Thursday, April 20, 2006

Campaign Finance Reform

Why should we keep making more and more complicated laws and regulations to try to control campaign financing? All we're really doing is creating a system that's incredibly difficult to oversee and enforce. Let's try something simpler.

Sure, there are parallels between campaign contributions and speech. But there are even stronger parallels between campaign contributions and voting. So why not put similar restrictions on them?

Let's only allow registered voters to make political campaign contributions, and only to those candidates for whom they are eligible to vote. E.g., you could contribute to candidates for your House seat, your two Senate seats, and President. IOW, candidates could only get contributions from their (potential) constituents.

We could allow PACs, but limit them to campaigning on issues, not parties or candidates. PACs could be sponsored by corporations, unions, or other organizations, but could only accept contributions from registered voters (might allow strictly limited donations from sponsor, say $50,000/year for the first 5 years, for seed money). PACs could not donate money to candidates, but could only produce educational materials, including advertisements, clearly labeled as to source.

We should establish a searchable database, accessible over the Web, of congressional votes, indexed by bill name, bill subject, bill title, member name, etc., to allow citizens an easier way to keep track of what their representatives are doing. [idea from Ralph Nader]

We should also establish a searchable database, accessible over the Web, of all Federal government contracts, grants, and other agreements [again from Nader]. Also add Federal Court decisions, and all laws and regulations.

Of course, it may be that the problems with campaign financing can only be solved by eliminating campaigns. Which can probably only be done by eliminating voting.

Maybe we should select those who serve in "elected" positions completely by random, from a pool of all registered voters. Could the results be any worse than they are now? What do you think?


Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

From the pool of voters????? I guess you didn't read my post on "stupid voters".

No, that's not the answer my friend, the real answer is to actually look at who we elect. Sometimes there are actually good candidates, not just those who are the most endorsed. : )

Thu Apr 20, 10:38:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Roger said...

It took a while, but I found your post. And I agree with it. But, like I said, could the results of just selecting people at random be any worse than they are now, when "stupid voters" pick who governs us (and stupid politicians pick who the candidates are)?

While 'Sometimes there are actually good candidates', most of the time it's a matter of the lesser of two evils. In such a case, I usually vote Libertarian, though in the last presidential election I voted for Nader. Even though he's not the person I would want for president, he made more sense than either Bush or Kerry.

If either the Republicans or the Democrats want my support, they have to pull their heads out of their asses, present some thoughtful ideas, and quit lying to everybody. And follow through with what they promised while they were campaigning.

I'm not holding my breath.

Thu Apr 20, 01:05:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Cary said...

Roger -

You've got my vote. Found you through jenn's site, and I have taken the liberty of blogrolling you.

Good post, well thought out, and there may be some ironing of wrinkles but I think it's feasible.

Thu Apr 20, 01:28:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Roger said...

Thanks, cary.

I've got to look into blogrolling. I've seen it on a lot of blogs, and found the site, just have to take the time to read up on it.

Thu Apr 20, 02:53:00 PM CDT  

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