Most people would be incensed if they found out that their city councilman or school board member voted in their political capacity to award a contract to a business in which they had a direct financial interest.
For example, if a school board member voted to award a cleaning contract to a cleaning business he owns, most people would instantly recognize this as a conflict of interest and cry foul. In his role as school board member, we expect him to act in the best interest of the school district patrons, not in his own best interest.
I find it equally outrageous that folks who receive direct money from government programs get to vote for political candidates. Why isn’t that considered a potential conflict of interest?
It seems very likely to me that instead of voting for the candidates best fit to carry out the duties and serve their roles they swear an oath to uphold, voters who receive government support may be inclined to vote for the candidates who promise to continue doling out goodies.
Don’t think so? Pay closer attention to campaigns and see how politicians tell voters they will continue to expand certain programs if elected. Why would they make such promises if it doesn’t get them votes.
I propose giving folks a simple choice. If you choose to receive direct government benefits, then you forego your vote.
Some will say that we should not be able to remove someone’s right to vote, but under this proposal “we” would not remove anybody’s right to vote.
It would be their choice. And it would resolve potential conflicts of interest that contribute to ever-expanding government spending.