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View Diary: Why is there no prerequisite to be a politician? (14 comments)

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  •  Too much potential for abuse . . . (1+ / 0-)
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    VClib

    We have minimal criteria in the Constitution -- effectively just an age requirement and requirement regarding birth status for the presidency.  This is about as general as you can get, leaving almost no room for subjective judgments about who or who shouldn't be able to run for office.  This could be a real mess too if there was some kind of board making subjective judgments about qualifications.  There are other countries who have boards who serve this function, but they don't tend to have very free elections (e.g. looking at a country like Iran, which prevents "unacceptable" candidates from running for office simply because they don't support the views of the current rulers).

    Part of the argument here is that the Framers probably figured that voters would serve as the best judge of qualifications.  The onus is on the voters to do their homework.  Technically the candidates do create a resume -- there are position papers, biographies and other details that are available on candidate websites, campaign ads, etc.  In the end the burden is on voters to do the equivalent of checking references and performing a background check to ensure that the candidates claims hold up to scrutiny.  We have some fact checkers who play this role right now, but ultimately the onus is on the voters.  If voters don't want to perform this function, there's not much that can be done.  It's possible to create tools which make it easier for voters to make judgments independent of the candidates, but the burden is still on voters, not the candidates.  Especially with the age of search engines and the like, I think there are tools available for voters to make informed judgments if they want to.  It probably helps to have some critical thinking abilities to sift through information, but once again, the onus is on voters, not candidates or some kind of candidate board to exercise judgment about qualifications.

    Check that: we do have some quasi-vetting boards.  Political parties are one for elective office.  Although their judgments can be overridden by grass roots organizing.  For judicial appointments at the federal level there are commissions of "experts" who stand in place of the more direct electoral system (e.g. indirect selection through elected officials).

    •  The founders were sooo 18th century (0+ / 0-)

      they didn't have things like resumes or SAT scores to go by. Illiteracy was huge, most people weren't educated at all.  Communication could taake weeks or months. "Factscheckers" were unknown then.

      Part of the argument here is that the Framers probably figured that voters would serve as the best judge of qualifications.  The onus is on the voters to do their homework.
      Yeah thats it. Let the buyer beware.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 04:26:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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