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What if all candidates got the same amount of money?

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posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 03:11 PM
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I was just reading an editiorial by Lou Dobbs at CNN where he is talking about Congress on their way home for a 5 week vacation. With November just around the corner, I imagine many of them will be hard at work raising money.

This got me thinking - what if each candidate got the exact same amount of money and could not ask for any more. No more $1000 dinner fund raisers, no more under the table donations etc. What would be the outcome?

Would we have better candidates? Would those that would normally not run for office decide that they would? In my opinion, I think we would see better candidates run for office, but I also think we would see much larger smear campaigns. But overall, I think it would be something that would be better for the U.S.

Any opinions?




posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 03:19 PM
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I've been saying this for years to friends and family. I'd happily donate $50 of my tax return every year to give to campaign finance so that special interests would be eliminated from the decision making process in American politics. TV stations should be mandated to give 30 second air times to all major candidates in their local areas so that they all get their face time to sell themselves. There was a study done recently that showed that congressman spend more than 50% of their time raising funds so that they can run for reelection after the first year in their term. Every campaign finance bill that has ever been suggested gets immediately shot down. No way no how special interests are going to relinquish their grip on American politics, and the money is their only method of purchasing the votes they need. If that money is no longer needed, then they will lose their ability to manipulate American policy.....not gonna happen.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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Does anyone think we could make a better system ? OF democracy is great but how can we improve it even more and make it coruption free ?



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:03 PM
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Take a bulldozer to K street and eliminate all lobbyists. With no lobbyists in the picture then politicians will be forced to answer to the people that put them in office....us.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:06 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong (ad I'm sure someone will) but the SCOTUS has made a ruling concerning political donation as "free speech" and thus protected. I believe this was related to PACs and "non-profits", but there's about a bazillion ways around that.


Originally posted by imbalanced
Does anyone think we could make a better system ? OF democracy is great but how can we improve it even more and make it coruption free ?


Well of course the US is a representative republic, not a democracy, but that's a bit of a nit-pick probably. I know what you mean. I guess we could make it corruption free if we took the people out of it
, but other than that there's going to be corruption. I believe we can minimize the corruption with involvement. Standing by passively with a "my vote doesn't matter" or "they're all crooks nothing we can do" is not going to alleviate anything.

Read, study, learn, understand, and get involved. When/if we can do that on a grand scale, things will change.

Maybe.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
Read, study, learn, understand, and get involved. When/if we can do that on a grand scale, things will change.


Well put! I may not be a political analyst (heck, not even close), but I try to read up on the issues, become an informed voter (at as much of an informed voter that I can be) and last, but certainly not least, vote.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Escrotumus
I've been saying this for years to friends and family. I'd happily donate $50 of my tax return every year to give to campaign finance so that special interests would be eliminated from the decision making process in American politics.


I absolutely agree with your statements! It would solve a lot of issues if on the financial front all candidates were equal.

Don't think we'll ever see it happen, but it sure would make a huge difference, because right now for the most part - who ever has the most funding wins. They can advertise and campaign and manipulate to the point where by the time it's time to vote, the people voting are really clueless what the truth is.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by Escrotumus
With no lobbyists in the picture then politicians will be forced to answer to the people that put them in office...


Um... without lobbyists there would be nobody to put them in office.


I recently heard it claimed that in the general election, doubling your spending only gets you about 1% more in the vote.

It would probably make a difference in the primaries, but once you get into the general simple party affiliation does a lot.

I'm more interested in seeing everyone have to get the same number of signitures to get on the ballot. Did you know that to get independents on the ballot for every congressional district would take roughly 10 times as many signitures as getting party candidates into the primaries in every district?

If you're a party man you need a pittance to get into the primary and enough money to beat out the others in that primary election.

If you're your own man you've got to do 10 times as much just to qualify to be an underdog!

Imagine if a party candidate had to qualify the same way... THEN an equal financial playing field would make a big difference. Sometimes the one of the two major parties might not make it onto the ballot in certain places. And you know what, that's how it should be. Having a candidate who just can't win in the race just results in the opposition throwing away its vote and thereby giving up the chance to bring in a more moderate, more widely satisifying candidate.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 07:40 PM
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What is this? Some liberal "everyone should be equal" baloney?

Limiting funds raised for campaigns, also limits free speech.

The better candidate usually raises more money, and we get better representation because of that.

Our system works because if whoever had the most money automatically won elections, then why wasn't Ross Perot elected, or why wasn't John Heinz Kerry elected?



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 08:06 PM
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posted by Rrconservative

Limiting funds raised for campaigns, also limits free speech.
[Edited by Don W]


I think the limit on free speech is not on raising money but on spending it. Google the Buckley case. I believe that case says the Congress can limit spending other peoples money but not your own. The issue rarely arises anyway.



Our system works . . why wasn't Ross Perot or John Kerry elected?



The “problem” is not as much in raising and spending money as it is in gerrymandering Congressional districts. I usually hear the complaint that only 45-60 districts out of 435 are “open” or in doubt as to the winner.

This is partly due to voter inertia. Voters do not like to change representatives unless they learn something bad about him or her. Incumbency counts. To be fair, it would probably require giving the challenger 150% of the money the incumbent has access to.

CFR - Campaign Finance Reform - will not happen until it gets worse.


[edit on 8/2/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by RRconservative
What is this? Some liberal "everyone should be equal" baloney?


This is not communism we are talking about, it's CFR. Not sure what the liberal angle is you are talking about, but you're barking up the wrong tree if you think I'm a liberal.


Limiting funds raised for campaigns, also limits free speech.


Once again, what does free speech have to do with any of this?? If anything, my suggestion gives them more free speech because they all get equal air time. Once again, not sure where you are going with this.


The better candidate usually raises more money, and we get better representation because of that.


Ummm, wrong again. The better candidate and the better fund raiser are hardly ever the same person. It's been my experience that the better fund raiser is usually better at being a shill for corporate interests. I'm sure Tom DeLay was a great fund raiser...


Our system works because if whoever had the most money automatically won elections, then why wasn't Ross Perot elected, or why wasn't John Heinz Kerry elected?


Money obviously won't always automatically get you elected. The people you described above did a pretty good job of running their own campaigns into the ground. You give me two equally qualified people running for office with two equally gifted campaign managers and I guarantee you that whomever has the most money wins. Money should not be a determining factor as to who represents us. Their ideals, background, education and experience should be. I don't want some K street lackey in a $1200 suit pimping his laws out to me just because his firm paid for senator schmoe's campaign, and dare I say that any true American shouldn't want that either.

[edit on 8/2/2006 by Escrotumus]



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 09:10 PM
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candidate got the exact same amount of money and could not ask for any more


A few problems. Presumably you are talking about money being given via public funds. There is nothing to limit the number of candidates, they all get the money?

Why shouldn't private citizens be able to give money to their prefered candidates?

People don't need to give money directly to a candidate in order to use money to support them. You can't prevent people from airing their opinions, even if they couldnt' say 'vote for joe', they can spend to support the planks of joe's platform, etc.

Its a good idea, and money is definitly a problem wrt campaigns. Spending millions on loosing campaigns is a horrible waste. But its not a simple problem to solve.



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