Election Reforms I'd Like To See

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Sky Dancer, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Real campaign finance reform means what? You want to limit how much money candidate can raise? How much they can spend? Do you realize that limits on campaign spending never take into account the amount of money an incumbent candidate can spend on from his office? Why do you want to make things worse by making it harder to get new people in?

    Tell you what, I am willing to trade you finance reform for term limits.

    The debates are not controlled by the government, so any ideas I have about them are irrelevant, because what you are discussion is government actions.

    Do you have any evidence that the elections anywhere in this country are not honest?
     
  2. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Already required at the federal level.
     
  3. Steelplate
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    Steelplate Bluesman

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    publicly funded elections....One pool of money per position.....President, Senate, Representative.

    Each pool of money will be distributed equally amongst legitimate candidates. Any discrepencies will be investigated and their campaigns will be suspended pending the outcome of that investigation. Those found guilty of manipulation will be prosecuted.

    Let's get the influence of Corporate, Union, and other special interests out of our elections and our government. We need our elected representation to be for The American People again....not for whoever greases the cogs in their campaign machine the most.
     
  4. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    The biggest dysfunction I see with our election process is the "lesser-of-two-evils" mindset. The most fundamental structural cause of this, apart from deliberate manipulation of voters and the media, is the winner-take-all, plurality voting scheme that we use. We can, and should, replace it with something more effective. Approval voting, the various run-off systems, or rank-voting systems would all be vast improvements.

    Sadly, this isn't a "sexy" topic and, instead, we are flooded with proposals that are designed to give government even more control to manipulate the democratic will of the people. In the end, the existing powers-that-be are happy with the status quo. It will take some serious hell raising to get anything changed that will benefit voters over the bankers and corporations pulling the strings.
     
  5. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    I can't imagine a scenario where creating more centralized control over election funding would do anything but give more advantage to those who are good at centralized control (corporations, unions, and other power blocs).

    The idea of giving equal amounts of money to all "legitimate" candidates is nonsensical. The entire question we're trying to answer with the campaigning process is who the "legitimate" candidates are. It'd be like passing a law that we can only vote for "good" candidates.
     
  6. Steelplate
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    Steelplate Bluesman

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    Well, I disagree. I understand what you are saying, as a Libertarian...you are probably concerned that your chosen candidate would not be considered "legitimate". But have no fear, Libertarians, Democratic Socialists, Green Party, etc. would all be represented. Think about it.....if they were all on equal financial footing, their voices wouldn't be drowned out by "the big two".

    This is why guys like your man Paul never have a chance. You have to hope for a fundamental change in the voting public for a Libertarian to have a fighting chance at the Presidency....and frankly, that's not going to happen. Plus, with all the candidates having an equal(and BUDGETED) amount of dollars.....They will have to be more wise and frugal with those dollars to make those funds last throughout the election process.

    That means that "We the People" won't be bombarded with ridiculous and redundant advertising a full year before the general election. I would think that Nationally televised debates would become the focal point of the Campaign process, rather than a crap load of smear ads that really do nothing other than demonize the opposition.

    I think that Primaries would be problematic. Perhaps for the Primaries, we could keep the system we have now...but excess money would go into the pool after the Primaries are over... The details would need to be ironed out, but I feel strongly that the American people would be better Represented this way.
     
  7. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    What makes a candidate legitimate?
     
  8. Steelplate
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    Steelplate Bluesman

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    Chosen by the people of their respective legally recognized parties through the primary process. If you want a legitimate, competitive third (or more) party(ies)...this is about the only way to do it.
     
  9. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Who says? And who is included in "etc."? If it is existing government deciding who will be considered as "legitimate" candidates, then I think I have plenty to fear. Maybe I'm too cynical, or lacking in imagination, but I'd like to know who will be deciding what a 'legitimate party' is and how that would be implemented. How would the system to decide who is legitimate, and who is not, remain free of exactly the same political pressures corrupting our government presently?

    And what about outside groups that wanted to spend money on behalf of a candidate or party, would their spending be included in the total, or even allowed? Would there be a dedicated police force assigned to silence this kind of promotion? It's hard to imagine how you can implement any meaningful controls on campaign spending without serious freedom of speech issues.

    I've thought about it quite a lot. And I can appreciate where you're coming from. It's certainly not ideal to have big money and special interest groups deciding for us who the 'legitimate' candidates are, but replacing that dynamic with government bureaucracy sounds like something even worse.

    Seriously, who decides what constitutes a "legally recognized party"? There would have to be some fairly stringent standards, right? And such standards would be decided by a vested political apparatus with strong motivations to squelch unwanted competition.

    Without such standards, if every comer truly gets the same funds, how is that any better? Do you really want to see the American Nazi Party, or Lyndon LaRouche, or the Westboro Baptist Church getting the same share of public funds as the Democrats or the Republicans, or "legitimate" third parties like the Green Party or the Libertarian Party?
     
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  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    There you go again, using the government, incumbents, to determine who can run against the incumbents, is never going to work. They will always make sure they have the advantage, and restrict the ability of others to challenge them. Why do you think all the campaign finance reform has led to fewer candidates?
     

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