New Idea for More Effective Government

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I have a new idea for restructuring our federal government.

Ministers with the power to restrict government activity.

The Minister of Shut Up, for example, has the power to force anyone in government, including the President, to shut up. So when the President says, "My predecessor's failed policies are to blame for the recession," the Minister tells him to shut up. This will greatly increase the quality of our public discourse.

There's also a Minister of Liberty who has the power to overturn or restrict any government action that violates civil liberties, and a Minister of Financial Responsibility that can veto any spending that isn't covered by revenues.

Now, here's the important part: obviously, these positions are only as useful as the people who hold those positions. So if you appoint them, or elect them popularly, you have a big problem. Politicians would appoint people who would not restrict their actions, and the people would elect people who would allow the government to do what they want government to do. It gets us nowhere.

So we will have a popular vote, but the only people who get to vote are people who have a real interest in upholding the restrictions involved. So only people intolerant of bull get to vote on the Minister of Shut Up. Only civil libertarians could vote for Minister of Liberty. And only fiscal conservatives get to vote for Minister of Financial Responsibility.

You might wonder then, what about the liberals? What do they get to vote for? It's only fair that everyone should get to vote for some position, but it seems like at least two of those positions are tilted heavily to the right, and we don't want liberals to feel left out. So, we need a position for them to vote for that is involved in very actively pursuing large government, in taking care of everyone's needs, in fighting against liberty, and so on.

We already have one: President.

So liberals get to decide what government will do, independents get to tell people to shut up, libertarians get to restrict government from hurting our liberty, and conservatives get to say what we won't spend money on because it's too expensive. Everyone gets to vote for only one thing.

I have not decided yet how best to determine whether someone really is a civil libertarian or liberal or what-have-you. Maybe some sort of lie detector test, or maybe just force everyone to pick one position to vote for: they will vote for the position they care most about, which will be the one that is actuated to push their interests, whether it is making government do things, securing liberty, keeping fiscal sanity, or just telling everyone else to shut up.

I think it could work.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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