Sunday, September 16, 2012

End campaign contributions!

A politician's Super PAC spends billions during a campaign. Where does it go? Does society benefit from this in any way? Is it simply devoured by a propaganda food web of writers, filmers, pleasant voices, statisticians, plotters, planners, actors, and wasters? It would seem so.

A friend told me that upwards of two billion dollars will be spent on the upcoming presidential campaign. He added that he doubted that any of it went to people who really needed the money.

I certainly didn't get anything out of it besides annoyances.

So, let's end this whole thing. No more contributions to anything political. No fees required to run for an election, no barriers to anyone at all becoming a politician, provided they're a citizen. The act of giving or receiving a political contribution would result in mandatory closure of the campaign, confiscation of the money and barring of both giver and recipient for a period of at least ten years. Jail time on a chain gang does not seem unreasonable, either. The penalty would need to be severe enough so that this practice would end.

So, how would anyone find out about candidates, learn their views, determine if they deserve to hold office? The same way you're reading this. Every candidate would receive free server space, enough to build a comprehensive web site.

But what about people with no computer, cell phone or tablet? Well, they're spending billions on campaigns now, aren't they? A fraction of this money could provide publicly accessible computers in libraries, city halls, community centers.

Maybe a 100% tax-deduction for anyone contributing to the Electoral Information System? Two billion dollars could fund a lot of internet access points. They might even benefit local communities. If all the furniture were made in the USA, setting these places up would stimulate job growth. Staffing the centers would provide employment, and if they included meeting space could form places for people to gather and become more active in local, if not national, politics.

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