Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Decorum in Politics

New England style Town meetings have famously been called the purest form of democracy. I would also add that Town Meetings are also perhaps the most organized and decorous forms of democracy.

We could use more New England Town Meeting style democracy in our national politics. And I do not mean the made for TV pap called "Town Meetings" - I mean honest to God New England Style Town Meetings.

Elected officials would be up front on stage and the meeting would be run by a moderator. Each "warrant" item would be brought up, discussed and then voted on.

Only a person with "standing" (i.e. a resident of the Town) would be allowed to speak. The moderator would limit each person to two-minutes and a person could not speak a second time until everyone who wants to have their voice heard has had a chance. If the meeting is dragging on someone can "move to vote" and if a majority agrees then discussion ends and a vote is taken.

People without "standing" are not allowed to speak. People who disrupt the meeting are asked by a "constable" to leave. If they refuse they are arrested for disturbing the peace.

This model leaves no room for grandstanding reporters who think they have "standing" on every issue and who think rudeness equals rightness (looking at you Jim Acosta - CNN should be ashamed for employing you). Assistants to elected officials who shout out rude things would not only be asked to leave and barred from future meetings but the elected official who employed such a berk in the first place would have their original poor decision making to hire a such a person cause them to possibly lose their next election (looking at you Senator Hassan). 

Reporters attend New England Town Meetings all the time. But they report on what happened and what was said. They do not presume to become part of the story and certainly not THE STORY.

The Town Meetings could be televised so that viewers could see which people actually know what they are talking about and which people are moonbats.

Just a thought.

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