Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Road to Clean Elections

In the U.S. candidates for office are routinely bought and paid for. For years and years U.S. Presidential campaigns, and especially news media coverage, have been more about who raised the most money, and not about issues and reaching voters. In the 2000 election cycle on the Republican side the candidates were clearly chosen based on their money raising, with George W. Bush having a home-grown advantage in that regard. This is dirty, and it leads to politicians who owe favors to the lobbyists who've brought them their money. When a politician meets with a lobbyist who is pushing for some legislation etc, that politician knows that in 2 yrs when its time to run again they may have to go to that lobbyist for more campaign money.

Is this democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people? Nope. It's pandering.

If we are going to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, the election system must change. There's a number of important changes, and election finance is one of them.

Election finance reform to remove any form of private donation may be the vital change to make. If a candidate takes any private donations, the candidate may feel some obligations to the donors. Possibly only by removing private donations will candidates be free to actually represent the people they are supposed to represent. Otherwise they are, as today, clearly feeling pressured to represent corporate interests because they're the ones with the money.

This video covers a "clean election" system put into place in Arizona and Maine. The same system is on the ballot in California as Proposition 89. is the home of the California ballot initiative. is doing fund raising for proposition 89. is the national movement.

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