Note: This could easily be widened into a more general discussion of politics, but as I am an American, and more familiar with American politics, I figured I would limit my discussion to the states.
America is a deeply polarized nation. The public dialogue has broken down into meaningless drivel, and the issues that monopolize our debate are shockingly unimportant, by comparison to many of the issues that are looming on the horizon.
The political process is dominated by a two party system. The leading members of each party are so wealthy and powerful that they can scarcely relate to the needs and wants of the people that they are supposed to represent. Furthermore, these politicians are routinely wined and dined by large business interests, and if that isn't bad enough, these interests often go so far as to actually write legislation for these politicians.
Our system of governance is supposed to have checks and balances, but the current majority openly discusses the emasculation of an entire arm of the government.
So, is this, our current America, the America that our ancestors fought and died for? More importantly, is it the America that we want it to be?
As for me, I think it is time for an overhaul. An upgrade of sorts. America 2.0, faster, stronger, prettier, and Energy Star compliant.
What sorts of things would you want to see in the list of features? For me, a partial list might include:
1. Completely overhauled voting system. Better checks and balances, and instant runoff voting.
2. True campaign finance reform. No more fundraising. Candidates get federally funded web hosting, and the government will advertise the candidate web portal so that everyone knows how to get to it.
3. An end to secrecy. Strict time limits should be set for how long information can be kept a secret, with nothing (save, perhaps, codes and procedures) being able to be kept secret for more than seven years. All exempted secrets should be audited by the GAO (or similar entity) to determine propriety.
Although there are many other reforms that I would like to see, I will leave a few for the rest of you. Also, I believe that if these reforms were implemented, the rest would probably follow in short order anyway.