Friday, February 1, 2008

I've Got a Question - You've Got an Answer

Registered voters in 22 states here in the U.S. will head to the polls on February 5th -"Super Tuesday"; the day on which the largest-ever simultaneous number of state U.S. presidential primary elections will be held. The purpose of a primary is to send a message to the delegates of a state whom the voters want to see nominated as the Presidential candidate for their party. Of course the build-up to the "Super Tuesday" primaries is huge and all candidates are spending the weekend stumping as much as possible on the campaign trail.

I try not to write about politics much on my blog as opinions run high and sometimes hot on the subject but after reading a post over at Tar Heel Ramblings where Lee was brave enough to stick his toes into the political waters for a bit, I finally thought of a question to ask this week other than how's the weather in your neck of the woods or if you could be any kind of sandwich, what would you be?

Do you think there should be a cap on not only political spending on campaigns but also a cap on the amount of time a candidate can spend campaigning?
It's only February with a full ten months to go before we get to the actual Presidential election and I have to say that I am heartily sick of the whole thing. I'm sick of the negative campaigning, I'm sick of the posturing, and I'm sick of the news media leading the entire fray. This has been going on for well over a year now and I honestly don't see any need for it at all.

As Lee pointed out, if there was a cap on spending then it
"would eliminate the buying of the office. In fact, it might even open up the possibility that truly qualified people might be able to run for the office. Too many good candidates are not able to run because of the money issue. And to a certain respect, the same principle needs to be applied all the way down to the local level. The size of a bankroll should not have an influence in any way on who gets into office."
Add on the fact that if campaigns were time-restricted it would also eliminate the need for a candidate to have millions and millions of dollars in order to go the distance of a lengthy and drawn-out fight. And a fight is exactly what our political campaigns have become - ugly fights, below-the-belt fights, unnecessary fights, fights between people who want to become the ruler of our nation yet don't have the maturity to act like civil adults, fights that this one registered voter is sick to death of.

How about you?? Oh, and as to that sandwich question - bologna seems to work well with this post, does it not??


  1. I too am sick of the whole thing. It's indeed buying the office. Yes, there should be a cap on both spending and the amount of time they can campaign. There isn't really much to pick from either, in other words situation normal.

  2. A cap would seem sensible, otherwise it could be said that the one with the biggest treasure chest will win.

  3. I would hope for a more informed and critically questioning electorate instead. I don't know about capping campaign expenditures, we get these type of campaigns because the 45=5-% of eligible voters allow it. Greater participation of knowledgable voters might get better candidates who would actually campaign on real issues. $ caps wouldn't work, IMO I'm afraid, because so many voters would still accept the campaigning as it is, negative and all...Greater participation (way better than 50%)by voters would effect changes in elections

  4. Anonymous5:28 PM EST

    Ralph: One of the things that people cite when asked why they don't participate in the political process is the feeling that their vote doesn't matter. The second reason is that they are bored by the whole process. A shorter, concentrated election cycle would focus attention on the issues.

  5. Getting more people out to vote would be a darned good thing -but find a way to do it without the candidates being bought and sold to the highest bidder for openers. Less time to campaign too might spur a little more interest in the general populace because in a shorter period of time, there's less risk of people getting so saturated with the political scene that they lose interest in what's going on, what's needed, etc., etc. Sometimes, I think the only way to draw people out to vote it to get them so ticked off that they are about seeing red and decide maybe it's time they got off their dupas and voted - for a change.

  6. Nice, age-old question.

    But no, you don't want a cap on spending. It wouldn't work. Money's like water down the rapids - it'll find its way over any obstacles. Put limits of one type of group or funding practice, and another will emerge.

    Not only that, there's a First Amendment argument. Spending money on getting a political message out is protected by the Bill of Rights. Keep in mind too, that most money raised is in small contributions - regular people, like you and me, are able to give to a candidate, express our preferences, and get excited about helping our candidates, by kicking in a few hundred bucks.

    G.W. Bush raised $91 million in contributions of $1000 or less in 2000, and you don't "buy" a lot of insider access for $1000. It's mostly about participation.

    Plus, campaigns are expensive. A major market ad buy cost $10 to 20 thousand for one 30-second spot. These have to run continuously in the days before a primary, especially in big states like California or New York, where it's hard to do door-to-door retail politics. We're talking 100s of thousands of dollars, even millions in a multi-market spot buy.

    If we limited spending, there'd still be a need to get the message out. Who would do it? Government? We have the campaigns to do it for themselves, not the taxpayers. Political contributions are private, non-tax deductible, and necessary. It's what makes our democracy thrive.

    In any case, I ramble.

    Have a great night!!

  7. shrimp po boy and varying weather...see my show and tell

  8. Anonymous11:16 AM EST

    It's not a subject I know enough about, but it does seem inherently un democratic for any candidate to have millions to be in with a chance.

    When you have a mo, nip on over and collect your award.

  9. Bologna. Ha! Very clever. Does this mean you're on a snarky streak and you're going to enter the Challenge this week (it's not ready yet, I have to clean the castle first)but just thought I'd ask.

    I am disgusted with the entire political process as well. There has to be a better way.

  10. I agree, while this year is one of the most interesting in a while, I am already sick of it and we have the conventions and the election yet.

  11. I truly believe the campaign...and primaries should be limited to eight months prior to election. That would cut back on costs dramatically...

  12. I am also SICK to death of the whole campaign-a-thon. It was fun for awhile, but now it's just too much. And it's only Feb. 2.

    P.S. I tagged you with an easy meme, even though I didn't do the one you tagged me with.

  13. Anonymous9:37 PM EST

    It's evening here in Nashville, so it's dark and cool. I'd be a reuben.

  14. Anonymous6:23 AM EST

    The question is brillient. But I think there is no need of a cap while spending.

  15. I really need to make a valant effort to get by here on a daily basis.
    Here is a bad of mine. I don't even know when the Oregon Primary is... Wow, Oregon does everything by mail. I am a registered Rep. That sucks when there are years you don't want to swing that way. Oh well, this process is always screwed. Besides if you don't have enough money you get the Shaft. But I think my number one pet peeve is the Media controls who we see, what we hear, and how they choose it to be. Pretty Much pisses me off.... Happy Sunday to you

  16. Anonymous11:13 PM EDT

    This is an incandescent question, I really appreciate for the effort made by you.

  17. Anonymous10:42 AM EDT

    I think you are an intrepid person because you are writing such an blog.


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