Phil was walking in Times Square when he was stopped on the street by an interviewer asking a question for a late night comic. These segments typically show how silly and dumb the common man is. The United States government was currently in a shut down because of issues with debt. All higher political leaders were blaming each other for the crisis.
“Sir, I want to ask you a question for the camera!”
“Sure,” said Phil.
“How did the government shutdown REALLY happen?”
“Easy, our planet doesn’t have a random, qualified democracy like there is on the planet Byrian.”
Phil caught himself, his face showed surprise.
“…. uh … um a planet I READ about in a SCI FI novel.”
The reporter’s eyes widened when he caught that Phil was lying.
“Anyway, that planet assesses the strengths of every leader of an institution who is ACTUALLY a leader, be it a company owner, city manager, non-profit owner – whatever. These standards include a battery of assessment tools that we already have on this planet.”
Phil rubbed his hand through his brown hair.
“These assessments include 360 feedback from subordinates and co-workers, IQ tests, emotional intelligence scores, strategic prowess ethical conduct etc. Anyway, in this novel, each leader is scored and tracked concerning these abilities and the results are tabulated into a ‘fit to rule score’ regarding public office.”
“Interesting,” said the reporter.
“So the planet OVERALL has better leaders because of these feedback methods. THEN, once every two years, if a person wants to lead in government and run as a candidate, they can submit their name and their Fit To Rule score to a lottery. The jobs they qualify for align with their fit to rule score. If you don’t get picked to run by the lottery, you can try next time.”
The reporter chirped up, “The better score the higher the office they can run for.”
“Right, and different jobs require different types of leaders. So this planet would get to elect George Bush senior but dipshit sonny boy never gets into the leadership gene pool.”
The choked a laugh.
“Anyway, if they win the lottery and choose to actually run, then the rest of the process for the highest offices works like a reality TV show where the citizens vote off the leaders depending on how well they lead in the weekly scenario. They also have commentary of people who actually used to work with the candidates, friends and foes.”
“So the people judge leaders in REAL TIME and see their skills in action.”
“Brilliant! This undercuts special interests and only puts quality leaders in charge! How do we do this?”
“Getting this on television is a start …”
“Not gonna happen,” said the reporter. “But it’s a neat idea, so how would this NOT work? I mean don’t you miss out on people like Winston Churchill who was dysfunctional but a powerful force for good?”
“Not at all, crises leadership is different than status quo leadership, and that reflects in the score. And the people know what kind of leader they need IF they are educated in critical thinking and the public education system creates literate citizens.”
Phil paused for emphasis.
“ALSO … on this planet, all the voters must pass a ‘Fit to Vote’ test to show they understand the issues they are voting for. This test doesn’t test opinions but rather comprehension of what the issues actually are and the stances the candidates are actually taking.”
“So no winning because a candidate has a pretty face and looks like a leader,” said the reporter.
“But of course there is always some degree of stupid in any system,” said Phil. “You can never get rid of stupid entirely.”
“I’m going to show this clip to a writer friend of mine who studies political science and writes novels as a hobby.”
“I think that may be helpful to him,” said Phil.
The camera man put down the camera.
“What’s the name of that Sci-Fi book again?”
“I’m jacking with you. It’s something I just came up with. Why don’t you tell your friend he should WRITE that book?”
“Funny, I knew you were lying. I thought for a second you were from another planet.”
They laughed. Phil checked his A-11 wrist watch. It was 10:24. He waved.