March Madness Gives Birth to November Nuttiness©
Posted by PintofStout on July 5, 2006
While pontificating the political climate and the possibility of breaking the two-party system a few months ago, B__ (my apparent muse) was optimistic about the chance for a shake up based on approval ratings of the president and Congress. Any faith I had in the political system and, more acutely, the electoral system has long ago been dashed upon the rocky shores of reality. But for those of you still hoping Michael rows the boat safely ashore, Reason’s Brain Doherty shoots out the light of the lighthouse in this month’s print edition where he looks at the numbers of approval polls and electoral results. Apparently, elections and approval ratings haven’t had that strong of a correlation. Back on point, we decided that perhaps success was based upon the party name more than the ideology or politics.
What we came up with for party names that may have a chance of being successful were: The Free Money party, Jesus Christ of the Nazareth District (a candidate name, not a party, but so what?), The Liberty Party, Wal-Mart – the Party, McPolitical Party, the Utopia Party, the Don’t Give a Shit Party, the NFL Party, or the Brangalina Party. The enjoyment we got from naming fictitious political parties only encouraged us and we expanded our best candidate to full blown scenario complete with a platform and everything.
So Dan Rooney was now running for President under the NFL Party banner with Jerome Bettis as a running mate, giving new meaning to Steeler Nation. His future Secretary of Defense would be John Madden, who we decided would be an improvement, and who would implement any number of foreign policy strategies from the Blitz-Like-Crazy to the Truman Two-Deep Zone/Contain. In true political fashion, both strategies are repackaging the current Run-and-Shoot of the administration under a different name.
The whole political atmosphere would change right down to punditry. Replacing the press conferences, news shows, and public debates would be a three hour pre-game show followed by a short statement and followed again by three more hours of post-game show full of highlights. It wouldn’t be much different than what we have now, but it would be condensed to one day rather than constant stream. The gambling markets would boom due to wagers on anything from cabinet appointments to vote results with the influx of sports fans into the political discussion.
Gambling could also help to make over the election system into a bracket-style tournament – think March Madness, not BCS. This could be one in any number of reforms government could take away from a sports influence. Others could include a salary cap, sponsors (at least it would be up-front), and a political draft of promising candidates. None of these reforms could match the difference a bracket election would have, though.
Picture it: the Democrats and Republicans fighting to see who would be seeded number one to go against the National Socialist Party in the first round. The primaries could serve like the league tournaments qualifying teams for the big bracket (Right and Left being redefined by which side of the bracket you’re on?). Debates followed by American Idol-style voting may bring in more voters than even gay marriage or National Health Care. Television and radio profits would pay the salaries of the candidates and winners, thus encouraging them to be entertaining; not only fighting for votes, but market share!
We never figured out how to work the draft and decentralize at the same time, but it is a young idea still. At any rate, the whole new face of politics and government would emerge from the hot mud mask of BS and be seen as the game and farce it has been all along – and maybe even be fun.