It has become painfully apparent that many of our elected officials either do not have the basic knowledge or choose not to display a proficiency in the topics in which they vote on. As the actions taken by our elected officials can have large and sometimes devastating consequences on our daily lives, it is only reasonable that they demonstrate a working knowledge of the issues that they will legislate. Why not require candidates to complete a general knowledge exam. This exam will not disqualify the candidate; however it will provide an overview of their knowledge and skills.
The exam should be created and graded by a bipartisan group of educators who have been recognized for proficiency in their subjects. The results of the exams will be published on the internet and provided in mailed voting pamphlets.
In order to add a local flavor, states can add more questions to the base federal version but they cannot remove questions. The exam should include various forms of questions on the following topics:
History including the various types of governments and how they differ from our own, constitutional knowledge, global historic events and trends, past political events and theories
Economics including Business Cycle, Supply and Demand, Inflation and Deflation, Deficit and Debt, Outsourcing, and Taxation
Science including Biology, Sex Education, Criminology, Climate Science, Psychology, Evolution and the Scientific Method including the differences between hypothesis, theory, and fact
Obviously this would be an uphill battle to get this enacted but we can't expect anything to change if we don't start the discussion. For now I've started a White House petition: http://wh.gov/vzEn