Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corruption

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Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corruption

Postby Kolokol888 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:46 am

I just watched fridays edition of Real Time with Bill Maher and learned something that completely shocked me!
David Frum (contributing editor Newsweek & The Daily Beast) explained that apparently since the 1940's there has been a cap of $5000 on the amount of campaign contributions that the National party commities can give to individual candidates :wtfsign:

Well slap me silly and call me kitten – that just expains so much

When I heard this I literaly pacepalmed myself. Here's why: This effectivly eliminates any kind of centralised control over the political party or candidates from the national commities or party leadership. It forces all candidates to raise their own campaign funds (no wonder this is how they spend the majority of their time) and thus making the individual representatives more beholden to their contributors than their party!!!

Think about it... the biggest problem in Washington is representatives voting how their contributors want, rather than their concience, political ideology or service to the people.
As I see it the problem isn't so much what congress attempts to do, but rather that they appear completely unable to actually get anything done - period. Well no wonder, when they are all off in 1700 different directions rather than pursueing a political agenda together, in coopertation, in unison, as a political party. This is why Obama can't fulfill even the simplest of campaign promises – he has NO CONTROL whatsoever regardless of whether the dems or the reps has the majority in congress. He is not the head of any party, but mearly the one with the highest office. And also why it is impossible for the voters to hold anyone accountable for political failing or broken promises.

If you let the central commities control the campaign funds you let the parties actually pursue a political agenda rather than just worrying about getting reelected. You keep the crazys out – no funds for morons like Christine O'donnell or Sarah Palin or (insert candidate name the republicans think are insane).
You would have political candidates rising up through the rank within the parties through skilled and dutifull service rather than just out of nowhere raising some money and giving a couple of good speaches.
And you would have actual real life people (the party leaders) to hold accountable in stead of abstract concepts like the dems or reps. You can't get in the face of "the dems" but you can get in the face of Nancy Polosi - it just don't matter cause she has no power

Right now I'm tempted to say fix this and you fix the whole system

PS. Sorry if this sounds aggressive, I'm just trying to convey just how unbelievably moronic and damaging I think that limitating is
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Disbanded » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:42 am

So what if organizations gave money to political parties instead of individuals and then the money was dispersed. Then you would have the party of Exxon and Goldman Sachs etc. It would seem to me on the surface the answer is not in party contributions but in public funding in general. A person can run for office but they couldn't accept private donations from anyone, even the political party they represent
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Kolokol888 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:23 pm

Well I see how that would be the obvious reaction, but a little shortsightet IMHO.

1. divide and conquer is a strategy thats as old as time itself and since the political system has already divided themselves it is too easy for 'the money' to conqur them one by one.
To suggest corporate interests could buy the parties is simply not true. Unions can't even do that and they are more powerfull than Exxon.

2. it's easy to just say no private money but please remember those 'public campaign funds' are paid for by the taxpayers. Well its easy to do that here in Denmark, but in America... I have to say thats a pipe-dream

3. Its not about the money but rather about the parties ability to actually realise their campaign promises and subsequently the voters ability to hold them accountable.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Atanamis » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:50 pm

Kolokol888, the US has a deliberately weak party system. This does mean that the party platform cannot be consistently enforced, and makes it difficult to assign votes proportionally. The founders didn't like the idea of parties, and even as they formed them and ran under them there was always a reluctance to having strong parties like many parliamentary systems do. This is a very intentional difference though, and one I have questioned many times whether it is a good one. I tend to conclude that it IS good to maintain weak parties, but I can see a lot of advantages to strong parties as well. You are completely correct though that our mechanism for holding candidates to their promises MUST come from the voters, since the parties often lack the power to do so. (Some of our politicians even run as independents against the parties chosen candidate, win, and rejoin their party. They are then treated as having never left. See Lisa Murkowski (2010) and Joe Lieberman (2006). Both ran AGAINST their party's chosen candidate in the general election (not the primary where they both lost), won, and rejoined their party where they were treated as senior members as if they had never run against their own parties. The US has a very weak party system in which the parties cannot fully control their members or candidates.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Kolokol888 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:34 pm

I agree that it is a choice to have weak parties, but I notice that whïle you state that you agree that weak parties is a good thing you don't list any reasons for that opinion.

Now that I attempt to think of those reasons all I come up with is that with only two parties it could become abussive. (maybe the weak parties is the reason there's only two)

When I consider the advantages to strong parties I'm mainly considering legislative proficieny, skill, productivity and ability to negotiate and compromise.

I don't buy the argument of the founding fathers decided - a lot has changed since then

Could I enquire you and other for arguments for maintaining weak parties 'cause I can't see them (right now I'm calm and openminded)
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Atanamis » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:51 am

The main reason that weak parties are a good thing is the diffusion of power. If we have strong parties, the strong party sets out a platform and a reformer has to change the entire party hierarchy to turn it around. Looking at the US today, the major party establishments of both parties have no intention of changing anything. To change our nation's direction we would need a strong leader who could go straight to the people and establish an independent power base. That is possible under a weak party system where it would be impossible under a strong party system. I do really desire more proportional representation though, which requires a stronger party system than we have. I always want independents to have access to the ballot though, which will always weaken parties.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Disbanded » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:21 am

Kolokol888 wrote:Well I see how that would be the obvious reaction, but a little shortsightet IMHO.

1. divide and conquer is a strategy thats as old as time itself and since the political system has already divided themselves it is too easy for 'the money' to conqur them one by one.
To suggest corporate interests could buy the parties is simply not true. Unions can't even do that and they are more powerfull than Exxon.

I believe your not giving unions or even oil companies enough credit sir. If you remember Obama's talk about not wanting to pass the pipeline deal until after the election cycle. It wasn't that he didn't want to pass it, he didn't want to pass it until after the election cycle. Why? Because he needs the votes of the environmentalists who tend to vote Democratic.

2. it's easy to just say no private money but please remember those 'public campaign funds' are paid for by the taxpayers. Well its easy to do that here in Denmark, but in America... I have to say thats a pipe-dream

It's actually not a pipe dream because funding them publicly would greatly reduce the amount of money going into campaigns. Election campaigns would only be months instead of years and it would be a drop in the hat for costs. Besides, although I have no proof of this, I am sure all the money that goes into privately funding a campaign is a giant tax right off anyway so in a way it is publicly funded but in a way that hurts more.

3. Its not about the money but rather about the parties ability to actually realise their campaign promises and subsequently the voters ability to hold them accountable.

It should never be about a party realizing it's goals but rather representatives acting in the best interest of the people they represent. That is the larger issue at hand IMO.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Kolokol888 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:08 am

@ disbanded

on Obama/environmentalists: This actually proves my point. Obama is only one man running one campaign on his own on an island. Therefore he has to give in to the special interests. If Obama had a united front with the other 300 or so dems i Washington they'd have more power to push back.
(by the way who is he cowtailing to? oil or the environmentalists?

2. I don't disagree with anything you say on finance - but you can't get people to vote for it.

3. I never said anything about goals. Parties will always seek to realise their goals regardless of the system - that's the definition of goals!
I said 'campaign promises' - holding parties accountable for their promises is how you ensure that they have to seek their goals by doing whats in the peoples interest.

@Atanamis

I see your point, changing a party takes longer than winning an election. My point throughout this is that the change of which you speak is impossible. That knight in shining armour of yours can't change anything - he doesn't have the power.

My contention is this... lets say Ron Poul wins the presidency in a landslide. The Fed will still not be audited, the gold standard will not be introdused and the US will not refrain from foreign intangelment. He will still not have the power to do any of the things he campaigns on.

To achieve change you need more than just to win an election - you need to have the votes in congress aswell and have the beaureacracy comply as well
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Atanamis » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:21 am

Kolokol888 wrote:To achieve change you need more than just to win an election - you need to have the votes in congress aswell and have the beaureacracy comply as well
You are correct. But if I can't influence the party at all, I can't gradually start a movement. The only way to change the direction of the ship is to work on the party mechanisms over time. If I can get a reformist candidate in place though, being in office gives them a platform. They can endorse other candidates to run against the establishment and the voting public can create a change in the party or indeed a new party altogether over time. Neither approach is very quick and I honestly do understand the benefits of a strong party system, but I'm still not totally convinced to change my preference. (Which yes, means maybe you can do it.) After first researching strong party systems a number of years ago I immediately concluded they were the solution, but have drifted back to thinking there are a lot of advantages to picking out people rather than platforms as well. A person you can hope will be flexible enough in their decisions to adjust to changes, something a platform has a hard time doing. Choosing a person means you trust their judgement, not just their stated positions. Of course, choosing a platform means if the candidate doesn't do what they say the party can remove them. It should provide more reliability in what a person will do in office. And if change is needed, one hopes the party will do so quickly enough. It is an interesting dilemma.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby Kolokol888 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:00 am

It occurs to me that is probably an issue of ultimate assumptions, and my opinion is surely colored by the trust and responsible nature of DK political parties.
I guess I mostly see congress as victims of a disfunctional system rather than evil-doers. A system which leaves good intentions powerless and discourages the best from even getting involved. I believe if you empower the parties it will be used for good - a big assumption I admit.

It should be noted that strong parties does not leave the voters without influence on what individuals represent the party. The rank and file members decide who gets to run for office and the votes do frequently have some ability to overrule the party line-up on elelction day.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby hondo69 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:22 am

For years I've read various proposals to stop the corruption in Congress, but most rely on the existing set of rules to implement changes. It never made any sense to me because it is those rules (created by the lawmakers themselves) that lead to all sorts of other problems. Congress exempting themselves from insider trading laws, Congress passing ObamaCare at midnight on Christmas Eve, then immediately exempting themselves from the law, etc.

It's kind of like going to the doctor with a broken arm and him giving you something for the pain then sending you home. Yes, the pain has subsided temporarily, but the arm is still broken. These proposals to fix corruption are like the pain medicine, they might help for a little while but the arm is still broken.

Until government fears the people no changes of any significance will occur. Until We The People put a figurative gun to the head of our leaders we cannot expect them to behave any differently. And given the present circumstances we live are forced to live in there is really only one viable solution. Taxes.

We need to devise a method to withhold taxes from the politicians, take away the heroin from the junkies. I’ve thought about various methods of withholding taxes and all are messy. Someone a whole lot smarter than I might be able to devise a workable solution, but it needs to be done. No other solution seems viable at this point.
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Re: Completely overlooked cause and solution to the corrupti

Postby reliables » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:59 pm

on Obama/environmentalists: This actually proves my point. Obama is only one man running one campaign on his own on an island. Therefore he has to give in to the special interests. If Obama had a united front with the other 300 or so dems i Washington they'd have more power to push back.
(by the way who is he cowtailing to? oil or the environmentalists?





















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