Letter: For effective government, become more involved

Editor,

“Tweaks,” not “Tweets,” to improve the operation of our republic/democracy:

1: Mix them up. No more “sides of the aisle”. Seat Democrats, Republicans and others randomly. Maybe they will talk to one another.

2: All proposed legislation shall be brought up for a vote, not just those items that the party in power deems beneficial to the party in power.

3: Only related items are allowed on any single bill. No “Bridges to Nowhere” tacked on for the vote.

4: Legislators vote anonymously. All previous votes made public three months before elections.

5: Make all campaign contributions known as they are given, in the $100 to $1,000 range. No contributions greater than $1,000.

6: Term limits: replace half the legislative population every election (two term limit). Give some new voices a chance. Too much power to too few life-long politicians.

7: Health insurance choices for government officials should be the same as for the rest of us.

8: Charge legislators for perks, like use of the gymnasium.

9: Retirement benefits the same as for all – Social Security, or do it yourself. At present a senator gets $17,400/ year for life upon retirement – after serving only one term!

10: Hire an independent contractor to investigate whistle-blower reports of government corruption and activity non-compliant with existing law; federal, state and local.

11: Incentivize voting with an income tax deduction.

12: Free TV debate coverage of any candidate with 25 percent or more primary votes.

13: Government efficiency of operation: Don’t always raise revenue to cover inefficiency.

14: Enforce monopoly laws. Competition improves the product or service and its cost.

15: Keep it simple – more laws, more regulations lead to more corruption.

16: Provide justice promptly and blindly. That’s not happening now. Fire judges proven biased in any decision.

17: Thoroughly study unintended consequences of legislation. No more shoot from the hip. Seek outside advice from those who would be affected.

18: If you lose a lawsuit, you pay for the opponent’s reasonable defense cost.

Finally, de-editorialize the network news. Just the facts please. I can form my own opinions, thank you. Instead, fact-check what our politicians say, perhaps with a monthly how-did-they-do summary.

The USA is the best country, but there is room for improvement. Get involved. Voice your suggestions to encourage legislators to represent us, and to solve some important issues.

Our government is ineffective because we citizens aren’t involved enough.

Tim Verschuyl,

Oak Harbor

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