If It’s Broken, Break It Some More!
By: Thomas Lindaman
It was a sight more disturbing than walking in on Michael Moore having sex with Cindy Sheehan and a border collie. (The question would be whether Moore would be charged with two counts of bestiality, but thatâ€™s a topic for another time.) Bomb threats. Men punching each other and machinery. Mass deception.
No, Iâ€™m not talking about the last rap awards show. Iâ€™m talking about Election 2006. America has been the electoral gold standard for years, but the past three or four elections have made me wonder whether itâ€™s been foolâ€™s gold. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I love how our elections are run in theory. Nowhere else in the world can you get an opportunity to vote for which person gets to screw you out of money while taking the first jet to Aruba for a â€œfact-finding mission.â€
Having said that, I think itâ€™s time we take a hard look at our election process before we start seeing campaign reporters having to wear flak jackets and helmets just to cover a school board election. Then again, if itâ€™s good enough for Texasâ€¦
Arizona voted on a proposal to give a random voter $1 million, but the people shot it down. This may be the first time people have voted down the possibility of free money. Although it wasnâ€™t adopted, I think this is a good start, but I donâ€™t think it goes far enough. Here are some ideas I came up with to make elections better and maybe even a little more fun.
1) Turn voting into a game show. Voting is a right in this country, but not every vote is an informed one. (Case in point: anyone who voted for Ralph Nader.) To change this, we should consider adding an element of fun to learning about the candidates and the process. Hence, the game show. We could call it â€œVote or No Voteâ€ or â€œWho Wants to Be a Voter?â€ The rules are very simple. Voters, called â€œcontestantsâ€ in this case, would answer a series of questions about the election and our political process, as well as questions about pop culture. If you get more pop culture questions right than political questions, you donâ€™t get to vote. And it shouldnâ€™t be too hard to do. Just rig up the touch-screen voting machines to ask questions and weâ€™ll be set!
2) Violence. Yeah, I know violence never solves anything, but itâ€™s often pretty darn fun. And in this case, it would be really fun and it would serve a higher purpose. It works a little like #1. A big, tough guy greets you at the door of your polling place and asks you a civics question. If you get it right, you get to pass. If you don’t, you get the crap beaten out of you. That alone should keep the uninformed voters away from the polls. At the very least, it will provide endless hours of entertainment for those who can answer the question right.
3) Bring back electioneering. Federal law prohibits campaigning for a candidate or a party within 100 feet of a polling place. It made sense back in the days when we had political machines running things with iron fists, but it’s the 21st Century. We’re getting automated calls and spam emails from political parties on our cell phones, for the love of Pete! Let’s get with the times and allow electioneering. We’re already walking billboards for corporations, so why not allow politicians to get on the action? And they will be able to utilize the same techniques for both ad campaigns and political campaigns. Imagine walking into your polling place and being seduced by a model wearing nothing but strategically-placed campaign stickers and a smile. I know I’d enjoy it. I may not remember who I voted for, though…
4) Turn the election into a reality show. Ever see the Fox reality show â€œUnanimousâ€? If you havenâ€™t, the basic idea is that a group of people are locked in an underground bunker vying for a cash prize as long as they can convince everyone else to vote for one person to get the money. Oh, and thereâ€™s a time limit. With every passing second, the amount of money goes down faster than Nicole Ritchie boxing Mike Tyson. Letâ€™s do the same with elections! Put the candidates and their campaign managers underground vying for the number of votes available in an election and make it unanimous. As time passes, the number of votes the unanimous winner gets decreases. There is another twist to this. Just like with â€œUnanimousâ€ the politicians canâ€™t get out until they make a decision as to who should win. The thought of not having to watch or listen to lame campaign ads should make this a popular choice. And if we â€œaccidentallyâ€ forget to let them out, all the better.
5) Three words: American Voter Idol. This is similar to #4, but with a twist. Before youâ€™re allowed to vote, you have to prove youâ€™re worthy of voting in front of three judges. I canâ€™t guarantee it will be Randy â€œNo Relation to Michaelâ€ Jackson, Paula â€œNo Relation to Michael, Eitherâ€ Abdul, and Simon â€œOkay, So Iâ€™m Related to Michaelâ€ Cowell, but we could always find an abundance of B, C, D, and Q-list celebrities to do it. Then again, having your ability to vote determined by Cousin Oliver from â€œThe Brady Bunch,â€ LaToya â€œNo Comment on My Relation to Michaelâ€ Jackson, and Janeane Garafalo may be enough to scrap this idea altogether. Iâ€™ll put it on the â€œMaybeâ€ pile.
6) Let me do the voting for you. Itâ€™s a lot of work to remember candidatesâ€™ names, their positions on issues, and whether they would uphold your values. Well, your problems are over because your humble columnist/publisher/editor/chief bottle washer is willing to do all of that for you. I know itâ€™s an awesome responsibility to be able to pick who gets elected all by myself, but Iâ€™m willing to do it because, gosh darn it, I dig you wacky kids. You can chime in, of course, but I must carry the burden of this responsibility myself. That leaves you free to play with your kids, balance your checkbook, take that underwater pottery class at the local community college youâ€™ve always wanted to take. Just know that youâ€™re being represented by me, your bestest voting buddy.
Okay, that one even scared me. I think I’ll leave well enough alone.
Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. and NewsBull.com. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of CommonConservative.com.