A discussion on truth, beauty, the American way, humor, intelligence, love, stupidity and where we are today
Who bells the cat? Getting big money out of elections is one of those things that sounds great, and that I support in the abstract...but will have side effects worse than what it cures. As long as we have true freedom of speech and press, (I hope forever) we cannot effectively eliminate big money in politics. What we can do is favor one side or the other, favor incumbents, give corporate media an even bigger influence, let selective enforcement control what gets published and what doesn't. We can make sure that only members of the club get elected, that outsiders with new ideas are kept outside.That's great if your party is part of the club. Mine isn't.
It was done, as I've said and shown and documented here before, the UK did it long ago.Make election campaigns a month or two long, at most, by law, make campaign contributions illegal and you end the need for them. It's been done. We can do this.
The UK has a vastly different government and system than we do--for one they don't have a written constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. In your system how would the candidates running in the election be selected? What happens when Rush Limbaugh endorses a candidate on his show? Or endorses a set of ideas clearly aligned with a candidate? What's the difference between Rand Paul going on a speaking tour, and Rand Paul going on a campaign tour? Who gets to decide?What speech and ideas can I spend money on, and what speech and ideas are forbidden?
The UK famously has a Parliament, of course, but they have two houses of government, very similar to our set up since, of course, ours is based on theirs.So what if they don't have a written Constitution guaranteeing Freedom of Speech? That's irrelevant here. People could and still would be able to speak. Money isn't speech.The candidates would be selected by the political parties, just as they are now. The representatives would still simply vote for them, that's all.So Rush Limbaugh endorses someone. He's a commentator, that's all. We're all entitled to our opinions.There would be only any campaign tour during the 1 or 2 month time of the legalized, legislated campaign, whatever time frame we assign it. Since it would be a far improved, abbreviated time frame for said campaign, it would far more likely just be broadcast nationally by whatever means.There would be no money taken nor spent on any election campaign, period. Done.As a "conservative" and Libertarian, this should appeal to you, I'd think. We cut out all the unnecessary nonsense--including and especially the money that's buying our legislators and their legislation and so, our laws and ultimately, our government. It makes eminent sense.
The UK parliamentary system is vastly different than ours. No fixed election cycles and multiple significant parties are more significant than the number of houses. Freedom of speech and press are related--they are both examples of Freedom of Expression. It would be absurd to say you can have a free press, but can't spend money on it. Speech is the same, otherwise we wind up with hair splitting on what counts as press and what doesn't, with whoever makes that decision exercising too much power. Someone local to me is calling themselves "The Miami County Reporter", publishing only on Facebook. One person--but apparently uncovering corruption and problems in our local sheriff's department that is now being reported on by traditional local news and appears to have got the county commissioners to pay attention. Would the political parties be regulated in how they select their candidates? Would they be allowed to do it via a primary election or would that avenue be forbidden? If no money is to be spent on a campaign, how would the parties do the administration necessary to select candidates? My point is that merely declaring "no money spent on campaigns" doesn't solve the problem. Money WILL be spent, some of it in legitimate and unavoidable expenses, some of it via whatever loopholes remain, some of it underhanded. We may be able to reduce direct corporate donations, but probably that will just find new paths. And if you think libertarians should be in favor of a new rule or restriction like this, you still haven't figured out what we are about.
The differences between our US government and UK's are not that great. We have a printed Constitution, they have many more hundreds of years of tradition and practice and use that embed their functions so they know what to expect. We didn't emulate their Magna Carta for nothing.You're clearly confusing Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press in this last writing. You say: " It would be absurd to say you can have a free press, but can't spend money on it."I never once spoke of not spending money on the press. I never spoke of the press. Media can and will and does fund itself. Government certainly can't do that.And no, the political parties would not be regulated in how they select their candidates. They could and would do as they wish. The government would merely fund--in tiny amounts--the campaigns because, again, they would only last one or two months long, at most, period.You're thinking like an American, with all the assumptions and presumptions of our current, huge, obscene, bloated, ridiculously expensive system. You're held back by what is, not capable of thinking--yet--of what could be.Shrinking government is what Libertarians are all about. Surely you'd agree with that statement. Why wouldn't Libertarians be behind shrinking these again, huge, obscene, bloated, wasteful, ridiculously expensive election campaigns? It makes total sense. It's totally consistent with shrinking the unnecessary.And Libertarians aren't even sure, as a group, what they're about and how small government should be. Why would someone outside their loosely-"organized" group know what they're about?
Press and speech are different facets of the same thing. Separate rules for each means that it is OK for a media company to pay to say certain things to a wide audience, but I can't pay to say the same thing to a wide audience. And it is OK for a company to pay Hillary Clinton personally $250,000 for a speech before her campaign officially starts but nobody can donate that much to her campaign. I'm not against the idea of limiting campaigns, I've just yet to see a practical method that would not have either loopholes so big that it makes the limits useless, or unintended consequences bigger than the problem it tries to solve. It will wind up yet another law that hobbles the honest with little effect on the dishonest.
It not only works in the UK but it has worked for years.
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