Having people vote during very narrow windows of time for their political leaders makes for a system that is too susceptible to various forms of manipulations for the express purpose of yielding short-term gains, enough to potentially influence the outcomes of those elections. Unfortunately, since traditional elections are intrinsically people- and personality-based, candidates and politicians capitalize on the emotions and gullibility of voters is these inherently short-term contests.
It may be better to have a completely new and more stable way of communicating the will of the people to the leadership of a society. This proposal would consist of the requirement for every eligible voter to be required to take a comprehensive, standardized survey every 5 years (20% of the voting population per year) that would ask that voter a series of questions regarding their position on virtually every significant politically relevant policy issue. These questionnaires could be a few hundred questions long and could ask the questions in a random way to minimize the conscious or unconscious influences that a preceding question or series of questions would have on the next. Each of these questions would be reviewed and approved by a representative group of people, including historians, academics, politicians, etc., so that the questions are as unbiased as possible. Such questionnaires could be revised, if necessary, every year on January 1.
People who refuse to participate in these surveys would be fined $250 upon the survey due date. An additional $250 ($500 total) would be charged upon the 1st anniversary of failing to submit this survey, and $750 total would be charged upon the second anniversary, etc.
People would take these surveys in a way that distributes the load throughout the year, much like Driver’s License renewal systems have people’s deadlines spread throughout the year.
Policy implementations should reflect, in large part, the will of the people as communicated through these surveys. However, the government should not automatically allow the will of the people as indicated in these surveys to be implemented so that there could exist a check to overrule the will of the people, when necessary. (We obviously must guard against the majority of the population wanting to segregate populations based on color, or round-up a segment of the population based of race or religion.) These survey results would be published every year, of course without any personal identifying participant information.
Politicians should always refer to this statistical database to inform their policy objectives, not that they need to automatically be guided conclusively by such results, but it is their obligation to know where the population stands on any of the various issues.