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Pandora's avatar

If you can change one thing in your government, what would it be?

Asked by Pandora (23411 points ) January 26th, 2010

Government officials always state that they are speaking for the people. If you could actually ever get one to take your side on an issue or on how to run things, what would be your primary suggestion.
How would it revamp your government if it could be done?

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33 Answers

Allie's avatar

I’d give them all a truth serum and a pill that makes them effective.

No, ok, really. If I could change one thing I’d make it so that more money was spent on students and education than on prisons/inmates. Or hell, even that more money was spent on students/education period. As long as it’s reasonable, I don’t really care how much they want to spend on prisons/inmates, but don’t cut funding for schools (and libraries, and public transit, etc.) to do so. That’s just…. shitty.

Kayak8's avatar

I would give more legislators courage to do what we sent them to congress to do, rather than to become beholdren to lobbyists and special interests and the other members of their respective parties.

lilikoi's avatar

That the U.S. somehow be split into regional “countries” – or something because geography hinders the effectiveness of democracy, and the South is culturally different from the East, is different from the West. Power needs to be redistributed, decentralized; currently the trend is moving in the other direction.

And yeah, we are kicking ourselves in our collective behind by shortchanging our education system. We spend more than half the budget on the military, and all that does is make a few ugly men wealthy and the general populace more stupid and less competitive.

lilikoi's avatar

I think political parties are so antiquated. Each puts on a front that they are different from the other, but that is hardly the case. Watching political parties is like watching a reality show – people are sucked into the drama, can’t help but watch, but really the whole thing is a sham.

Is it really a democracy if only two parties stand a chance? Two is a measly number in a nation of our size.

Pandora's avatar

@lilikoi If we did that then wouldn’t special interest groups take interest in certain areas of the US that have oil or other natural metals so they would be the richest. So that would send us into another civil war. Then for sure all our military cost will expand and less will go into education.

___'s avatar

I think lilikoi is arguing more for a libertarian ‘less is more’ approach to the central state (D.C.) rather than literal different countries..? but I could be wrong I tend to agree

Fred931's avatar

I would make Obama do something.

Pandora's avatar

@lilikoi I agree that the two party system is antiquated. It certainly would bring more to the table if we were able to chose from a bigger pool. I can see how that would shake things up a little.

Austinlad's avatar

I think the job of president is too big and complex for one man.

borderline_blonde's avatar

I would bulldoze the entire system, but since that’s destroying rather than changing, I guess I’m going to have to go with my second answer: free health care for everyone!

dpworkin's avatar

I would entirely remove private financing (including Bloomberg-style self-financing) for any and all political campaigns including referenda. With only perfectly transparent, perfectly equal financing available, we mat not get a better class of candidate, but none would be beholden to any outside interest.

This is of course a fantasy, because the current system is ego-syntonic for all players as was demonstrated by the recent Supreme Court decision.

john65pennington's avatar

You can never cut the budget or the money for prisons or jails. you naturally, would expect this to be my answer and here is why: take Haiti as an example. when the earthquake hit, almost 4,000 jailed criminals were set free. the jails and prisons were substandard. what did this create? more crime and more homicides. i am sure the earthquake did not kill all the poor people of Haiti. criminals do not care about anyone or anything, other than themselves. medical supplies hijacked in Haiti? it had to be the escaped criminals. if an arrest is made in Haiti, where would they house the prisoner now? this is my point. no one wants a prison in their neighborhood and thats understandable. but, as a God-fearing society, we would not enjoy our freedom today, if jails and prisons were not in existance in our states. money for prisons must be a high authority and local, state and federal budgets must always have the money allocated to keep the criminals behind bars.

Pandora's avatar

@john65pennington So are your proposing more funding?

john65pennington's avatar

Pandora…......no matter how the figures are juggled around, crime is on the increase. people out of jobs and losing their homes. this is regrettable, but true. a decrease can never happen for our safety, so i say yes, more funding. don’t you hate it that our tax dollars are being spent on these people? if we were a perfect nation, then every student could be given a free education and the degree of their choice. it will never be this way.

Pandora's avatar

I just wonder if building gyms and giving them cable and free college is the answer. Before anyone gets on me about that, lets keep in mind that many get college degrees on tax payers money and there are kids out there who can’t get a free education and then turn to crime because of their poor income. If educate our young before they become crimminals than less will be in our jails. Instead of waiting to send them to jail and then pick up the educational fees.

Nullo's avatar

Only one? I’d have to do some serious research.
I think that our problems are too widespread for one to fix them by knocking out a single keystone issue.

Mandomike's avatar

Because very few elected officials can bite the hand that fed them, very little will be done until the public stands up and demands it, like what happened in Massachusetts.

Pandora's avatar

@Nullo, I asked for one because I’m curious as to what is really on people mind. The Politicians say they know, the news media tells us what we should want but I’m curious as to what are they all missing that should be as plain as the nose on their face.
If I said name more than one thing than of course we will name everything we can think of. It would be impossible to fix everything wrong, or to even know the long list of everything wrong. But as a society, (and I don’t mean just the US) are we more inclined to be concerned over civil rights, funding, medicare, welfare, coruption, our government structure, education or you name it.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

get rid of all corruption.. I think if we were to get rid of all the dishonesty and corruption we could have an efficient government.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Make the damned thing live within its means!

___'s avatar

@CaptainHarley I assume you mean the government.. hell yes.. put them on a budget and take away the checkbook :P… let them figure it out.

Nullo's avatar

If I could change anything, it would be the hearts and minds of all of the politicians. That’s as close to home as I can aim my changes.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would like to see every citizen required to perform public service by working within the government for at least one year, with a salary provided, not volunteer. Hopefully with a citizen government, people might actually understand what ‘government’ is really all about.

Nullo's avatar

@YARNLADY
Noble goal, but unlikely outcome. The only place for that kind of unskilled labor is in a bureaucracy; while there are bureaucracies aplenty, that’s highly specific, very routine work.
Plus, the coercion part would suck.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

In Canada, I would like the Senate to be an elected body with each region equally represented.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Nullo Bring back the draft, only for all over 18 to perform government service (not military).

Pandora's avatar

@YARNLADY Nice idea only you would have to teach our young to read and add first. Ever tried to get the correct change at a McDonalds when the machine broke down during a transaction? You can order a steak well done and get that faster. :(

Pandora's avatar

@Tenpinmaster I’ve pondered on what you’ve said and its probably the most practical answer I’ve seen so far. However, I’m not sure it would make it completely efficient. You will still have to deal with differences of opinion and that will always slow things down. But if you could mix it with common sense with a dash of compassion. You may have a good dish. However that would ruin my rule of choosing one change. It certainly would be a step in the right direction. If only. Think of how sweetly this world would function.
Its a very nice dream. :)

Tenpinmaster's avatar

@pandora Well thank you! I also agree with what you said in your response. A good dish it would be with a spinkle of compassion, and a dash of common sense. I was just thinking of how a lot of these third world-like countries could be so much better off if they had a centralized government that wasn’t out to fatten their own pockets at the expense of the people.

Nullo's avatar

@YARNLADY
I’m saying (or was trying to say, anyway) that working in government doesn’t mean that you’re going to understand it. It’s a big system (moreso when you’ve got big-government people running things), and all that they’re going to learn about is the minuscule sliver that they do. Especially if they’re not very interested.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

I’d legalize recreational and medical use of marijuana and industrial hemp completely and immediately release those prisoners who are nothing more than victims of the futile war on drugs. That should clear out plenty of much needed space in our prisons and allow those funds to be utilized elsewhere, such as in education, small business loans and healthcare programs. Likewise, it would immediately ease the workload on our law enforcement officers and allow them to focus their energies on stopping, catching and incarcerating actual criminals.

Mandomike's avatar

The President!

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