Engineers are exactly the wrong kind of people to be politicians because we can and want to solve problems. We also hold strong ethics and morals. Just look at what was uncovered here in Montreal, Quebec recently. A team of people spent $30 million over the course of 10 years "studying" what to do with a 1km stretch of highway. There's no way a proper engineer could sleep at night knowing that this is going on. Politicians would pat themselves on the back for getting away with this for 10 years.
That's a great site, Cliff. And while we're traditionally a throw-the-bums-out kind of populace, I think we've hit a point where we don't have ENOUGH career politicians. If you're new and short-termed, how can you build relationships and trust that are the basis of compromise? I don't have an answer for that.
I'd be interested in Jim Tangent's perspective there... Jim?
You can run for U.S. House of Representatives for a $100 donation and participation in the process:
The only other requirement they have is that you will answer political choice questions and sign a contract promising that you will resign if you vote against your answers. Of course, to the engineer's mind, this is flawed in that you cannot make the decision based on information that you may learn later, but the point is that there are people out there trying to change the 2-party election process.
I am an EE who serves in a local elected office (City Council of our local city). But, I have watched the machinations of the national political business with interest and dismay for quite a while.
At the present time, I don't think that most people look for a reasoning decision maker as their Congress person or Senator. Most appear to want someone who supports a particular ideology. This is not unique to a particular geographical area or to a particular party. I hear people saying that they voted for X because he would "stick it to the national power structure", or Y because she is "pro-labor", or Z because Z is a "supporter of business". I'm sorry, but this is not the environment for rational engineers.
Further, the cost of running for Congress or Senate is totally absurd. No ordinary person, engineer or not, can afford to even dream about it.
We only have politicians an not leaders anymore. Since politicking has become a full time occupation politicians have become more and more disjointed from the people. It's kind of like when a good engineer becomes a manager. They forgot all about good engineering and make terrible managers.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.