Readers offer “crazy” ideas for fixing broken political system

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column for the Arkansas News Bureau offering four “crazy” political reforms: replace the Electoral College with the popular vote; creating a four-year election cycle for the House, Senate and president; creating optional public financing of congressional campaigns; and reforming the redistricting process. I asked readers to present their own crazy ideas.

The response was pretty good, actually. Among readers’ suggestions: awarding electoral votes by congressional district; only one six-year term for all federal officials (my wife, by the way); and more transparency for political “bundlers” who combine contributions into one large gift.

I thought some of the readers’ ideas were good, while some were completely unworkable. But that wasn’t the point. The point was, first, to recognize that the entire system obviously needs an overhaul and that our problems go beyond which party is in power. And second, to brainstorm ways to reform the system.

All kinds of crazy ideas were contemplated by our Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution. Democracy itself, in fact, was a crazy idea. It’s become a cliche, but they were thinking outside the box on a historical scale.

It’s time to think outside the box again.

Here are the readers’ responses.

Here is the original column.

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