[EM] Campaign contribution reform

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Tue Feb 21 14:56:36 PST 2012

On 2/21/12 1:45 PM, Richard Fobes wrote:
> [pulled out of message below]
> On 2/20/2012 5:18 AM, Raph Frank wrote:
>  ...
> > I assume you mean campaign contribution reform?  That isn't actually
> > an election method.
> Nope.
> As I see it, using better ballots and better counting methods will cut 
> the puppet strings that connect politicians to their biggest campaign 
> contributors.

boy, that's certainly not a tautology.  you sure the apples and oranges 
are not independent axis.  i don't see IRV or Condorcet or SODA or 
whatever is the flavor of the month changing the pressure to spend money 
on getting one's message out (and possibly jack-hammering it into the 
heads of the gullible).  if a major candidate does not spend money of 
visibility and the opportunity to frame the debate and promote the 
campaign's message, that candidate's opponents (who are also a major 
party with access to money).

What will reform it is coercive law limiting contributions and spending 
(not likely in the U.S. until some nasty Supreme Court justices die and 
go away) and transparency so that we can all watchdog each other.
> The main reason money matters so much (in politics) is that money can 
> be used to win elections through vote splitting

no, sometimes money is used to reverse votes, even in multiparty or 
simple two-party contexts.  campaigns and PACs can pour a truckload of 
money on top of a race both to convert voters away from a major 
candidate's major opponent, but also to shift votes from a minor 
candidate to this candidate.

> (in primary elections), gerrymandering (which affects general 
> elections), and media influence. Vote splitting and gerrymandering 
> will disappear when well-designed voting methods are used.  Then money 
> won't matter as much.  (Media influence will continue, but voters can 
> ignore it.)

but they can't ignore saturation advertising.  gotta be deaf to ignore a 
jack-hammer.  that's what money can pay for no matter what the election 
method is.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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