Election reform needed as country declines

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To the editor:

It is the great misfortune of the American public that it trusts government to unsparingly act in the public interest. The current economic debacle is a result of the governments ill provided, sociopathic behavior that runs rampant throughout the financial industry. The contempt for the public interest by arrogant politicians is every bit as striking as the obscene greed of many corporations that practice predatory capitalism under the guise of free market capitalism. And, the body bags continue to arrive at Dover.

Clearly, such negative human behavior is nothing new, as confirmed by these poignant words penned in the 1776 diary of our most famous Alexandrian, George Washington: venality, corruption, prostitution of office for selfish ends, abuse of trust, perversion of funds from a national to a private use, and speculation upon the necessities of the times, pervade all interest. 
The salient distinction between then and now is that today the corruption is more pervasive and widespread.

Moreover, in light of the millions who have now lost their jobs, their homes, or lifetime savings, one cannot treat with a dismissive tolerance the fact that the Democratic Clinton and Republican Bush administrations facilitated the deregulation of corporate America and neither administration provided a solution to stop millions of American manufacturing jobs from being outsourced to foreign soil. In any event, time alone will reveal whether the financial reform now being crafted by Congress will yield substantial economic recovery.

It has become increasingly clear over the past couple of decades that there is a dire need for election reform: Open elections that encourage rather than impede third party candidates; term limits that halt lifetime incumbency and break up the good-old-boy network. 
And finally, perhaps most important of all, public financing of all elections, in order to eliminate the inherent corruptive influence of powerful corporate money upon the integrity of government, needs to be the rule. These measures would undoubtedly advance the public interest and help abate the decline of America, the best friend the world has known.

Kenneth Lane Prestia
Alexandria

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