Magic Wand (a fun political game)

Imagine it’s the morning of Dec 5th. It dawns pearly, and bright. You hop right out of bed and smile, because instead of a president, the country has voted to give you, YOU, a magic wand.*

Possession of the wand (snirt%) means any federal law or state/county/city policy you wave it at will be enacted. You can pass as many laws and policies as you like. Further, the law or policy will be enacted in good faith, but will be subjected to the the same unintended consequences all laws are subject to.

The catch is backlash. You’ll never get 100% agreement on any of your laws or polices. Enact too many, and you’ll reach critical levels of protest, and your wand (snirt$) will be revoked in 2024 and your progress will be reversed.

NOTE: try to stick with what you would establish, and not what the those others would fight against. You have the magic wand.*


*disco stick?
%couldn’t be helped
$What, you thought I’d start being mature now?

5 Likes

I’ll start. I will excel at wand manipulation, because I’m naturally a leader very bossy.

  1. I would enact a federal law that all citizens, or anyone staying in the country under DACA, be required to fulfill 1000 hours of community-based service between the ages of 15 and 25. (I’d love to get mandatory service, but…backlash, my wand would shrivel)

  2. Require states to use the 2020 census to redraw voting districts into squares, each representing x% of the state’s population. AKA: no more gerrymandering.

  3. I honestly have no idea how to fix medical insurance, and access to medical care. I’d listen to advisors, and enact whatever plan I thought would be sustainable, while maximizing humanity.

4 Likes

#2 is mundane enough to be uncontroversial yet will probably do more to move forward actual representative democracy than anything I can think of. (As long as all the formerly employed senators and lobbyists don’t produce that critical level of backlash!)

2 Likes

I hire @Able_Jack and do the things they said and then add abortion is completely legal and you can’t restrict it or the clinics that perform it. Again.

2 Likes

Oooh. I’m going to get a prime minesterial poking stick instead.

CERB has shown us that we actually think Canadians need 500/week minimum. And what a lovely round number. So anyone on EI, disability or welfare gets 500/week minimum.

Universal pharmacare on the drugs covered by trillium. Dispensing fee of $14, capped at 20/month (except where already lower)

Sweeping reforms of nursing homes receiving funding. Would have been an issue before covid but now is widely accepted.

Figure out where we are on the single use plastic ban and push ahead

Enforce and investigate the rules about hate speech.

Doors wiiiide open for refugees, but support moving to further in.

2 Likes

High school students in my province are required to complete 40 volunteer hours in order to graduate. Obviously it gets gamed, and is also not enough. The idea of making it ‘service’ instead of volunteer helps address the challenge of folks in precarious financial situations being disproportionately impacted by being required to volunteer. And I’m assuming that “all” would have some compassionate grounds around illness/ability - which of course will end up gamed as well.

The things I would feel most confident in the US would be term limits for judges, and a few esoteric bits of the tax code that nobody who lives in the US cares about.

I don’t know enough around the various 2ndary and 3tiary impacts around environmental protection and recovery. Let’s handwave something something dredging something something reforesting something something wetland preservation.

And something around urban sprawl, taxation on square footage or max ratio of building to green space, requiring new house building to better match more flexible spaces, accessible multi-generational or multi-housing living by default once you’re over 1000 sq ft.

Oh - golf courses stop being exempted from all the rules around pesticides, watering, etc.

Also, I’d say Elle for PM, but it seems like a crap job I wouldn’t wish on anyone who wasn’t already passionate about it.

2 Likes

It might produce interesting results if there was a much more defined break between private industry and civil service. The current environment of “regulatory capture” where private industry and civil service constantly cross-pollinate and industry more or less writes their own regulations is, ah, suboptimal.

Not sure how the specifics should work though.

1 Like
  1. Increasing protected lands and habitats.
  2. Giving back to citizens that have never tapped into employment insurance (yes I’m looking at you EI that I have never collected but given so much to - and I know this is fantasy and the govt apparently needs this to fund the systems - but with the dollar bills that have been flying everywhere do you need this from me?)
1 Like

Term limits for senators please. I think a max of three ought to be plenty.

5 Likes

This is an interesting idea! In real life I would probably implode under the responsibility, but, in order of what seems most important/ most likely to get done before I am overthrown, here’s my UK edition.

  1. Enact single transferable vote for general elections so that parliament is more representative of the popular vote/ smaller parties have a chance at representation. Feels important for better ongoing political stability and trust.
  2. Enact a high carbon tax. Use proceeds to fund subsidies and investment into carbon neutral or negative technology, and restoring ecosystems in the UK and overseas. Because I would like the world to not catch on fire please.
  3. Limit the power (in terms of access and contribution limits) of commercial lobbyist groups.
  4. Mandate open source publishing for all publicly funded research (basically, screw Elsevier, the current model is literally bad for everyone). Not that important in the scheme of things, but seems like an easy win and would hopefully improve access to accurate knowledge.
  5. Increase universal credit to amount that someone can live on. Make accessing it easier, and more reliable.
  6. Replace student loans with a flat student tax on after-uni earnings based on number of years studied (this is almost what we have already - with the current exception that if you have rich parents you don’t have to pay it, or if you get an extraordinarily well paying job you might pay it off :woman_shrugging:). This pays for tuition as well a flat maintenance grant.
  7. Increase investment in transport and job creation outside of the southeast, including incentives for companies to open or move offices to areas suffering from loss of manufacturing.
  8. (Probably the most controversial and the one that likely leads to my dethronement but I’d still want to try) Make publishing known disinformation illegal. Would probably require some sort of independent fact checking board to dampen accusations of government censorship, which could impose fines on publishers (I’m thinking anyone who makes money off the publishing here- newspapers and online content with advertising rather than individuals) if they are found to be writing content that they could reasonably have known to be incorrect or misleading.

Ranked preference voting.

Eliminate most/all regulations that are much more about market access than actually promoting safety. (Thinking primarily about cottage food industry and direct to consumer farm sales.)

1 Like

I could see this being weaponized very, very quickly to prevent necessary paradigm shifts in research and shut down inquiry into status quo ideas that “everyone knows” are true. I’m thinking, for example, of the way a currently small (but growing) minority of researchers in the HAES movement are thoroughly dismantling the mainstream science where “everybody knows” that “obesity” causes all sorts of health problems. There are probably all sorts of other good examples, particularly in the history of modern science.

I mean it would definitely have to be very carefully handled. I think you could define misinformation in a way that research showing something outside the mainstream view (i.e. hopefully a lot of research in all areas) is not misinformation, but just making something up without justifiable evidence to back it up is. Honestly, I think a lot of mainstream science reporting falls into the realm of misinformation by this definition (especially around health) - so I’d like to see a much clearer definition between “this is what the research showed” and “here is an sensationalist opinion from a journalist on what this might mean”.

I think the danger would more be in who gets the power to make that judgement - ideally, I was thinking that you have an independent research body, but it would be very difficult to completely de-link from government influence (whilst also maintaining enough openness and funding…), and I could see people for whom free speech is one of their primary political goals being very nervous about this. Which is why I wouldn’t use my magic wand to do this until I’ve done the other things on my list :joy:

2 Likes