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ibstubro's avatar

What experiment would you like to try to improve the national political morass in the US of A?

Asked by ibstubro (18770points) March 12th, 2015

I would like to make campaigns limited to contributed funds. (the candidate and their immediate family members can contribute $1,000 the campaign.)

Contributions would be limited to $1,000 per candidate, per registered voter in the region (no corporate contributions).

I’m open to matching public funds.

I know this isn’t a flawless idea, but my goal is to return the political system to the people. Make the candidates work more, spend less. Try to level the playing field a little lot so that the candidate with the best ideas gets the biggest chance.

Take a stab at it. There are some other great ideas out there, such as limiting certain media.

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12 Answers

1TubeGuru's avatar

Something needs to change.if we could take the money out of politics the constituents would have a voice. instead we have wealthy groups and individuals who currently buy elections and with it buy influence over legislation.

josie's avatar

The current “political morass” is merely a reflection of the moral bankruptcy of the electorate. No manner of legislation regarding campaigns can cure the problem. Best to let it play out.

zenvelo's avatar

The biggest change if I could do it would be non-partisan redistricting of congress, and the “sharing” of Representatives across state lines to make all Congressional districts the same population size.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Presidents should stop fundraising after being elected. Concentrate on doing The Peoples work!
Also a set number of vacations to be taken a year for the first family to take TOGETHER not separately.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Also Term Limits for politicians (senators and Congress) who should have retired years ago.

A flat tax would also be s good idea.

zenvelo's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat I like what my congressman did in the 40 years before he retired last year. I want YOUR congressman to be term limited, not mine.

Kropotkin's avatar

The question is a bit like asking how to best polish a turd.

Okay. I’ll have a go.

Political candidates would have to pass a scientific literacy test.

It may not stop the rampant venality, but creationists and anthropogenic gobal-warming deniers would at least have no place.

Jaxk's avatar

Name Recognition is an incredible asset to a politician. If you remove the money from elections, you almost assure the incumbent will win. The days of getting on a soapbox and reaching enough constituents to sway an election are gone. I would rather see more information than less.

In my area they publish a voter information pamphlet the provides a couple of paragraphs for each candidate to post. Unfortunately there are criteria that eliminate some candidates from being able to publish their positions, so quite often you only get one perspective. I would like to see that expanded to include everyone running for office. It is quite interesting with only a couple of paragraphs you can learn a lot about the candidate. What they think is important as well as what would do about it. In the cases that I get both candidates views, the decision becomes quite easy. They can’t attack each other only express their positions. Honestly it eliminates most of the minutia we see in the elections.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Here is a wild idea to reign in the political process:

• All offices from state to federal will have a cap on campaign spending. For instance state senators would have a cap of $3 million; President would be $12 million, etc.
• There will be no soft money.
• The party can pay for and run ads for the party but not endorse any candidates.
• The candidates can spend the funds however they feel, they want to spend it all on attack ads, robo-calls, billboards, buttons, etc. they can. Hopefully they will maximize their dollars telling me what they are going to do to help me, than wasting my time telling me why I should not vote the other guy/party
• The cap is unaffected by how much personally money a candidate puts in the kitty. If the candidate puts 70% of their money in the kitty then there would be only 30% that the party or other contributors get to make.
• All elected positions will have a runner up, if the primary elected official can’t or doesn’t live up to their promices, they can be recalled and fired, and the number two person installed.

Maybe then the candidates will get back to the issues.

ibstubro's avatar

Much the same page, @1TubeGuru. That was my goal as well.

Excellent answer, @zenvelo. I would have included it in the details if I’d remembered it. I heard that mentioned on NPR within the last 2–3 weeks.

A great leader knows how to delegate, @BeenThereSaidThat, leaving time for vacations. Who is going to define “first family”, and why would the electorate dictate how they spend their vacations? If a member of the first family was ill, the whole family would have to stay home?
Term limits? John Danforth is a helluva guy.
Read down to “Her speeches denounced Ronald Reagan’s policies so vigorously that she ran on the nickname, “Give ‘em Hell, Harriett” (a play on the famous Truman phrase). Danforth won 51% to 49%. Woods’ pro-choice stance was said to be the reason for her defeat Woods and Danforth stayed on good terms following her defeat. Try that today!

I totally understand your point, @zenvelo, yet disagree with it at the same time. I don’t want Congress giving my district unnecessary pork. Especially at the expense of needed spending.

No more realistic or unrealistic than my dream, @Kropotkin. Bronzed turd award.

I do not see how removing money from elections decreases the information, @Jaxk. So you think voter information is purchased?
“If you remove the money from elections, you almost assure the incumbent will win. I would rather see more information than less.”
So, your local voter information pamphlet is a paid advertisement? Or partisan propaganda?

Why so high a cap on spending, @Hypocrisy_Central?
Agreed on soft money.
“Party” is the problem at the moment. Candidate, not party ads.
Available funds are candidate chosen.
“Cap” cap, yeah.
I think the elected official should govern or not. No ‘runner up’.

Jaxk's avatar

@ibstubro – Actually the pamphlet is published by the state and provides a short summary of what you will do if elected. I follow politics pretty close but there are always a couple of candidates (a judge, Board of Equalization, or Comptroller, etc.) that I don’t know. It provides a short statement from the candidates that will go to every household. I find it very useful, but incomplete.

As for the money buying information, yes I do. Sitting senators or House seats have much better opportunities for making the news outside of campaign settings. Obama is a great example since virtually every speech he’s given over the past 6 years has been a campaign speech. Most of them cost him nothing in campaign dollars but he was able to attack his opposition on national television every time. The Bully Pulpit. Sitting congress people have similar advantages though not so extreme. If you are an unknown candidate running against them, it will cost money to get your name and message out there. Otherwise I suppose we can go along with the incumbent getting re-elected until they die.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ibstubro Why so high a cap on spending,
Between media cost, billboards and printing, the cost can be steep. I don’t want them whining they don’t have enough cash to tell me what good they will do. If they want to sway voters hopefully they will be using the money to promote themselves and not waste it on attack ads.

Available funds are candidate chosen.
They should not have the choice, With a set number they did not pick, even less affluent candidates will have at least the ghost of a chance,

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