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Friday, January 4, 2008

Bloomberg to Press for Electoral Reform

January 4, 2007 (GBN News): Mayor Michael Bloomberg may or may not be running for President, but he nevertheless intends to have a major influence on the process. GBN News has learned that at a University of Oklahoma conference next week, the Mayor plans to unveil his own blueprint for electoral reform. The plan would be modeled on his NY City school reforms and would radically change the way the country elects its Chief Executive.

The central aspect of the plan, according to GBN News sources, would replace the current system of public voting with one in which candidates would be evaluated largely through high stakes testing. This would have the benefit, Mr. Bloomberg will argue, of dispensing with the traditional partisan campaigning, and would instead involve candidates taking a series of test prep courses. Primary elections would no longer be necessary. Instead, preliminary rounds of testing would eliminate “failing” candidates, setting the stage for a November showdown between the two highest performing contenders that remain.

Election Day would also change drastically. Voters would stay home, saving on energy and travel costs, while the candidates spend the day taking a final, winner-takes-all test. Their scores will be evaluated by computer, and the contenders will receive a letter grade, A through F. 30% of the grade will be based on the actual test score, and 55% will involve the candidates’ progress since the previous test (known in political circles as “momentum”). The final 15% will be based on voter surveys, but these will be distributed only after the winner is announced.

The Mayor is said to have bristled at the suggestion that voters should receive their surveys before the election. “We value input from our citizens,” Mr. Bloomberg was said to have told associates. “We need to have them think they have a say in what happens. But the proof of the pudding is in the data, and we will have all the data we need to choose a leader who will be beyond partisanship, and who will be test prepped to address the fundamental challenges facing the nation.”

The Mayor’s proposed changes would not take effect until after the 2008 election, so just like his educational reforms, they will not affect him personally. Thus, should Mr. Bloomberg choose to run this year, he can still gain the Presidency the “old fashioned way”: by buying it.


Anonymous said...

Of course, this would also mean a longer day and year for the candidate and that they couldn't respond to an attack on them. Remember, due to that marvelous 2005 contract, teachers can no longer grieve letters.
The only good thing about Bloomy ever winning the presidency is that he would take Joel Klein along with him as US Secretary of Education.

Gary Babad said...

Who, along with Bloomberg, will win "Presidential Control" of the nation's schools, thus rendering the new Chancellor and Mayor, not to mention the country's parents and teachers, utterly powerless.

NYC Educator said...

But you gotta admit he bought that election fair and square. It wasn't like his opponent got more votes than him, or his brother ran the election, or they refused to count votes, or someone in his daddy's supreme court cast the deciding vote.

Actually his election was a phenomenon. There was 9/11, after which Rudy was elevated from bum to saint. There was Mark Green, perpetually shooting himself in the foot. And, of course, there was all that money.

It's tougher to buy the White House, though. Even with all that money, look what GW had to do.

Gary Babad said...

And there was Rudy trying to postpone the election right after 9/11, contending that only he could save us from certain annihilation at the hands of the terrorists. If he had his way, I wonder if he would have turned Rikers into another Guantanamo.

As for this year, I'm afraid it may have gotten easier to buy the White House given the weak real estate market.

NYC Educator said...

Rudy's postponement (and Mark Green's preposterous support of it) wasn't what surprised me the most. It was his rationale--that he needed to keep up the morale of NYPD and FDNY.

By that time, they had gone for years without a contract. NYPD, originally one of Rudy's most staunch backers, had actually begun demonstrating against him. I met a firefighter who talked a blue streak worse than I'd ever heard about him.

I believe during one of the biggest boom times in city history, Rudy rewarded city employees with a substantial 0% raise. That was a big morale booster for all of us, if I recall correctly.

Andrew Sullivan says voting for Rudy is like voting for Putin.