Patricia Black: Here’s how I would handle our elections
The Federal Election Commission would manage the campaigning. I actually would put the League of Women Voters in charge. There would be no outside money at all allowed. Candidates would be provided a brochure, a TV ad, debates with opponents, and a campaign bus.
The brochure: It would list the education, experience, and jobs/offices held by the candidates. There would be a photo of the candidate alone — no spouses, children, dogs, cats, various bigwigs, etc. Candidates would explain their political philosophy (if they knew what that was), their stance on various issues, and their ideas about how to improve things.
The TV ad: This would present the candidate explaining his/her political stands and convictions. There might be another person asking questions, getting the candidates to tell their ideas about current issues. This would be a fifteen or twenty minute ad. TV stations would be required to run them as a public service several times a day for a month or two before the election. It would be to present the candidate, not to badmouth opponents.
The Greyhound bus: Even presidential candidates would have to ride in a bus. They would stop every so often, give a short speech, and then answer questions from the crowds. They wouldn’t be allowed to continue if they did not answer the questions. There would be a Woman Voter on every bus who would not let the candidates get away without actually answering the questions. (I remember an election debate in which the candidates ignored the questions and said what they pleased.)
It would be nice to have an election in which the candidates presented themselves and their ideas, and the press did more than tell how much money they had in their war chests. Some of these guys don’t have any ideas — they just like to win elections and raise their own salaries every year. I’d cut their salaries in half and have them stay in barracks in Washington, D.C. They’d also have to spend five days a week working for the country.
I’d better stop now. Let me know if you want my further comments.
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