Saving America - Zer Netmouse — LiveJournal
|Date:||September 23rd, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)|| |
The problem here is that there are two sides to the question. I'm very opposed to public financing of elections and media access provisions -- I've seen it at work first hand when I lived overseas, and the results are about what you might expect.
Frankly, the entire dance of "reform" of public financing of elections produces results that are unacceptable. I prefer removing all restrictions, including required disclosure, and allowing complete freedom of expression.
I realize you don't agree. The lack of agreement means that you won't get what you want and I won't get what I want. I want legislators who are "brave enough" to remove all restrictions, which I view as a requirement for freedom of speech. You want legislators who are "brave enough" to impose the rules you list to, as you believe, make elections fair. But this isn't an issue of bravery, it's an issue of conflicting viewpoints.
Finally, I fear a man on a white horse coming to rescue us.
With the current political process, the only rescuers we're likely to get are "White Horse" Democrat millionaires.
The advantage of publicly financed elections is that they can level the playing field so that people with the know how and desire to be good public servants can run for office without having to outspend rival candidates.
The current process, in which PACs are legal, reduces elections to games of fund raising, for the most part.
You might argue that teachers and school systems can ultimately stem the tide of ignorance and lies by raising a smarter and more discerning generation of voters, but where are the schools going to be able to do this in an environment where the only goal many students see is simply personal survival or personal success through the corporate system.
The system of government looking after public interest is one that served the U.S. well in the 20th Century, and it continues to do so, to some extent in the 21st Century. I believe we should continue to provide an incentive for citizens whose primary desire is to serve the public interest to run for public office. With corporations able to control government by being the principle campaign donors for elected officials, I believe we distance ourselves from the chance of electing a good government.
Are you saying that the accumulation of corporate wealth is a process that outranks providing a high quality of life for all citizens of a country? Historically, this is a philosophy that causes nations to fail.
|Date:||September 25th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)|| |
I regret to say that I disagree with your statements in whole and in part — the assumptions, the fundamental ideas, the outcomes, and your interpretation of history. However, I sincerely appreciate the respectful tone in which you offer your opinion; I'm afraid civility is in short supply these days, and I'm delighted to find that you have reservoirs handy.
Let's pick a different venue if you'd like to discuss this; I hate to hijack other peoples' blogs for these sorts of debates.
|Date:||September 25th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)|| |
I'm perfectly happy to have this space host this sort of discussion, though the two of you have such different perspectives of reality, I'm not sure I can see where it could go. :)
Perhaps if you gave specific examples as to what history illustrates your models of success or failure of societies and governments?
|Date:||September 25th, 2012 04:13 am (UTC)|| |
I want legislators who are brave enough to listen to the citizens in the region they are supposed to represent, and vote (regularly) and submit legislation that is in their constituents' best interests, as best they understand them.
I understand that some peoples' interpretation of the best interests of the citizens will be different than mine, and I accept that. It's when the system of contributions from corporations that do not reside (or in some cases, even operate) within their home state influences legislators more than other considerations that worries me.
You can't completely get away from that, but I believe it ought to be possible to at least lessen the tremendous independent or party funding requirement that currently seems to be necessary for a candidate to have a decent chance of being successfully elected or re-elected.
There are exceptions of course. I'm greatly enjoying the stories about progressive grassroots politics in How to get Stupid White Men Out of Office, for instance. But they require years of groundwork and spectacular and dedicated candidates.