Public funding of elections may be the single most important step that can be taken to achieve campaign reform and turn this country around.
I’ve previously blogged about this but as the electioneering ramps up time to again.
Politicians aren’t inclined to be supportive of such reform, they may drone on about it as is their way but one need only look at their lack of willingness to legislate meaningful reform to understand they’re in used car salesman mode when doing so.
People have railed against the SC’s ruling referred to as Citizens United, and well they should as what that ruling amounts to is further empowering corporations to purchase elections.
What it also does is illustrate the extent of a corporate influence that reaches into the chambers of the SC.
Public funding isn’t a monumental task, it could easily be affected by directing a small portion of tax money in that direction that would be augmented by a cap on individual public donations.
Those who think it’s well and good to allow corporate money and influence into the process will immediately respond that such an idea isn’t viable due to the cost of campaigns while ignoring this associated cost is the twofold in nature.
Campaign donations have become the equivalent of an arms race, the direct result of corporate funding and the acquisition of media time for placing ads etc.
If the FCC can mandate public service announcements then they surely could do likewise when it comes to providing air time and equal access to candidates as a public service.
What ensues is a massive reduction in campaign costs and the assurance that the media remains neutral when it comes to access.
The facade of presidential debates is in need of a major overhaul as well – formerly NOW, the National Organization of Women organized and conducted these debates, but that all ended when BOTH parties decided it was time to change all that into what they considered to be a more user friendly safe zone.
How did they go about this? By JOINTLY conspiring and agreeing upon the nature of the format and providing guidelines as to what would be acceptable and what would not be.
The result? Exit NOW and enter media talking heads representing corporate owned media outlets.
Public access to these so called debates is restricted to what must be a pre approved audience and questions are vetted prior to being asked.
Now for sure you can bet corporations would raise hell when their ability to influence was terminated, as would the media over their lack of incoming revenue, but the sole consideration should only be what best serves the public – that would be the public the government whose alleged duty is to serve.
Treaties are often sought after to curtail an arms race, to reduce the number of weapons for the very real threat they represent, and although the U.S. has a sorry record of adhering to treaties it’s entered into the time has come for a treaty to exist between the people of this nation and an out of control election process fomented by politicians, corporations, and the SC.
A treaty that clearly states “as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow” elections and their outcome will be the sole province of the electorate – and this time hold their feet to the fire if necessary to insure such a treaty would remain intact.