Issues 2004 - Election Reform

I am getting behind again, so it’s time to tackle election reform.

Here’s my three point plan to fix what’s wrong with politics:

1 – Make all campaigns publicly funded. Every candidate gets exactly the same amount of money to run a campaign. It’s just not right that wealthy candidates can buy elections and poor candidates cannot. Further, the fundraising part of the political process is corrupting. I know, I am part of it. It stinks. Money must be taken out of politics.

2 – Shorten up the political process. This should be tied to the public financing part. Candidates should not be allowed to campaign for any office (from President down to city council) for more than 180 days. The primary should be half of that, and the general election should be half of that. Candidates can only tap the public money during the 180 day period.

3 – Eliminate the two party system and move to a pariliamentary system. I posted on this idea back in the summer. Our two party system forces each party to pander to the fringes where their base is strongest and ends up producing candidates that don’t represent the middle, where most of the voters are. A parilamentary system will allow for the development of many parties and the country can be governed by a coalition built around centrists. There are a number of changes we’d have to make to deal with the instability of parliamentary governments, but I believe improving the parliamentary system is better than trying to fix a badly broken two party system.

What’s the chances of any of this happening? About zero. But it’s what we need to do to fix the absolutely broken system we have now.