Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Why not let US politicians give money to voters?

Posted by Jason O on Feb 9, 2012 in US Politics |

Why not give the voters a taste?

Why not give the voters a taste?

Watching the vast amounts of money being spent in the Republican primaries, one can’t help wondering what’s the point? Given the way that US politicians keep finding loopholes to sidestep campaign finance laws (SuperPACs anyone?) why not change the law to reflect reality?

Why not let candidates just give money direct to voters? I’m not talking about buying their votes, as the secret ballot would have to be protected. But given the amounts of money spent, why not just cut out the waste and let voters get the benefit of the cash, with the only rule being that they can only be given money before they vote? Ironically, by doing so, it would lessen the power of spin doctors because they wouldn’t be able to make as much money as they do now. Secondly, once voters knew that it was legal for candidates to give them money, they would demand it. Would it effect how people vote? Possibly, but possibly not. Would it force politicians to raise more money? Again, possibly, but so what? The effect of money on the US political system is there anyway, and growing every election cycle, so why not recognize that? This way, at least the voters would benefit directly from the vast infusion of money into US politics. True, you might end up with politicians being betrayed by voters, discovering that after the election the voters had taken their money, lied to them, and voted for the other guy. Would that really be a bad thing?

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