How to avoid dirty quick-fixes and encourage longterm solutions in democratic elections

What is the problem?

The strategy for politicians and political parties today is to make promises of a better tomorrow if you vote for them and where tomorrow was once a metaphor for a long future, but nowadays it’s literary tomorrow.

Why is this a problem?

Personally I don’t think that the literal tomorrow is fixable, it’s way to late. Politicians arguing about how which brand of silver-tape to use to fix the leaking boat is less appealing to me when I have the strangest feeling that no one is working on a solution to avoid the giant iceberg ahead. It makes the whole process of voting a bit pointless, and people that are not engaged by old school ideology catchphrase questions less likely to vote at all.
(If you don’t consider that a problem you can stop reading now)

The solution

Instead of one we should elect three cabinets layered like this:
1. The Here and Now Cabinet.
2. The Not Yet But Soon Cabinet. Dealing with issues 4-5 year into the future
3. The Way Ahead of You Cabinet. Dealing with issues 10-15 year into the future

What would that accomplish?

For the Here and Now Cabinet the effective strategy to get elected probably remain the same. Vote for me and you will get less taxes, higher income or why not both? We still need people looking out for the quick fixes. They would however have an option to sync their message with long term goals as well.
However to get elected for the Not Yet But Soon Cabinet and would have to win the debate dealing with consequences of policies that the candidates for the Here and Now Cabinet are proposing. Their strategy would also be to co-tail and follow up on popular policies from the Way Ahead of You Cabinet.
To be elected for the Way Ahead of You Cabinet you have to debate your opponents on really big issues.

Why not just have one cabinet with ministers looking out for the different perspective?

Without prototype testing I can’t say for sure that that wouldn’t solve the problem, however I do see the risk for business as usual if the day to day work is not split into three separate entities. If you have tasks you have to solve today you are less likely to devote any time to plan tasks that have due date ten years from now.

What’s next?

Obviously there is a massive amount of details that need to be tested before rollout, and you have probably spotted problems with this model already. I don’t mean problems like it would be impossible to radically change a the parliamentary system of a country, that’s just short term thinking, but real what if problems. If you do, please post your feedback and especially if you agree that this is a problem.. And if you can think of a problem and a solution as well that would be even better. Why not do your own blogpost response? Post the link if you do.
The next step I’d like to try : Test a prototype by role-playing a mock government scenario to find problems. Would you like to join?
This entry was posted by Tomas Seo on