Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Invention Convention: Political Standards

        Here’s another invention by the remarkable Clara Wells. Although this “invention” is not technological, it is interesting to look at while we celebrate the centennial of Woodrow Wilson's presidency.
        The drawing below is a patent submitted by Miss Wells outlining a new way of electing, or choosing, political leaders. Miss Wells believed that this system would be more just because it favors leaders with academic prowess instead of those who have enough money to campaign. With all the talk of campaign finance reform today, this seems particularly relevant. Interestingly, Wilson is still the only president to have an earned PhD. So what do you think? Should we hold our potential leaders to a higher academic standard? Which side of the picture do you think better resembles the election process today?
        You’ll find a translation of Clara’s description underneath the picture.

Invention of Miss Clara L. Wells
New System of Electing Leaders

My invention consists in the substitution for current elections (achieved with votes often obtained with money or advantageous promises, and where jealousy predominates creating hatred and bad actions), of a system regulated by which education will decide the choice of leaders in all careers. Thus, young people finishing a course of study ending in all the regular degrees of advancement, having successfully passed all the exams necessary for advancing from one school to a superior institution, in graduating from the highest institution will become leaders, functionaries.

The highest positions will be given to those who graduate at the head of their class, others will receive tasks and appointments based on their grades. And, as each year students graduate from the highest institutions, in the same manner each branch of politics and of public life as a whole will be filled by persons having already studied the work, and as prepared as possible to fulfill their duties. To be sure of their success and of their fidelity in important positions, exams will be taken at fixed dates, administered by the professors of the universities in approved committees.

The left half of the drawing represents the manner in which elections take place today and the right half, as they should take place. We see the square of a city decked out in flags (on the left) and stalls for selling drinks (pop, beer, lemonade, etc.) and a crowd of men tended by persons offering money, liquor, presents to obtain votes while women in kiosks smile at them while offering prepared ballots for the desired candidate. At the rear and in the foreground several men are drunk and are fighting.
The second half of the drawing shows an university on the stairs of which students of the graduating class receive, from the hands of the professors (in academic costume), titled diplomas: president, vice-president, senator, minister, ambassador, consul, etc., while around them a crowd applauds them for their talents and their work.

Ste. Colombe, Rhône, Miss Clara Louisa Wells, Deposited February 1919

We would love to know what you think about this system of choosing political leaders! Please leave us a comment.

No comments :

Post a Comment