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Flapjack
July 23rd, 2017, 11:20 AM
Hey guys this will be a short OP because I am in the middle of a Game of Thrones marathon but I thought with all the recent talk of corporations and billionaires donating huge sums of money to politicians out of the goodness of their hearts only to find that they coincidently vote for laws deregulating them and reducing their taxes and starting wars and getting more government contracts and keeping minimum wage low, what a coincidence XD

The USA has a massive corruption problem right now, both on the left and the right. What are your opinions on this and what do you think should be done about it?

I think the best way is to have publicly funded elections and ban all donations to parties and politicians.

Porpoise101
July 23rd, 2017, 11:22 AM
ban all donations to parties and politiciansThen where will they get funding from? Parties don't just make money on their own..

Also corruption in this country, while getting worse, is massively overstated.

Flapjack
July 23rd, 2017, 11:28 AM
Then where will they get funding from? Parties don't just make money on their own..
That is why I said in my OP I think we should have publicly funded elections.

DriveAlive
July 23rd, 2017, 11:34 AM
I do not like the idea of wasting ANY public money so that Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee can run again. We are not even going to begin discussing about paying for Bobby Jindall to run :)

I think that we need massive campaign reform. Limit campaign donations, overturn Citizens United, fight gerrymandering, ban super PACs.

mattsmith48
July 23rd, 2017, 11:36 AM
The problem with publicly funded elections is that the sum parties get is often determined by the number of seat or if you don't have enough seats your party doesn't get anything. And it as the effect to give an unfair advantage to the bigger party. The money would have to be evenly distributed to all parties and all candidates.

Porpoise101
July 23rd, 2017, 11:38 AM
That is why I said in my OP I think we should have publicly funded elections.Why, it literally does nothing.
Experts on Campaign Finance Laws (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/weekinreview/24kirkpatrick.html):
And what about the corporations that contributed so much of that money? A review of the biggest corporate donors found that their stock prices were unaffected after they stopped giving to the parties. The results suggest that those companies did not lose their influence and may have been giving “because they were shaken down by politicians,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School who has studied the law’s impact.

“There is no evidence that stricter campaign finance rules reduce corruption or raise positive assessments of government,” said Kenneth Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It seems like such an obvious relationship but it has proven impossible to prove.”

I do support less anonymity for political donations for transparency's sake. But beyond that, I could care less. Public elections are a no-go, because then you are making parties an arm of the state. You give the government control of a political organization and that is a bad situation. This site (https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016) has assessments of corruption around the world. The US is doing alright.

DriveAlive has got it. Political gerrymandering is a scourge and is the largest issue. The Supreme Court is examining its legality currently, so hopefully we'll get a good verdict in the fall.

DriveAlive
July 23rd, 2017, 11:41 AM
The problem with publicly funded elections is that the sum parties get is often determined by the number of seat or if you don't have enough seats your party doesn't get anything. And it as the effect to give an unfair advantage to the bigger party. The money would have to be evenly distributed to all parties and all candidates.

We actually agree on this! There is way too much representation of the will of the people in politics. Just because people vote for a certain party does not mean that the party should have any sort of political advantage to better enact the will of the people. More money for the National Front!

Flapjack
July 23rd, 2017, 11:49 AM
Why, it literally does nothing.
Experts on Campaign Finance Laws (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/weekinreview/24kirkpatrick.html):
Okayyy I don't believe Bob the politician goes to the oil company and asks for $100k in return for him voting a certain way, I believe that would be illegal anyway under your current law if I am correct?

What I believe that the oil companies (just an example industry) give money to people that vote in their favor. The politicians know this. Because it is very difficult to beat the person with the most money, Bob the politician votes for pro oil industry stuff and then when it comes to elections, would you look at that the oil industry gave him a nice big check for him to go campaign with.

Another way money influences politics is that Annie the politician genuinely is anti climate change and is a massive pro oil industry supporter and so gets money from the oil industry to help her get into office or retain her seat. In my opinion Bob is corrupt and Annie is not, it is difficult to know which one is which.

Regardless it gives an unfair advantage to the side with the most money, public financing would remove that advantage.

Money Wins Presidency and 9 of 10 Congressional Races (https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and/)

I do not like the idea of wasting ANY public money so that Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee can run again. We are not even going to begin discussing about paying for Bobby Jindall to run :smile:

I think that we need massive campaign reform. Limit campaign donations, overturn Citizens United, fight gerrymandering, ban super PACs.
A system could be set up where they need 5% of the vote for example or have to pay back the expenses or give a deposit that is only returned to them if they get 5% of the vote.

I didn't mention gerrymandering but my gosh that needs to go ASAP XD

mattsmith48
July 23rd, 2017, 11:51 AM
We actually agree on this! There is way too much representation of the will of the people in politics. Just because people vote for a certain party does not mean that the party should have any sort of political advantage to better enact the will of the people. More money for the National Front!

As long they are not being racist or stupid all parties should have the same chance no matter if we agree with them or not and that includes money.

DriveAlive
July 23rd, 2017, 11:54 AM
One of the good things that came out of the 2016 election was that Clinton (and Obama) raised more than double the campaign money than Trump, with a large amount coming form Super PACs, and yet Trump still won.

As long they are not being racist or stupid all parties should have the same chance no matter if we agree with them or not and that includes money.
I have a problem giving actual political power to parties that do not represent the will of the people. We should listen to all people and give proportionate representation and whatnot, but that does not mean that certain views should be put on equal political footing as others when it comes time to making decisions for the country. Everyone needs to be heard, but we cannot let a vocal minority dictate policy. Also, who determines if they are "racist or stupid?" The whole point of having a democratic government is to allow the people to decide which political views should be represented in government.

Flapjack
July 23rd, 2017, 11:56 AM
You guys should all read this, very impressive visual representation of the problem.

http://letsfreecongress.org/

DriveAlive
July 23rd, 2017, 12:02 PM
Okayyy I don't believe Bob the politician goes to the oil company and asks for $100k in return for him voting a certain way, I believe that would be illegal anyway under your current law if I am correct?

What I believe that the oil companies (just an example industry) give money to people that vote in their favor. The politicians know this. Because it is very difficult to beat the person with the most money, Bob the politician votes for pro oil industry stuff and then when it comes to elections, would you look at that the oil industry gave him a nice big check for him to go campaign with.

Another way money influences politics is that Annie the politician genuinely is anti climate change and is a massive pro oil industry supporter and so gets money from the oil industry to help her get into office or retain her seat. In my opinion Bob is corrupt and Annie is not, it is difficult to know which one is which.

Regardless it gives an unfair advantage to the side with the most money, public financing would remove that advantage.

Money Wins Presidency and 9 of 10 Congressional Races (https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and/)


A system could be set up where they need 5% of the vote for example or have to pay back the expenses or give a deposit that is only returned to them if they get 5% of the vote.

I didn't mention gerrymandering but my gosh that needs to go ASAP XD
Would it not be easier and far more fiscally responsible to just limit the amount of money that a campaign can raise or limit the size of a campaign donation instead of tying campaign finances to the government?

ShineintheDark
July 23rd, 2017, 01:05 PM
I say the best way to keep money out of politics is transparency is who has donated to who as well as the frequency of donations around big decisions. Large corporations, whilst quite shameless, know not to make thigns too corrupt when they knew everyone can see what strings are being pulled. In my opinion, everyone puts too much faith and emphasis on corporate donations anyways: look at Hillary vs Bernie. Hillary raised most of her primary finds via corporate and big name donations, Bernie raised his mostly through public donations by his own supporters. A pcampaign (or primary campaign at least) CAN be run through honest and transparent public funds and that dispells the image that corproations are the only way to keep yourself afloat.

Bull
July 23rd, 2017, 01:28 PM
There must be total transparency in from were the money comes: individual's names, names or corporations, names of those who donate to PACs, candidates, and to parties. It is prohibited in the US to accept donations from foreign sources, however, the current lack of transparency makes it impossible to know if or which foreign sources are supporting candidates and/or parties in America.
Gerrymandering has been a problem forever. The only way to maybe put an end to it is to take districting out of political involvement. Give the task to an independent, nonpartisan group with strict metrics governing their work: no consideration to party affiliation, socio-economic status, etc., just the most contiguous population area.

mattsmith48
July 23rd, 2017, 01:59 PM
Another problem that should be looked at is the length of the campaigns. If you take the US as an example the presidential campaign last two years and that cost a lot of money and makes publicly funded campaign almost impossible.

Porpoise101
July 23rd, 2017, 02:10 PM
Give the task to an independent, nonpartisan group with strict metrics governing their work: no consideration to party affiliation, socio-economic status, etc., just the most contiguous population area.Even better idea: have a publicly published algorithm do the job for you. This one (http://bdistricting.com/index.html#), in particular, I favor because it is based around population centers and makes compact, contiguous districts.