Money in Politics — the Real Results
|January 27, 2014||Posted by Staff under Politics|
What If We Just Got Rid of All the Money in Political Campaigns?
This 2014 excerpt of Pacific Standard, Jan 21, is by Seth Masket of the University of Denver.
Most places, money in politics plays a major role. Even if the winner of an election isn’t the biggest spender, how much you can raise determines if you can even run. Party donors play gatekeeper to the electoral ballot.
Concerned about a corrosive effect of money on lawmaking, several states —- Connecticut, Maine, and Arizona —- have created publicly financed systems for state legislative elections. The U.S. Supreme Court says you can’t just ban private spending in elections, but you can offer incentives. These states give candidates the equivalent of a typical election’s worth of money in exchange for them forgoing any private fundraising or spending.
Public funding changes business as usual, letting less able fundraisers run, major donors be damned. Who are these new candidates? The more ideologically extreme.
Ed. Notes: Making it impossible to legally buy an electoral victory may be necessary but it’s not sufficient to create rigorous political fairness. What’s also needed is a new way of voting. That is, instead of voting for just one candidate, you should be able to vote for your top three, ranking them from most favorite to least. That way, you can vote for whom you really want to win first, vote for your compromise candidate second, and for the one whom you’d accept to defeat all those you don’t like third. This method — ranking — ensures that the winner is always the most representative of the will of the people.
Plus, it saves money. The system no longer needs a primary; voting your first choice handles that. Nor does it need a runoff; voting your third choice takes care of that. And actually, this method is already in use. It’s the method that US sports writers use to choose the number one team in various college sports. If ranking can work for sports fans, it can work for the entire populace.
And if you want people to vote in their best interest instead of in the interest of their “betters”, you better amplify the call for equal rights, especially the right to a fair share of Earth’s worth, to make people feel better about themselves and worthy of a world working right for everyone.