Ken Collins: How can our government be more productive? | SteamboatToday.com

Ken Collins: How can our government be more productive?

Now that we have a government closer to a check-and-balance system and most Americans tired of the gridlock in Congress, maybe it's time to look at some ideas to make government more productive. And more representative of all of America.

Some of these are old, some new, but all are doable and I believe will better our democracy.

We could start with eliminating the out-of-date electoral college. It was set up originally to help the slave Southern states. Not necessary anymore.

Along with that, eliminating the possibility of gerrymandering would even the playing field everywhere. There are plenty of techies who could come up with a program that would be honest and not make our precinct/district maps look like a drunk cartographer did them.

Term limits have been discussed. Great idea. There should be some tweaking along with this. Representatives’ terms should be to three or four years so they can actually legislate and not spend all their time fundraising.

All federal judgeships should be 12 years, including SCOTUS. Judges could be renewed but staggered in a way that one POTUS  could not "pack the court."

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The Senate needs to be looked at to make representation fairer. A California senator represents over 20 million. There are at least 10 states where the senator represents less than a half million yet wield the same power.

All Congressional candidates should be required to show tax returns. Along with overturning the Citizens United law and eliminating or drastically cutting back on lobbyists in D.C., we would have a fairer and legitimate list of candidates.

This will scare some people in politics today, but it is needed.

The "jury" is out on whether a sitting President can be indicted. Why would anyone be immune to having to defend themselves if they have committed a crime? There is no sane reason. An embroiled POTUS would have to yield power to the VP until guilt is determined.

Voting rights should not be states' rights, at least for federal elections. A national system of registration and mail-in ballots is easy and fair. Voter fraud is not an excuse. There were tens of thousands of citizens who could not vote for phony reasons in the midterms, exponentially more than voter fraud cases.

That's a start. There are more i.e. enforcing the emolument and nepotism laws, lame duck politicians changing laws on their way out.

We need to get Americans to trust our government, want to vote and be more active in its running. These are not one-sided actions. They are bipartisan. They are workable. They are right. And they are overdue.

Ken Collins

Oak Creek

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