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Campaign Finance Reform An Overview And Critique Of Campaign Finiance As It Stands And Suggestions To Improve The System.

894 words - 4 pages

As it stands, campaign finance is moderately regulated, yet these regulations are rife with loopholes that allow anyone with sufficient know how and resources to unfairly influence an election. I use the word influence because, quite simply, money talks. I believe that current regulations are inadequate; in the 2004 election alone, over a billion dollars was squandered by the combined efforts of John Kerry and George Bush despite the existence of FECA and the McCain-Feingold Bill (a ban on soft money). While these laws are a step in the right direction, they're only that - a step. Obviously, campaign finance "reform" is still just a euphemism for financial waste when it comes to politics. I believe that more guidelines, stricter, more thorough regulations, and a possible adaptation of the European campaign system could combine to create an effective solution to the problems presented above, without compromising free speech.The more money that is involved in running for office, the more influence that contributors - wealthy individuals, companies, labor unions, interest groups - have over elected officials and public policy. Whatever category the donor may fall into, most share a common goal, power and influence. While the common contributor may only wish to see his or her candidate of choice elected, the majority of major donors have an agenda. Their generous contributions are an investment in politics, and they want a return on this investment, a return in the form of political sway, in a platform based around their own beliefs. Whether the contribution comes from an individual, a special interest group, or big business, any sizeable donation is more than likely to have at least one string attached.This practice is inherently unfair and not representative of Americans as a whole. Groups who are willing to spend thousands, even millions of dollars do not represent the average voter. Campaign contributions are generally made by groups that share three things- wealth, status and power. Large-scale contributors possess these qualities in the extreme, and their political opinions are often equally extremist. The fanatic is more likely than the average person to gain influence through money because their fanaticism leads them to make more sizable donations. While perhaps not intentional, the very foundation of this policy is creating a political system in which the concerns of voters have been usurped by the money and influence of powerful industries and interest groups. A new "silent majority" of Americans is being created, common Americans whose votes mean less with each dollar spent by the powerful minority.Another example of an ineffective campaign...

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