This article was submitted to the KC Star and the Washington Post - unfortunately, only 3 days before the election. It was rejected due to the large number of election related articles submitted, so I would like to publish this idea here.
I would like to share an idea with you - a practical way to bring healing, for a divided country to work together. Not McCain OR Obama, but McCain AND Obama. It is not a game, but a system that can be refined and improved.
After elections, each president receives "power coins" in the proportion of their electoral votes.
They use this power money to invest in decisions of governance. The outcome or score of a decision is decided by vote in Congress.
Each receives a return on their investment depending on the score. If a decision worked out well, then the one that heavily invested in it is rewarded with more power money.
The more his or her decisions are correct, the more payback a president receives - more power to wield in future decisions.
Decisions are minor or major, short term or longer term and have one or more evaluation points when they are evaluated by a vote in Congress which decides how well a decision has worked out by its results on the ground. Yes, a Democrat-dominated congress will tend to favor a left leaning decision, but the actual results cannot be ignored and the composition of Congress is tied to how the people want the country to be governed.
How are decisions made?
Congress as usual, drafts laws. An ombudsman or referee is sworn to secrecy and categorizes each decision that comes to the presidential inbox, by its impact and timeline and assigns a cost.
The two presidents attend the same meetings and discuss options openly but their decisions are made in secret and with only the referee present. Each president decides what the choice or response to a decision would be and the one that invests the most has the right to make the choice. A stronger conviction towards a course of action will result in more power money invested. If both want control, then they bid the price up. Both can craft a decision together.
A minimum investment is required by each. So each president buys into the decision - even if he disagrees. Also both have a stake and although they will compete against each other, they will collaborate. They will work to make the best decision and that brings the most return in power money. Their decision is released jointly, typed up by the referee.
The amount that each has invested is known only to the referee who also updates their power balances after a vote. To avoid divisiveness their individual opinions are kept confidential.
When decisions are secret, a president is less constrained by ideology or party loyalty, and can pick the best course. When congress does not know how their guy decided, they are less bound by party loyalty and can vote in the best interests of the country. To keep people from deducing how a president decided, their power money balances are published only at fixed intervals, and not after each vote.
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