Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Governance Concept: Ethics & Accountability In Election Campaign Reform

Hello All,

When I state "Campaign Reform" I'm not speaking about the amount of financing from donors into political elections. My concept will cover two different segments of campaign reform that some sort of headway needs to be pursued.

The first is to bolster voter confidence and participation into our Constitutional Republic democracy. When political candidates during an election campaign either directly or indirectly by a proxy group attack the personality of a rival. It is demoralizing not just to the one receiving the often baseless warping of the facts. But it tortures the Issues facing the populace as a whole be it at the: Local, State, or Federal levels of governance. Such childish "Tit for Tat" attacks further antagonizes the voters with misinformation by solidifying ill informed stances on the issues at hand.

What I propose is a series of penalties to be codified into Campaign Reform Law. A simple primer so that the law makers and their legal wordsmiths do not get confused.

The possible penalties could be:

A) To be liable and prosecuted in the Civil & State Courts for "Hate Speech".

Hate speech in so far using campaign literature and media airtime to attack a political rival. Be it their political history, military service history, personal character assassination, and religious background.

B) To disqualify for a period of years from any sort of elected or appointed political office in government.

Basically to be "Black Listed" for conduct that is demeaning in the public domain during an election campaign. Be it in the confines of using slander, liable, hate speech, or defaming a political rival during an election campaign.

C) To pay specified penalty fines for each campaign media spot. That is considered as demeaning as stated above in "A & B" that is aired or displayed in the public domain. By displayed meaning: direct mail pieces, pamphlets, billboards, posters, or other forms of printed media.

This option basically bankrupts the political war chest of a would be person running for elected office.

The above trio of penalties for campaign attacks against a rival during a campaign. I consider to be "Part 1" of my election campaign reform.

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"Part 2", consists of accountability of "Campaign Promises" made to the voters in order to get into elected office.

How many times have voters elected a suave charismatic politician into elected office. Where once inside government it turns out to be a case of "Dr. Jeckal & Mr. Hyde" in regards to the policies and agendas that is pursued.

Again my proposal is to offer a set of penalties. To those who have little to no intentions as political tricksters in attempting to pursue their campaign promises. I will not fault the politician that in full earnest attempts to dialogue and engage his or her own associates in government or the citizenry. But for those who are hypocrites they deserve a set of political and governmental penalties imposed on them. This will force politicians to think twice before they open their mouth. In what they seek to accomplish whilst in elected office.

Here is another set of three potential penalties that can be codified into political Campaign Reform law.

A) In failure to uphold campaign promises during an election campaign. The elected member of government is denied from running as an incumbent. In the same office for the next term of elections.

Basically denying the politician from running again for a second term. Be it in the: Local, State, or Federal government level. However it doesn't forbid them from running in another post up for election. Akin to playing musical chairs jumping from post to post.

B) A Monetary penalty fine is imposed at the end of their term in office. It can consist of 10% of their combined salary during their term. Or 10% as an example of their total economic self-worth in terms of assets.

Basically hitting the politician in the wallet where it is meant to hurt. By their practice of deception and misleading the citizenry in false intentions.

C) A public apology at the end of their term to those in government and the citizenry for a lack of leadership. Without making excuses or blaming something else for their own lack of initiative to even engage on the issues promised.

This one is the least painful and may be considered more of a slap on the wrist. It may in fact increase their political popularity rating in the short term by showing humility. By stating his or her own weakness and vulnerability and making a stand to do better the next time around. (Doesn't that sound like another hollow "Campaign Promise"?)

This is all in an attempt to strengthen "Campaign Reform" and the public discourse. Through participation of those in government and the citizenry to continue to build up our democracy. And, not allow the all too often political mud slinging in election campaigns. That cause agony to the voters even if it is on a subliminal basis.