Friday, October 21, 2005

At Large Councilors? So Guinier...and Yet So Far.

Yesterday I learned of the efforts of the a "bi-partisan" group of citizens that call themselves "Tulsans for a Better Government" who are beginning an initiative petition drive to add three at-large city councilors (micro-mayors or "mayors-on-training-wheels") to the Tulsa City Council. We'll have to wait until later to add up the donated dollars given to Tulsans for Better Government by Bixbians, Broken Arrowans, Owassans, Sandites and Palm Springsians.

My first thought was a delightful one. I envisioned Bob and Roxanna Lorton, dressed in evening wear, standing outside of a Super Wal-Mart, clipboards in hand, asking harried passers-by, "Would you like to sign a petition for better government? No? How about a free Tulsa World? No? Opera Tickets?"

My second thought was not so delightful. I envisioned paid-for college students, promised a dollar a signature, in front of a Wal-Mart Super Store, asking harried passers-by, "Would you like to sign a petition for better governemnt?" Who wouldn't? [Good job on picking the name, Schnake Turnbo & Frank!]

So let's just accept the fact right now, that this petition is going to go to a vote of the people. The PR has been worked out, the funding is in place, the lawyers are ready for the court challenges, the same judges that need the Tulsa World to ignore them in order get re-elected are still on the bench and The World has run the "scientific poll" showing that most of us want something to stop all that nasty bickering at City Hall. [Note: Bickering is a Tulsa World/Steve Turnbo term for healthy debate within a democratic republic that isn't trending "our way"]

Why any citizen living in Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 or 6 would ever vote for this thing, we'll leave for later. Right now, let's just assume the "citizens" behind this attempt to "reform" our city government are on to something. Come'll be fun.

So why stop there? Here are some of my modest suggestions for governmental reform in the same form as Tulsans for Better Government. [Note: In case you're reading these and happen to be a liberal who thinks Republicans shouldn't try to be funny without consequences, or you're scanning the web as part of your job with the Secret Service, I'm just kidding....okay?]

1: Let's elect five U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Sure...why have all this bickering among Senators about "litmus tests" or who is conservative/liberal enough to serve on the nation's highest court? It'll be great. No more Judiciary Committee hearings. No more having to look at Sen. Arlen Specter on TV and asking of yourself, "What party does this guy say he belongs to?" or "What happened to his hair since the Anita Hill hearings?" We'll just elect five justices every four years and let the increasingly conservative Red States swing the balance of power on the court.

2: Wouldn't it be great to require that the nation's Vice President come from the opposite party as the President? Think about it. Wouldn't every citizen's perspective be consdidered then, instead of just half of them. Especially if the President's half are conservatives? And the best part is, if you aren't happy about who your current leader is, the chances are far greater with a Veep from the opposite party, that an extremist from YOUR party might get ideas about line of succession. At the very least, we wouldn't see the President in many theaters.

3: Let's give Blue States a third Senator. Face it...Blue States, for the most part are colder and older. Sure, Lousianna is just old, but it's definitely hot and VERY humid. Cold and old states have a harder time luring people to relocate there for economic development. As a result of this, they surely deserve more representation. Don't they?

4: How about granting ex efficio seats in Congress to the editorial staffs of major newspapers? It should be obvious that anyone who can fly in the face of national trends to the right, AND can write so self-assuredly about things they have no personal experience or knowledge about, deserves to get to set policy instead of just criticising it. Send Senior Editors to DC and let the up-and-comers go to their respective State Houses.

5: Remember Lani Guineer? She was Bill Clinton's second of three nominees to be the nation's first female Attorney General. She had the brilliant idea of giving the nation's disadvantaged, proportional votes to balance out years of bias within our discriminatory society. Forget one-man-one-vote. If you've got a gripe with America, we'll give you two votes...or maybe three! Just think of all of the wrongs we could right with that kind of system. Oh...wait...minorities with extra votes might elect more Jack Hendersons and Roscoe Turners, even WITH Councilors-At-Large! Oh was a crazy idea anyway. [See the editorial cartoon I did back when Lani's nomination was still a possibility]. wild and whacky, outside-the-box thinkers at the Tulsa World and Tulsans for Better Government...there's lots of reformin' to do. So send in those checks, pay those students to circulate the petitions, have your handwriting experts ready to certify the signatures, and let's put this thing to a vote. It will be fun to see how it goes.

Remember Recall? Remember the gas tax?

1 comment:

bamlock said...

Won't this election cost more than the airport investigation?