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Why we use written contracts everywhere, but not doing it for the most important thing? Wouldn't it be wise to prepare a contract with all the possible questions with check marks or empty fields to fill for the candidate. It would be hard to answer them all, but if you want to become a president you should be very educated and have knowledge in range of topics(history, sociology, foreign policy, economics, etc). The questions whould ideally include every possible decision that a president should make in his term. If an elected president breaks the contract, he will be legitimately impeached or sued and arrested if needed. This way there would be no fools and demagogues. Now we just naively believe their beatiful words and they almost never do as they promised.

Also it would be wise to test candidates if they capable for empathy. I'm sure psychiatrists can do it. Current test for empathy(in US) I guess, not sure, it's Bible oath, which is naive.

Edit: This question although similar, not exactly a duplicate. Duplicate is when everything matches. The other question asks for legitimacy and financial liability of such an agreement, this question proposes such an agreement with it's specific set of features. Also consider agc's explanation in a comment section.

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  • Also, you may want to check politics.stackexchange.com/questions/437/… and politics.stackexchange.com/questions/64/…
    – SJuan76
    Jan 15, 2018 at 16:36
  • politics.stackexchange.com/questions/18283/… might also be of interest, but isn't a duplicate.
    – user9389
    Jan 15, 2018 at 16:40
  • I don't understand what you mean by "contract". A contract is an agreement between two persons, yet that isn't what is implied here. I don't understand how you imagine the process of "every possible decision" being decided on. You then complain about fools and demagogues. Then this question becomes too broad, by also asking about a "test for empathy". And then going on to something about anarchy - not sure how this is relevant. Try to phrase a single clear question, that can be answered. The linked duplicates seem to answer most of your question.
    – James K
    Jan 15, 2018 at 20:42
  • 1) See e.g. the Republican "Contract with America" from a few election cycles back. 2) Why would empathy be a necessary, or even desirable, qualification for a President?
    – jamesqf
    Jan 15, 2018 at 20:47
  • @James K, maybe it's not a contract but sort of it. Or it is contract between the people who elected him and the president. Is it too much difficult to understand? I said IDEALLY every possible desicion, but in practice it can be most of his/her desicions. I don't think it's too much of a thing. History can also help with this. About anarchy, you may be quite right. I have read the duplicates there are good answers, but i prefer not to mark this question as a duplicate, as those questions written in their own different way.
    – lava-lava
    Jan 15, 2018 at 21:35

2 Answers 2

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You seem to be lamenting the fact that we don't have higher-quality people in public office. But if you were to make a potential president sign a contract, who gets to decide the terms of that contract? Who gets to decide what their agenda and priorities should be? Who decides what is right and what is wrong for a president to do? And who decides what the punishment should be if he/she violates those terms?

The answer to those questions is the law. The fact of the matter is that there already is a contract that a country's president must abide by. It's called a Constitution. Every country has one.*

The president of a country is an elected official, and is subordinate to the rule of law (otherwise he would be a dictator, not a president). If you want to change how the president behaves, or outline specific qualities he/she must have in order to qualify for that office, you have to change the law. How you go about doing that depends on the country.

In the United States, the qualifications to be president are outlined in Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Can you add the provisions you propose? Sure you can! You just amend the constitution to spell it out, and there's a process for doing that. Other countries have a similar process.

This is how democracy works. If you want your leaders to act a certain way, use whatever power you can muster with your fellow citizens and pressure your leaders to do things you want them to do. If you don't like the leader you get, wait a few years and then participate in your country's semi-annual coup d' etat that we westerners call an "election". Engage in public discourse. Convince your fellow countrymen that there is a better way and let them decided if they want to believe you or vote the same way you do.

The whole point of a government of, by, and for the people is so that we don't have autocracies that rule on their own personal whims. We don't always live up to those ideals, but they are the ones we strive for. History has shown us that, even with its many flaws, it's still the best system yet devised.


*All countries have a supreme body of law, which may or may not be called a Constitution per se, and may not be contained within a single document.

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  • Is there a way in democracy(in US, for example) to dismantle democracy?
    – lava-lava
    Jan 15, 2018 at 22:32
  • @lava-lava; Sure. It was already done once with the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the current U.S. Constitution. There is some scholarly debate about whether or not the Constitution was actually legal under the Articles, but the point is that the old government was completely dismantled in favor of a new one. If you wanted to replace the American democracy with a Soviet-style communist state, Article 5 has a process by which you could do that. It's self-contradictory logic but technically speaking it could be done.
    – Wes Sayeed
    Jan 15, 2018 at 22:55
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Beyond the absurdity of trying to write a contract which could serve as an algorithm for making arbitrary presidential decisions, the US constitution states that officers of the US can be impeached only for "high crimes and misdemeanors". While no Supreme Court decisions have clarified what counts as a high crime or misdemeanor (on the contrary, they've ruled that they can't), breach of contract is not a crime, only a situation which can lead to a civil action. It's unlikely that 2/3 of the Senate would be willing to ignore that part of the Constitution.

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