“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton 1887
Perhaps it was true in his day. I do hope we are a little better off now.
“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it” – William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister  1770

Yet people who get into power keep trying for that absolute power…. Why is that? (No, I’m not trying to say they all do it.) Perhaps part of the problem is that someone who goes for that position either wants to solve problems or craves power. It isn’t even close to a 50/50 situation, but it only takes one really nasty person to ruin life for everyone and the reputations of a lot of other honest people.

Someone recently recommended to me that we should treat political positions like an assignment to jury duty:
  1. Drawn from the hat (computer generated random pick).
  2. Limited time job.
  3. You can’t give yourself a raise or a stupendous pension (though a prorated amount based on the time spent doing the duty would be just and fair).
  4. You are responsible for your behavior the same way everyone else is.
  5. You can only do it so many times in your life (for example: No more than three terms regardless of the office held).
I rather like the idea. Rules 1 and 5 would prevent anyone from staying in office by hacking the system or paying bribes for votes. It would cut down on so much corruption. I’m sure that corruption would still happen, but a major up-side to this system is that we wouldn’t have to listen to people swearing they will do this and that, while knowing their promises might be well meaning, but impossible or  a flat out lie (a lie, either because they really don’t believe in the cause and have no intention of following through or because they know full well the position has no such power or ability to accomplish the feat).