Nothing will change in the federal government until corporate funds (and large donations from individuals) are no longer used to finance elections. While we’re at it, we should shorten the campaign season as well.
Since the Supreme Court has said that “money” equals “free speech” — the citizen will always be out spent. Regulating campaign funds is out. To make the difference, we need public campaign financing that is voluntary (the only way to make it with the courts). A system needs to be set up — in other words legislated. We can think federal and act federal (Fair Elections Now Act) but how do you get the fox away from the hen house? Now that the right has starved our state’s budget with its stance against tax reform, our legislators will never choose public campaign finance funding over funding for basic health. The Occupy movements are important because we need to let our elected leaders know that we’re fed up with the status quo and to wake up the citizens. How is it possible it’s taken this long? People have been out of work for years! I support this movement totally and completely.
How we have allowed corporations to run our government for so long is beyond me. It needs to stop now. I think this should be our main focus for the occupation. We need a short and clear message. But if this change happens, a lot of other things will get fixed down the line.
If we enact term limits, then lobbyists will be the most knowledgeable people in DC. We need to remove corporate and personal money from politics in order to get our politicians to answer to the people. Majority rules vs. money rules. Simple as that.
A system such as publicly funded elections may be a solution to forcing our elected officials into getting back to the people’s business. There will always be corruption in politics, like everything else. But we need to create incentives for them to do what we need as a democracy. Healthcare, education, environment, defense spending, corporate greed, societal welfare may then be pushed to the front of line in congress.
So many worthy goals, but none of them will be reached until money is removed from politics. Getting the money out of politics is a hot-button issue that the grassroots of the left, center and the right can actually agree upon. Whether it’s publicly funded elections or no corporate or union money in election, and reasonable limits on individual campaign contributions, a united push and laser focus to amend the Constitution is the only way to stop the growing corporate and media control of this nation. Once elections are free from the taint of money, politicians will begin responding to the public instead of to the corporations or the lobbyists. It’s that simple and that’s what we need as NON-NEGOTIABLE DEMAND # 1. Let’s stop dividing ourselves against each other. Get the money out of politics!
I think that we are asking for too much at once. Sadly not all the 99% are conscious of what has lead us to this movement, making it difficult to understand why we are here. There are many layers of corruption and if we focused on one overall layer it would make more sense to those trying to understand.
I’m not saying that any one layer is less important than another, but one overall idea should be the main focus in order to progress this movement to a solution. If our current legislative system can’t address all of the issues our society/country faces, then how are we going to fix them ourselves overnight?
If this movement has done anything, it has at least reignited my faith that this country is not comprised of apathetic, passive bystanders who do nothing but talk about the ills without taking action against them. If we succeed in at least one area, we’ll have the inspiration to tackle the next.
Personally I think it is interesting that the movement is composed by such diverse voices. The media spins this as a negative, I think it’s a positive and should be embraced. The actions that this government and corporate America have been taking for the last couple decades are wound up in incredibly complicated bureaucracies, policies, secrecy etc. I think the diverse voices that we are seeing are the effect to those many many causes. Although if you look at it, most of the demands can be answered by financial reform, that is the root of most of it. I say keep it going!!!! we’ll figure it out as we go. Although some of the demands are very obvious and if the politicians and 1% aren’t getting it, they are even more incompetent than i thought.
As in any siege, the “fighters” must rest. Sheltered rest provides for more rested fighters. Use the city hall space in shifts; while leaving at least half occupying the park at all times. Also, the tents at city hall will provide a constant reminder to our govt. officials that we have a voice now. Thoughts anyone. I am just feeling for all of you with the rains about to fall hard.
Corporations fund elections, therefore corporations reap the benefits of our elected officials. We are sheep that follow along with what ever choices they give us. Make elections publicly funded, take away the corporate advantage and take control of our own choices!
I think this should read, “Publicly funded election campaigns.” Elections themselves (printing, distributing and counting ballots) are already at government expense.
I hate to say anything “boils down” to something so simple, but if there is “one demand” that the occupy together groups should shoot for it might be this. By taking private money out of campaign financing, then we are significantly limiting the role that moneyed interests can play in politics. Without this, our country really doesn’t have a chance of any meaningful change.
Friends, this is a common denominator issue – let’s support it as a critical tool to set a level field on which our other issues may gain traction.
For more depth on campaign finance reform, Lawrence Lessig is a current leading voice on the issue. He argues that our political system is essentially addicted to fundraising at the expense of governance and at the sacrifice of credibility. He spoke at Seattle Town Hall last night and visited Occupy Seattle while here – if you didn’t have the chance to hear him in person, check out his book “Republic, Lost.”
Online resources on this issue:
Thanks for the continued passion of individuals to make a difference!
As Jesse LaGreca said recently, money in politics is the head of the beast. We need to prioritize real campaign finance reform so our elected officials are answerable to the actual electorate rather than to big-dollar funders.
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