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03 November 2010 @ 05:09 pm
Writer's Block: Hey, big spender  
Still working on my NaNo. But in the meantime, there's this.

Should there be limits on how much money a political candidate can spend on an election campaign, and why?

Ideally, all contributions would go to the same source and be equally divided between all candidates running who successfully met some threshold (signatures, established party, whatever).

My idea about the influence of money in political campaigns is basically, "If money is speech, then speech isn't free."
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: Lothlorien - Black Cat
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dorchadas: Great Old Onesdorchadas on November 3rd, 2010 08:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's the disadvantage. It requires people to act rationally and trust that their fellow countrymen will be able to pick the lies out of each candidate or parties' promises.

The problem is that it's way easier to lie than explain why something is a lie. By the time you're done, your opponent has already lied twice more and then you're behind.

We already have something a bit like that set up in America--at tax time every year, there's a checkbox if you want to donate $3 to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. I'm not actually sure how much money the government collects through it, but it usually does donation as matching funds. I.e., if people give you %50K, you get $50K from the government, up to some pre-defined limit.
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dorchadasdorchadas on November 3rd, 2010 08:37 am (UTC)
You'd have to impose it from the top-down, like a lot of reforms. There's no way it'd ever get enough support otherwise.

I'm no stranger to people blatantly voting in their worst interests--witness all the old people here voting for the party that keeps talking about repealing the first real good healthcare reform we've had in two generations.

Like I said, there'd be limits on who exactly could run. But if enough people are voting for fascists, crypto- or otherwise, that's more a social or education problem and not really one the voting system can solve.
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dorchadas: Great Old Onesdorchadas on November 3rd, 2010 08:58 am (UTC)
That's very true, but there's a very effective "no platform" policy here that's kept the BNP out of the public eye.

Well, there's nothing wrong with extending that into such a system. I certainly wouldn't have a problem with "Everyone gets equal funding--except you, you fascist bastards."

In America, people talk a lot about slippery slopes in free speech, like banning anything leads to some horrible domino effect and pretty soon unbellyfeel speak is doubleplus ungood, but plenty of nations implement reasonable restrictions on speech like "no advocation of fascism" or Germany's rules about the Nazis without suffering serious social problems.
(Anonymous) on March 3rd, 2011 06:41 am (UTC)
Actually, all of the Campaign Fund comes from the government. Checking the box doesn't cost you anything.
Michaelping816 on November 3rd, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
They should severely limit funding to the point where attack ads are impossible and they are limited to actual information
dorchadasdorchadas on November 3rd, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
But people just use their money for attack ads and ignore information now. After all, if you don't make any statements you can't be called on them later. Cutting money wouldn't reduce the proportion of attack ads, though it would reduce them in the absolute sense.