So the many comments on the Participatory Democracy Survey actually break down into three very clear categories. I have limited them to Viable reforms that stand some hope of passage.
- Political Reform
- End Lobbying and Earmarks. Create tough conflict of interest laws for legislators
- Make elections on a weekend. Enforce “Aussie style” mandatory voting (i.e. a traffic fine)
- No Gerrymandering of districs
- Term Limits-Here we were split about 50-50 for and against
- Direct election of the President
- Instant Runoff style voting
- I did not think moving to a Parliamentary System would pass muster.
- Tax Reform
- VAT tax on all “non essential items (i.e food, but not booze, is excluded)
- Reduce payroll taxes on people making less than $30K per year
- Carbon Tax for both gasoline and utilities
- No Cap on Payroll taxes
- Tax credits for Alternative energy and high mileage vehicles
- Waste Tax on new building that aren’t energy efficient
- Education Reform
Move control of school systems back to the states. Move from processes to outcomes measurement Accelerated education for exceptional students. Career learning for the unemployed at local schools Revive the NEA and put cultural learning in every school Free access through local muni wireless networks to learning materials and a revived Public Media system (PBS on the web) Mandatory National Service between the ages of 18 and 25 (Military, Peace Corps, Teach for America, Conservation Corps,etc)
So lets try drilling down on each of these three main topics in greater detail. Over the next couple of days, I will do a post on each of the three topics that tries to summarize the views of the community (except for that sticky term limits) and then we can go a bit deeper.