Hearts & Minds - Information for ChangeSM
It takes some effort to make
democracy work, but it is worth it!
Who Has the Power?
It is a basic fact and a powerful
one: We live in a democracy (however imperfect) and we have the power to change. We can
elect those who support positive change and vote out those who do not.
many important issues. Campaign finance reform is one of them. It could make the whole
"system" much more responsive because:
Political advertising has become a sophisticated (and
somewhat slick) science for swaying opinion. It is often based on superficial, 60-second
sound bites -- not the full range of a candidate's achievements, integrity, and courage to
support our best long-term interests.
We face complex challenges in our communities and
society. Simplistic answers are not enough.
Money can buy a barrage of manipulative advertising.
Candidates with less money are swamped by those with
more. That is one reason it is been said, "By the time you get elected, you no longer
A growing need for funds to finance increasingly
expensive campaigns makes our elected representatives beholden to those with
the cash. As Public Campaign recently wrote:
By constantly chasing big contributors and repaying
their special favors, Congress repeatedly shortchanges the ordinary citizen.
And good people who do not have big money, or access to it, do not have a fair
chance to run for office and win.
We can change
all this. Tell your representatives to support effective reforms. They work for you.
They will pass strong reform when the public demands it.
Additionally, we can require:
ongoing dialogue between candidates on nightly news
before the election
easy access to complete records of:
- where candidates' money comes from
- how incumbents voted -- and the pork they allowed attached
This is government by and for the
people. "The system" is our responsibility. We get the government we deserve,
but it is easy to support change. This applies to both campaign finance and all the other
issues we find important.
government will be more responsive when elected officials have stronger incentives to
address the issues.
The amount of
change we can make is nearly unlimited if we use our power. Let's do it!
by BILL BLACKMAN, president of Hearts and Minds. His bio is with governing
Articles on Social Issues
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http://www.heartsandminds.org/articles/campfnrf.htm - latest text changes
April 20, 2006.