Personally, I've always thought that a little incompetence in government is a good thing. Too much is bad, but really efficient and competent governments will destroy civil rights.
On balance the mass of government just wants to do their job and there are enough of them that want to do good to balance out the corrupt portions of it. That's why it more or less works here.
The US was founded, in part, with the assumption that government is inherently flawed. That any government left to its own devices will likely end up oppressing it people. Our founders understood that government is necessary, but it needs inefficiency and oversight to keep it in check.
Splitting power between the president, congress and the Supreme court, and then down into the states, is incredibly inefficient. Congress is even split in two. How many people and groups must agree to get anything done? A lot. It would be much, much more efficient to just have one person that can make all of the decisions without debate. That would be efficient, but horrible (think Stalin).
Yes, our government is mired in mud most of the time, but that's an important aspect of the US government. It's supposed to be sluggish and inefficient.
I like the idea of a starting date for campaigning. People currently in office have too much to do these days, and the public does get a tad weary.
I'd also align the primaries so that smaller states could go early to weed out the real flakes and dangerous loonies. As a SoCal boy, I say we keep New Hampshire to go first, just to hold with a small tradition.
So, start in March. First primaries in May. Conventions in August. Vote in November. 8 months. Sounds like plenty o' time to me.
Or, we could do it with physical contests, as in Gulliver's Travels....
Naaah...it's tough enough getting electronics to do what I want....an electorate would be much worse (even though they start the same... :-)
Others have pointed out other reasons below - and as Erebus says, "Good Luck..."
Why do engineers not run for office? Because we can look ahead and see how unpleasant it is. The cost of a congressional campaign is now about three times the total salary received while in office. In other words, only corrupt people can win. If you figure out a way to fix that without severely rewriting the "free speech" provisions of the constitution, let me know.
I would change the accountabilty of the participants. In particular, the Supreme Court has ruled that candidates are not legally liable to perform on any promises they make during the campaigning. In other words, the court allows them to lie to win your vote. Since we elect the candidates based on these promises, it doesn't give me much faith in the entire system.
David brings up a good point. If we engineers can do better, then why do we not run for office?
You cannot change Washington by just complaining.
Unfortunately, you still have to convince the remaining idiots to vote for you.
@ Brian - "what changes would you make?"
Get engineers (who CAN do stuff) to run the place rather than lawyers and other parasites who seem unable to DO anything......
(And to forestall any criticism - "The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism byt those who do not have it" - George Bernard Shaw, Playwright and Author)
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.