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Commentary: Run our elections like a reality show

October 29,2017 09:22

In fact, the election could pay for itself because it would be televised and advertising would pay for the whole affair. There would be a plethora of employment opportunities to put on such a show and each candidate would be allotted the same amount of ...


So, here’s a thought.

With all of the Current Resident’s latest falderal, challenging the secretary of state to an IQ Test, it occurs to me that an intelligence contest might not be such a bad idea.

But not the usual IQ test. More of a question fest, where the questions would consist of topics that apply to the jobs of the leaders, the conditions around the world, history, the Constitution, etc. That would reveal a lot more than some abstract number.

In fact — and I have been considering this for some time — I think that, as we seem to be living in a reality show atmosphere, we might as well just give in and run our elections as a reality show. There would be many benefits.

We could get rid of the Electoral College, and that always seemed like a good idea to me. Also, we could have candidates who weren’t so beholden to the money — on financing their campaigns with their own money or funding from corporations and other donors — because money wouldn’t help them. In fact, the election could pay for itself because it would be televised and advertising would pay for the whole affair. There would be a plethora of employment opportunities to put on such a show and each candidate would be allotted the same amount of time.

The categories would vary widely. There might be a courage challenge with events like skydiving, snake handling, eating bugs, like that. There could be a talent challenge to find out who was most adept at playing an instrument, cooking, singing, dancing, baton twirling, like that. There could be a display of public speaking abilities, like the old high school debate and oration competitions.

There would, of course, be the general knowledge and information component of the show, where candidate would answer questions in a format like Jeopardy. The questions would weigh heavily on history, law, the Constitution, geography, cultures of the world, religion, psychology, like that. This would be especially helpful because the television audience would learn a lot while watching.

If we really wanted to go for the crème de la crème, we could include a sensitivity challenge, including poetry, literature, music appreciation, etiquette, like that. We could have a sports challenge, where they could choose their own sport — any sport — baseball, fly-fishing, skating, golf, bowling, like that.

We could have the best looking component. But that might get too weird. Maybe not.

We would average out the winners of the various categories at the end of the challenges. From that group the public would vote and that would constitute the popular vote.

By converting the election to a televised reality event, we would make it possible for anyone to run for office, rich, poor, man, woman, etc. No one would be in anyone’s pocket. And, in the end, we would get the smartest, bravest, most talented, logical, well-spoken, best prepared candidate available. And we’d make some money, too.

What do you think?

And If all of the candidates were lousy, we could add a “Survivor” category and send them to some remote destination and just forget to check up on them.

Klaudia Nelson

Klaudia Nelson, Salt Lake City, is a part-time librarian and Tralfamadorian enthusiast.

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