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Offlineunbeliever
Yo Daddy!
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Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 5,158
Loc: Gallifrey
Last seen: 8 years, 9 months
Campaign Overhaul
    #3276683 - 10/25/04 09:25 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

This is just something I put togther, stemming from a conversation I had with my wife on a road trip to California recently. What I'm looking for is constructive criticism because I intend to send some version of this to my representative (John McCain).

-------------------
Campaign Restructuring

I. Removal of Corporate Contributions
II. Reduction of Personal Contributions
III. Federal Campaign Structure
IV. Federal Funding
V. De-Marginalizing the 3rd Parties
VI. Instant Run-Off and Condorcet Voting
VII. The Electoral College Problem
VIII. Conclusion

I. Removal of Corporate Contributions

In today's political arena there is a serious problem with class distinction in regards to how much attention is given by the government and politicians. Instead of just poor, middle class and the rich however there is another player. Corporations. With more money, resources and connections than all but the wealthiest individuals, who only got their money from those same corporations, big business is the major league player, playing against the rest of us little leaguers. Wielding an army of lawyers, lobbyists and political puppets there is little they can not accomplish. It is no surprise that is their interests that are being met. Regulations being cut back, tax exemptions growing, a blind eye turned to their destruction of the environment. Don't forget the exploitive out-sourcing of American jobs to 3rd world countries.

The best way to rebalance the scales of Justice and to loosen the corporate stranglehold on our democratic process is to disallow any form of contribution to political campaigns. Whether it's money, time, resources, guest speakers or what have you. If the corporations have a problem they want addressed, they can write their congressperson like the rest of us.

II. Reduction of Personal Contributions

The same luxurious attention recieved by corporations is also lavished on the wealthy. They have the power and influence to bend the President's ear over their private concerns. They have the favors to call in to their pet politicians, people who had depended on them for money and influence. The recent limits on private donation have helped, but there are ways around that. Money donated through family members and friends adds up quickly and there are always the intangible contributions: influence, resources, and etc.

To a certain degree this is an extension of the corporate influence and it is just as bad. The working-class poor can not afford to contribute to their political interests on even a singular basis, let alone across the board for any politician they support. This is a disparity in what should be an equitable democractic process. In order to correct that disparity, personal contributions should be limited to either a flat rate for your party affiliation, or as I would prefer, be completely cut out along with the corporate contributions.

III. Federal Campaign Structure

After the first two points we suddenly have a vaccum of money and resources to fill in order for political candidates to communicate their message to the voters. The way we fill this is to federally subsidize the campaigns. It would begin with a tiered process of gaining support and meeting certain federal financing goals. The candidates would begin at the local level, gaining support in the form of signatures. There would be as-yet-to-be-determined goals, the achievement of which would put them in different categories of federal funding.

Part of the federal funding would include tv and radio spots, most likely on some form of public access channels and stations. Candidates would no longer be hiring multi-million dollar advertising specialists to create flashy pieces of spin. There would need to be some sort of impartial media group created and federally funded that would handle the technical aspects of the radio and television ads. The focus would be more on content and message and less on flashy images without real substance.

The beauty of this is that it would put all candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, on equal footing. They would all be afforded the same amount of air time for their campaign advertisements. They would all be included in the televised debates. The dissemination of differing ideas would be a great thing for our country. Voters would have a chance to see their own beliefs challenged and met by the candidates they support. I also believe a great many more issues would be addressed. No longer would we have just two parties, where the candidates might tacitly agree to avoid certain issues like say, the environment.

IV. Federal Funding

The question of how to fund this is pretty simple. Taxes. Anathema though that may seem to some people, especially conservatives, I suspect that in the interest of saving our democratic process, most people would be willing to shoulder a meager tax burden. Indeed, it would be a case of taxation for representation.

V. De-Marginalizing the 3rd Parties

Another vital aspect to restoring democracy to it's intended state of equity and vibrancy is finding a way to de-marginalize the 3rd parties. The Greens, the Libertarians, the Constitutional Party, the Labor Party, the Reform Party and etc. Diversity is a strength and providing real choice to the voters would strengthen our country and help de-polarize it from the current two party system we have now. Many voters feel pushed away by both the Republican and Democratic parties as each party some how manages to drift further to their extremes and yet ultimately provide no real difference when they are in power. When a President is either able or not to put through their policies based on which party controls the congress, there is a problem Our country and the world in general has grown far too complex and dynamic for there to be only two real options for voters.

VI. Instant Run-Off and Condorcet Voting

One of the best ways to jump-start the above process of making our democractic system more inclusive is to change our voting procedure. Instant Run-Off Voting and Condorcet Voting are similar systems, both of which can help de-marginalize 3rd parties by allowing people to show their support for those 3rd parties. While these systems, especially Condorcet, cater to the majority rules idea the main benefit would be from letting the people see the level of support and interest in other parties. This would give them more credibility and quite likely prompt people to investigate the non-traditional parties, in the process becoming more generally informed.

VII. The Electoral College Problem

State rights are important. It allows different areas of the country, different communities, to interpret their idea of freedom as they see fit, within the constrains of the Constitution. I think this is an important concept and it should be maintained, it provides more flexibility and diversity for the country. However, the electoral college is fast becoming out-moded and even harmful. In today's world of tele-communications, the internet and a generally higher level of education, the voters should no longer be disenfranchised by the electoral college. It does nothing but increase voter apathy and disallusionment. It is not healthy for our democractic process.

With the adoption of either IRV or Condorcet Voting, the Electoral College would become even more pointless. At such a point it should be gotten rid of entirely.

VIII. Conclusion

Our country faces a daunting task. A complete over-haul of our democratic system is no small matter, but it is an extremely vital one. The two party system is simply not flexible enough and it is choking the life out of our country. There has got to be change.


--------------------
Happiness is a warm gun...


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Offlineunbeliever
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Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 5,158
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Re: Campaign Overhaul [Re: unbeliever]
    #3278778 - 10/26/04 11:26 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Guess it must be perfect! :wink:


--------------------
Happiness is a warm gun...


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 5 years, 3 months
Re: Campaign Overhaul [Re: unbeliever]
    #3279904 - 10/26/04 04:32 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

unbeliever said:
This is just something I put togther, stemming from a conversation I had with my wife on a road trip to California recently. What I'm looking for is constructive criticism because I intend to send some version of this to my representative (John McCain).

-------------------
Campaign Restructuring

I. Removal of Corporate Contributions
II. Reduction of Personal Contributions
III. Federal Campaign Structure
IV. Federal Funding
V. De-Marginalizing the 3rd Parties
VI. Instant Run-Off and Condorcet Voting
VII. The Electoral College Problem
VIII. Conclusion

I. Removal of Corporate Contributions

In today's political arena there is a serious problem with class distinction in regards to how much attention is given by the government and politicians. Instead of just poor, middle class and the rich however there is another player. Corporations. With more money, resources and connections than all but the wealthiest individuals, who only got their money from those same corporations, big business is the major league player, playing against the rest of us little leaguers. Wielding an army of lawyers, lobbyists and political puppets there is little they can not accomplish. It is no surprise that is their interests that are being met. Regulations being cut back, tax exemptions growing, a blind eye turned to their destruction of the environment. Don't forget the exploitive out-sourcing of American jobs to 3rd world countries.

The best way to rebalance the scales of Justice and to loosen the corporate stranglehold on our democratic process is to disallow any form of contribution to political campaigns. Whether it's money, time, resources, guest speakers or what have you. If the corporations have a problem they want addressed, they can write their congressperson like the rest of us.




+ I would take away the bit about outsourcing. It isn't relevant. Outsourcing is only a topic because it is a political year. The US gains more than it loses by not restricting the movement of capital, be it human capital or otherwise. Here is an informative article on that by Walter Williams:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams1.asp

+ Try to make it more value neutral and bipartisan oriented, especially if you are sending this to John McCain. Your barb about the wealthy making all their money from corporations stinks of class envy. We will always have wealthy people, and they will always have the power that comes with wealth. You are seeking a way to make the system fairer and limit excess and corruption.

+ Throw in conservative arguments for limiting corporate entanglement with government. The tax breaks these companies get are not uniform or fair to all companies. Instead of making it Corporations vs. The Litte Guy, try making it Corporations vs. other Corporations and especially other small businesses. We live in a nation that espouses both free trade and free enterprise. When the government favors one company over another it is not capitalism, but statism. You can make an argument that it is unconstitutional and illegal. Here is an article from the Cato institute on that:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-9.html

+ Hit the tax breaks that corporations receive hard. If our system was uniform and fair their would be no need for lobbyists. My own perspective is that all corporate taxes should be abolished, and if that happened you would see a large decrease in lobbying inside the beltway. I don?t expect you to hold or espouse my beliefs on corporate taxes, but the point is that if everyone played by the same rules they wouldn?t need a lobbyist to curry favor.

+ You also have to realize that good reasons exist for corporate-government relations. Many of our legislators are career politicians. They are successful at getting elected, and many times not anything else. They are not economists. They do not have intimate knowledge of individual industry. When our legislators make bills concerning energy infrastructure, they have a legitimate need to consult people in the energy sector. When they make bills that affect automobiles, the have to consult the car manufacturers. It is a reality that can?t be ignored. What is needed in the corporate-government discourse is transparency ( among other things), but you can?t close your eyes and just wish it would go away.

Quote:


II. Reduction of Personal Contributions

The same luxurious attention received by corporations is also lavished on the wealthy. They have the power and influence to bend the President's ear over their private concerns. They have the favors to call in to their pet politicians, people who had depended on them for money and influence. The recent limits on private donation have helped, but there are ways around that. Money donated through family members and friends adds up quickly and there are always the intangible contributions: influence, resources, and etc.

To a certain degree this is an extension of the corporate influence and it is just as bad. The working-class poor can not afford to contribute to their political interests on even a singular basis, let alone across the board for any politician they support. This is a disparity in what should be an equitable democratic process. In order to correct that disparity, personal contributions should be limited to either a flat rate for your party affiliation, or as I would prefer, be completely cut out along with the corporate contributions.




+ You can limit what people personally give, but as you noted people will at least some find ways around that. If you take out personal contributions entirely, only the rich would be able to run for office without government funding. If you provide and expansion of government funding, you open the door to more corruption. I am in favor of stricter disclosure laws for all people that donate money to political campaigns. Make the information publicly available on the web and easy to find so that people will know what interests are trying to influence their politicians. This will never be an easy subject. 527 groups exacerbate the problem, because they are issue oriented and protected by freedom of speech. If I want to spend 1 million dollars on a campaign to repeal women?s sufferage, nobody can stop me if it is my money and my opinion.

Quote:


III. Federal Campaign Structure

After the first two points we suddenly have a vacuum of money and resources to fill in order for political candidates to communicate their message to the voters. The way we fill this is to federally subsidize the campaigns. It would begin with a tiered process of gaining support and meeting certain federal financing goals. The candidates would begin at the local level, gaining support in the form of signatures. There would be as-yet-to-be-determined goals, the achievement of which would put them in different categories of federal funding.

Part of the federal funding would include tv and radio spots, most likely on some form of public access channels and stations. Candidates would no longer be hiring multi-million dollar advertising specialists to create flashy pieces of spin. There would need to be some sort of impartial media group created and federally funded that would handle the technical aspects of the radio and television ads. The focus would be more on content and message and less on flashy images without real substance.

The beauty of this is that it would put all candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, on equal footing. They would all be afforded the same amount of air time for their campaign advertisements. They would all be included in the televised debates. The dissemination of differing ideas would be a great thing for our country. Voters would have a chance to see their own beliefs challenged and met by the candidates they support. I also believe a great many more issues would be addressed. No longer would we have just two parties, where the candidates might tacitly agree to avoid certain issues like say, the environment.




+ I really don?t want state sanctioned political parties. I think it would be a fairer system if we cut off all federal funding to political parties. The system in place benefit?s the big boys, and any new system would be manipulated by politicians to favor the status quo. Once you create an institution, it is ripe and only a matter of time before it and you get raped. Tread lightly and consider this carefully.

Quote:


IV. Federal Funding

The question of how to fund this is pretty simple. Taxes. Anathema though that may seem to some people, especially conservatives, I suspect that in the interest of saving our democratic process, most people would be willing to shoulder a meager tax burden. Indeed, it would be a case of taxation for representation.





+ That is quite an assumption. Don?t take my taxes! My kids need the money for college.

Quote:


V. De-Marginalizing the 3rd Parties

Another vital aspect to restoring democracy to it's intended state of equity and vibrancy is finding a way to de-marginalize the 3rd parties. The Greens, the Libertarians, the Constitutional Party, the Labor Party, the Reform Party and etc. Diversity is a strength and providing real choice to the voters would strengthen our country and help de-polarize it from the current two party system we have now. Many voters feel pushed away by both the Republican and Democratic parties as each party some how manages to drift further to their extremes and yet ultimately provide no real difference when they are in power. When a President is either able or not to put through their policies based on which party controls the congress, there is a problem Our country and the world in general has grown far too complex and dynamic for there to be only two real options for voters.




+ You have to consider the thought that most people support the major political parties in some fashion. A reason that other parties are marginalized is because of lack of support. In a way that is democracy. Maybe if third parties got their message out it would be different. The internet and the information age are helping the market find alternative solutions where parties can get their platforms out. 15 years ago it would be virtually impossible for every American to get a copy of the Libertarian Party Platform. Today it is as easy as point and click. The future is bright for third party candidates in ways that seemed impossible before.

Quote:


VI. Instant Run-Off and Condorcet Voting

One of the best ways to jump-start the above process of making our democractic system more inclusive is to change our voting procedure. Instant Run-Off Voting and Condorcet Voting are similar systems, both of which can help de-marginalize 3rd parties by allowing people to show their support for those 3rd parties. While these systems, especially Condorcet, cater to the majority rules idea the main benefit would be from letting the people see the level of support and interest in other parties. This would give them more credibility and quite likely prompt people to investigate the non-traditional parties, in the process becoming more generally informed.





+ These ideas are very appealing to me.

Quote:


VII. The Electoral College Problem

State rights are important. It allows different areas of the country, different communities, to interpret their idea of freedom as they see fit, within the constrains of the Constitution. I think this is an important concept and it should be maintained, it provides more flexibility and diversity for the country. However, the electoral college is fast becoming out-moded and even harmful. In today's world of tele-communications, the internet and a generally higher level of education, the voters should no longer be disenfranchised by the electoral college. It does nothing but increase voter apathy and disallusionment. It is not healthy for our democractic process.

With the adoption of either IRV or Condorcet Voting, the Electoral College would become even more pointless. At such a point it should be gotten rid of entirely.





+ I want to keep the electoral college. If the dead people in Chicago stuff the ballot box they may be able to swing Illinois, I don?t want Mayor Daily to be able to swing an entire election. Talk to me about disenfranchisment if that happens. The electoral college provides checks and balances, and I want to keep it.

Quote:


VIII. Conclusion

Our country faces a daunting task. A complete over-haul of our democratic system is no small matter, but it is an extremely vital one. The two party system is simply not flexible enough and it is choking the life out of our country. There has got to be change.




And if I may make a another critical note, your finance reform said nothing of trial lawyers and unions. The teachers union alone has a heavy influence on both our political system and the way that our children are educated. Trial lawyers protect themselves and their fat payouts with generous gifts to our Congressmen. By leaving out segments that may fight for your side your analysis lacks a bit of fairness and impartiality.

My solution is to abolish the IRS and all corporate income tax. Then people won?t have much to lobby over, and undue influence of our political system will be minimized by slowing the river of funds. To gain the revenue to run Government we could switch to a consumption tax.

Changing our system won?t be easy. My views probably aren?t what you are looking for. Take what you want and throw away the rest. I doubt I helped much but I thought I would give you my own insight. Good luck to you


--------------------
Tastes just like chicken


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Amazon Shop: Scales

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