Funding for candidates dependant on their campaign promises

So, I had a idea that might be a little hard to implement, but would bring some honesty back to the democratic process.

I think individual donors should be allowed to specify which campaign promise led to their donations for a candidate. Then, if the candidate failed (by a impartial observer) to at least attempt to live up to the promise, they’d have to refund the donations. This might literally mean they couldn’t run the next election cycle, because they would be too far in the hole to their donors.. but it would be a way of making sure that politicians “stayed bought”.

The problem with the current situation is that a politician can promise anything they like – and them completely forget every any promises they want after they get to office. If they upset the majority this way, they might not get reelected – but if they just upset a minority – making promises to that minority to get them extremely motivated in getting the pol elected, and then ignoring the promises after their election – nothing bad will happen to the pol, even though they’ve behaved dishonorably.

(This is partially in response to this article  – I’m disappointed, but not particularly surprised. Supporting rights for LGBTs is just not a centerist thing to do, and Obama is playing to the center, probably in the hopes of getting reelected. (says the Sheer, who is clearly not a expert at politics)

Personally, I’d rather he didn’t care about the next term – that would show that he was a truly honorable politician, willing to do the right thing on every issue even though it cost him 4 years in office*. But that’s also too much to ask for, as well I know. I guess I can always hope that after he no longer has to worry about reelection – assuming he gets reelected in 2012, and the world doesn’t end – he’ll deliver on his earlier campaign promises

* = of course, then I’d also want him to be honorable enough to bow out in favor of a Dem candidate who could win

3 Responses to “Funding for candidates dependant on their campaign promises”

  1. ClintJCL Says:


    This is a damn good idea. The problem is that it doesn’t allow for “flip-flopping”. Issues can change over time. For instance, I thought going to Iraq to get rid of Saddam was a good idea, since we betrayed the Iraqi people (many of whom were later killed) by marching up to Baghdad and giving up during the Bush 1 Gulf War. But once Saddam was out? No support from me there. And going there for oil or WMDs? No support from me there. So I was left supporting an initial deployment for completely different reasons than most of the right-wing f***s who supported the war on Iraq. The reasoning and timing was total malarky, but I felt like it was a waste of our initial investment not to depose Saddam. (But why are we still there now?!?!?)

    Things change.

    Also, this would effectively allow those with the most money to “control” their politicians. All you have to do is promise what the richest guy wants, and you’ll get enough money to succeed. But now you can’t change your mind, or you have to give the money back to the richest guy. In effect, the richest guy has bought the seat, creating an aristocracy.

    It’s a good idea, though. I just wish it could be made to work.

    Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?
    A: Their lips are moving.

    I’m very disappointed about Obama’s DOMA brief. Jeeze. I knew he was full of it, but he’s exceeding even my low expectations! The bailout is even worse for the american people, financially, than the war on terror.

  2. sheer_panic Says:

    From where I sit now, I’m not at all sure that what I wrote makes sense, either in the big picture or the small one. One thing I will say is that I’m happy with Obama’s choices over the past three years.

  3. sheer_panic Says:

    *laughs* I could go through and write what looks like it’s wrong with each of my blog posts from where I sit now. I won’t.. well, I probably won’t.. but I note that my first two lines have a problem in that lying representatives was never a flaw with the democratic process, but rather a flaw with the representative one.

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