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Hot Topic: If elected, I solemnly promise . . .

Most New Hampshire residents are probably familiar with the state’s age-old “Pledge” against broad-based taxes. We recently asked Monitor readers to compose some 21st-century pledges for would-be elected officials. What sort of promises would you really like to hear these days? Below are five more submissions. (Feel free to keep them coming!)

A modest request: no more war

Why not a pledge to behave like grown-ups; a pledge not to project their own guilt onto the opposition; a pledge to care for the most vulnerable and not make poverty a crime; a pledge to end war.



Stop the revolving door

∎ A pledge to leave public office and not return as a paid lobbyist, consultant, attorney, expert or any creative job title that has as part of the job description access to or influence over public policymakers and their staff (including direct and indirect contact). Democracy is not well-served by highly paid former insiders.

∎ A pledge to honor transparency by providing the public with a personal financial statement/tax return and personal failure statement three months before each primary election (flaws and failures are part of the human condition; getting them out of the way up front means candidates can focus on the issues that relate to governing and not personal attacks).

∎ A pledge to end gerrymandering; limit all political contributions to any office to 0.004 of the median income in the fiscal year preceding the election in question; limit contributions to persons with a pulse not persons artificially created by law or science; and limit elected service to no more than 12 consecutive years.



Country first

‘I pledge to put the interests of the Country/State ahead of my political career.” Or phrased another way: “I pledge that the moment that I vote based upon my personal self-interest, I will resign from office.”



A campaign that’s clean, transparent

I pledge to base my positions on issues and responses to my opponents mostly on facts that can be verified.

I pledge to make public the names of all donors to my campaigns.

I pledge, if elected, to support reasonable efforts to reform political campaigns to make money less influ-ential.



A simple vow of self-improvement

How about: “I pledge to act like an adult, not like the spoiled child I have acted like in my first term”?



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