Campaign Financing: Can the US Follow Europe's Example?

2014. március 26. 19:58
Josephine Simmons
Truth Out

Hungary has also made strides in the right direction, choosing to follow the example of France in its electoral reform prior to its April 6 parliamentary elections.

„In the 2012 Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that the ban on corporate contributions in federal elections was unconstitutional - paving the way for super PACS, which have since made a mockery out of US presidential elections. As countries in Europe have consistently managed to find ways to regulate campaign financing, the US has moved further toward a system of big-dollar contributions. (...)

Hungary has also made strides in the right direction, choosing to follow the example of France in its electoral reform prior to its April 6 parliamentary elections.

Viktor Orban and his governing coalition have banned paid campaign ads in commercial media, and have allocated free and equal access to both public and private media networks to all eligible candidates. This presents each party with an equal opportunity to present their political values and ideas, implying that candidates should be judged on political merit rather than on the size of their wallet. Democracy should not come at a price and candidates and parties shouldn't have to dole out wads of cash in order to win voters.

In the US, the campaign system is pricy and favors those who can buy influence, not ideal for a country that considers itself the beacon of democratic values. Rather than rushing to instill democracy in far-flung places, US policymakers should first look under their noses and tackle the problems of corruption at home. They should look at their friends across the Atlantic and their tactics to reform campaign financing to ensure elections are a serious occasion, rather than a circus show.”

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