Date written: 2013
Written for: Vt newspapers editorial pages
Published? I'm not sure

Politically I’m a fiscal conservative, social moderate, and environmental liberal—in that order of priority.  I’ve been confused and frustrated by the direction of Vermont and US governance for a long time, and have lost confidence in the power of my vote. 

Hundreds of bills get introduced in our state legislature each year—thousands in Congress—many of them outrageously lengthy and complicated.  Keeping track is impossible for an ordinary citizen so we must rely on political groups to tell us what bills are important and even what they mean.  Usually red flags go up AFTER a bill becomes law.

I think a lot of Americans feel as I do—our governance system is broken when we see increasing debt and taxes, a stalled economy, inflation and political deals/coverups regardless of which party is in power.  Most of us now shrug our shoulders and feel the situation is beyond our control, too complex to figure out, so we vote blindly by political color if we bother to vote at all.

We need to change the way we use our vote.  We need to vote not for people who have vague political beliefs but who represent actual bills.  We need to get a few things done each election cycle that have the electorate’s stamp of approval.

Let’s start this process with a 2014 campaign to update the state and federal constitutions with simply written, major changes.  Political think tanks can use their Facebook’s “Like” feature to see what simple changes their members want most. 

2014 candidates then pledge to support specific constitutional changes as their major accomplishment in office.  The campaign then centers on the strength of actual bills rather than on petty personality or vague ideology.

Check out for an example of voting to keep it short and simple.