those elected to serve must serve out of a sense of duty to their personal Higher Power, be it God or the citizens who elect them, but not as a matter of self-aggrandizement. Their pay must be adequate, but must not be excessive. They must be conscientious, humble, and serve to the best of their ability.

It would be hoped that most decisions would be reached by consensus, but if consensus is not achieved, then by majority vote. This condition implies that there must be an odd-number of members of this council. The achievement of a unanimous vote would signal the clear intent of the council.

Center of Government:

It is recognized that each Government needs a center, and in this case, the center would be a Constitutional Monarchy. This Constitutional Monarch would be selected by the above named council, and would have a fixed and limited term of office. Initially, a term of five years would be suggested, but could be determined by the council. It would not be for the life of the individual, and, should it become necessary, this monarch could be replaced by the council. It would have a king or queen or monarch, who would be recognized as the center of government, but who would have only the power to advise, suggest, and warn, but would not have the power to execute decisions.

Adoption:

To effect such a change, time would be required. It cannot be “snapped into place”, and work well.

The first component in such a change would be voter education, for without a changed understanding, the problems and difficulties of the existing system would be continued. This would be a significant change for many, because it would now be a matter of identifying “who are the most trustworthy, loyal, devoted, capable and experienced”, not “who says that they can perform this task”. This component requires people to consider spiritual and character attributes. Recall, if you will, that the elected individual serves as a matter of obligation and duty, not from a sense of self. From grade school, we have become accustomed to selecting the most visible or most recognized, not the most trustworthy.

Next, the system would be adopted at a very local level, at a village or township level. The community and the elected council would learn how best to live and work together. Please consider: it is a significant change to move from a politically-based system to a trust-based system.

Further, the system, already proven at the local level, would be adopted at the next higher level. It is realistic to expect that there would be cases in which the implementation at a local level would not yet be firmly in place when the organizational level next higher would be adopted. In such a situation, both levels of council would be learning together.

For A Trustworthy Government

Later, as each level demonstrated competency, the next higher organizational level would adopt the trust- based system. With adequate planning at each level, there should be minimum disruption of the very necessary services provided by each level.

Checks and Balances:

Every system needs checks and balances, and this system is no different. There may be occasions when a given council will err, not just a single error, but repeatedly. In order to provide remedy to the populace, at half-year intervals, all voters will be queried for a simple yes-no response as to the effectiveness of the council which that voter elects. Upon a majority responding “no”, a recall-election will be held for that voting unit. Thus, the responsibility of evaluating higher-level units devolves upon those who elected it.

Commentary:

The entire goal of this trust-based system is to provide a unified, workable system of government for the world's growing population. The present systems have flaws, and, overall, are working poorly.

Some say that these proposed changes are too great, that they are impractical, and that they are too idealistic. True, the changes are great, but that does not mean they would not work.

As to the thought of being idealistic, why not adopt a system based on ideals? Don't we all deserve better?

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