by Laurel LaFramboise

What do you expect VoteKISS to do in the 2022 elections?  I believe most Americans understand that Congress is malfunctioning due to a few powerful forces that cannot be changed using the normal voting process.  I believe they’ll see in VoteKISS a way to make those changes without partisan politics standing in the way.   

ANY candidate running for US or state representative may sign a VoteKISS contract up until November 1, 2022.  Challengers to incumbents have an especially hard time winning; becoming a VoteKISS candidate may change that.   If only a minority of VoteKISS candidates get elected, there's work to do for the 2024 campaign to explain that we can change the way we vote to be ISSUES-centered rather than simply a politician popularity contest .  If a majority, it will be hard politically to argue against the bills.

Wouldn’t voting for VoteKISS be a wasted vote?
  I believe most Americans realize their vote is already being wasted.  No matter who they vote for spending keeps going up, taxes get more complex, partisan bickering keeps reforms at bay, and important issues get ignored or badly mangled by the political process.  VoteKISS offers voters a way to use their vote (or their non-vote!) to say “This is EXACTLY what I want done—now DO IT!”
Won’t VoteKISS contracts tie candidates’ hands during necessary compromising when they’re in office?
  What is necessary about compromising?  The bills they are authorized to pass are already written in language voters have approved.  If the majority of voters elect VoteKISS candidates who contract to get only one thing done at a time, then that ‘thing’ should be done exactly as voters requested. 

What will elected VoteKISS representatives do with their time in office if they’re not drafting or voting on bills? 
VoteKISS representatives’ lives will be much simpler than their party-sponsored co-workers:  no lobbyists will call, no fellow legislators will smooze looking for a compromise, no arm twisting from party leaders.  Instead, VoteKISS representatives can spend most of their time helping constituents with their problems dealing with the federal government and perhaps run a fraud hotline!  They can also spend time listening to what constituents feel are their next most important issues, and work with think tanks to draft bills that will solve them. 

What’s the deal with the first three sections of the VoteKISS Constitutional Amendment?
  In the past 100 years we have strayed from using the Constitution as it was intended: a living document that can be amended--with difficulty—when the People agree to do so.  The three branches have pushed the boundaries of a constitutional interpretation of their powers.  Section 1 reminds all three branches of their boundaries while section 3 solves the deluge of irresponsible/complex lawsuits by authorizing individual judges needed discretionary power.  However, many 20th century Congressional laws that are arguably unconstitutional have become accepted by most people as beneficial, and these are included in Section 2.  I’m not a specialist in this area and this section definitely needs review!

Why not just use the Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ Res 1) language in Section 10?
  My readings concerning problems with the national budget suggest that just balancing the budget isn’t enough.  We need a short and simple budget process where long term goals are established, short-term restrictions can be over-ridden if necessary, and Congressional indecision doesn’t hold up paychecks.  

Eliminating the IRS--is that even possible?   Today's Congress spends most of its time trying to figure out how to slay the many dragons (issues) that confront this country.  Unfortunately, when they actually manage to kill a dragon (more often they just wound it and make things worse) they don't consider it their problem to get rid of the rotting corpse--hence the stench coming from D.C.

In 2022 if a VoteKISS Congress is elected a many-headed dragon will be slain by the 28th Amendment.  Once a tiny, inconsequential worm 100 years ago, the IRS dragon has become a fire breathing monster of almost unimaginable size and strength.  Its death will affect every aspect of daily life.  Since VoteKISS Congress members' main job is manning the constituent help lines they will help individuals, businesses, and even government agencies re-write their procedures for dealing with tax issues.  In doing so they will discover all the past legislation that tied their solutions to the IRS monster.  When the slaying is completed in state legislatures by ratification of the amendment, VoteKISS candidates will have in-hand short and simple solutions to the cleanup problems, ready to be immediately implemented if voters approve.

If VoteKISS is successful in passing government reform legislation, what’s the next step? 
  The next step is up to voters; VoteKISS is simply a tool to focus our collective minds on the most important issue we face.  Perhaps Americans won’t be able to agree on what that next issue is and go back to partisan voting or choosing one-issue candidates who represent lots of different issues.   It may be that the reforms passed are enough to make government sensible, solvent, and responsive even when we can’t focus on one issue at a time.  However, when it becomes obvious to most Americans that there is one issue to be addressed before all else, VoteKISS has established a precedent for how to deal with it.

Isn’t there a danger that voters can be swayed by charismatic leaders to demand governmental changes that are detrimental? 
Absolutely, but the same is true of our current system.   Currently a candidate may say one thing (end the war) but do another (expand the war).   With an issues-based voting system the candidate becomes elected with a plan in hand (to end the war) and can be voted out of office for breach of contract.  In a Presidential race, a VoteKISS candidate must have broader powers to execute the laws of Congress and to deal with the unexpected; however, (s)he must sign a contract with voters detailing how the one issue that defines his/her campaign will be carried out.  That way a candidate can’t campaign on one issue (economy) and push through another issue (health care).

Does VoteKISS mean the end of the party system?   VoteKISS is a tool rather than a platform, and once the first step--governmental reform--is in place it can be used by parties in future campaigns to further their agendas.  The focus simply will change from a candidate-centered to an issues-centered debate.

For example, I envision the Republican National Committee (RNC) designing a website template that is duplicated in all 435 congressional districts.  The RNC manages the back end (security and IT) while its local affiliates run the front end (content tailored to local politics).  Everyone can view the websites but only members (registered Republicans who voted in the previous election) can vote.  There are pages for federal, state, and local voting. 

At the beginning of each election cycle, members vote for their 3 top issues at each government level from lists developed by the RNC, conservative think tanks, or other method. After a few months the top 3 issues are each given a list of solutions, each with a measurable outcome, for members to choose from.  Once 3 issues each with a top solution (or two) are chosen by members, a bill for each issue is drawn up using the VoteKISS template: short voter summary describing what the bill does, an executive section that describes the purpose (why), and a longer administrative section that describes how the bill will be administered, including how its effectiveness will be measured and publicly displayed.

VoteKISS candidates will then sign the contracts and run against traditional (non-contract) Republicans in the primary. Voters can distinguish VoteKISS republicans by an additional letter (V) before the (R). 

VoteKISS video interviews:

CLICK HERE to watch the VoteKISS PoliticIT interview

CLICK HERE to watch the Ch 17 Vermont US Senate candidate forum 

CLICK HERE to watch the Ch 17 Vermont US House candidate forum

VoteKISS letters to the editor                                 by Laurel LaFramboise 

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 VoteKISS other letters                      and survey answers

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