We need to re-form our political system. How we do that is questionable, whether we start from the rubble of our old political culture of we use it as a ladder to reach higher is entirely up to us. I suggest that we may need to start with baby steps. Here are a few I recommend
Redistricting by Neutral Means Whether by nonpartisan commissions or computers we need to have a way to redistrict our governments by a process other than letting the politicians do it, aka letting the foxes guard the hen house. Gerrymandering should be a thing of the past. The only thing the partisan politicians need to argue over is the criteria to be used every ten years to do the redistricting.
Separate Politicians from the Money Taking politicians out of the fund raising process makes quid pro quo money donations marginally more difficult. Since our Congress people spend more time on the phone asking for money from people than they do on almost all of their other duties combined, this is needed for legislative efficiency if nothing else. Politicians or candidates for office shouldn’t be involved in the money coming into their campaigns, period. Let surrogates do it.
Limit Donations to Constituents Candidates for political office should not be accepting money from people they will not represent. What possible service could a congressman provide to someone who lives outside of their district? Even if it were not a quid pro quo bribe, serving an out-of-district “donor” takes time and effort away from serving his actual constituents. The same goes for initiatives and policy referenda. If you are not affected by the policy in question, you should not be giving money to its supporters or detractors. Speech is free, so fly into the district in question and rent a hall and speak to your heart’s content, but no money or other structural support should be allowed.
Others? What other “baby steps” would you recommend we do?