Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

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Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Kasrkin Seath on Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:04 pm

I've been saddened by the lack of discussions on the forum recently, so I figured I would try something new. I am starting a series of (intended) short debate and discussion threads that will focus on a fairly random assortment of political and philosophical areas of disagreement.

So to kick off the series, the topic shall be:

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Political Campaign Funding

According to your beliefs, what are acceptable methods for the generation of funds for political campaigns in a nation such as the United States? Are donations acceptable, and if so, should they be limited or unlimited? Should information regarding donations be made public or allowed to be kept private? Should there be no donations allowed at all with campaigns instead funded by a government stipend? Share your thoughts.
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Personally, I believe that no donations should be allowed whatsoever, with political campaigns entirely funded by the government. I believe this for a variety of reasons, two of which are stated below:

  • Being out-funded hurts far more than having everyone underfunded. Any candidate either seeking to run or currently running is dependent on advertising to increase his/her popularity and drown out competition.
  • Tying in with the previous point, the candidates who run for office are those who have enough money and influence to make it through primaries. To compete in a primary, any one candidate must be able to match the financial assets of his/her competitors or be left unknown to the public.

I think that the election process could be improved by levying a minor tax and providing all valid candidates with an equivalent amount of money. While 'validity' is undefined and subject to abuse and the response of the media establishments to each candidate may vary, this course of action would hopefully increase the equality of exposure for candidates who are running.

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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Nocbl2 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:45 pm

Campaigns themselves are not really a good idea at all. The people we elect should be people who are already well-known for positively improving their communities or the citizens they serve.
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by KrAzY on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:50 pm

well, electing only people well-known for their jobs is why congressmen have something like a 90% chance of keeping their jobs in elections even with low approval ratings

I do think there should be limits to campaign funding
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Nocbl2 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:09 pm

Mr.Inferior of the two Admins wrote:well, electing only people well-known for their jobs is why congressmen have something like a 90% chance of keeping their jobs in elections even with low approval ratings

I do think there should be limits to campaign funding
Not because of their jobs, but because of what they've done outside of those jobs.

Like, say X candidate saved a cart full of puppies. He would be the better choice than the guy who was kicking carloads of kittens over cliff faces.
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Tylertlat on Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:41 pm

Nocbl2 wrote:
Not because of their jobs, but because of what they've done outside of those jobs.

Like, say X candidate saved a cart full of puppies. He would be the better choice than the guy who was kicking carloads of kittens over cliff faces.


If Mr. Carload Kicker can lower my taxes AND hire more public servants, I'll take him over Mr. Cart Catcher and his woefully mismanaged Mosquito Preservation Agency most day of the week.

Knee-Jerk Reaction, a set set allowance or firm cap on campaign spending seems like a the best idea, but if the candidates are going to raise their own money, there shouldn't be restrictions. The winner in that game is the person better able to rules-lawyer the system, not necessarily the better candidate.
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Angatar on Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:44 am

Mr.Inferior of the two Admins wrote:well, electing only people well-known for their jobs is why congressmen have something like a 90% chance of keeping their jobs in elections even with low approval ratings

I do think there should be limits to campaign funding

Haha, everyone thinks it's the other five-hundred guys that suck, not their congressman.

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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by PiEdude on Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:18 pm

I'm gonna play the devil's advocate here.

Vote Lucifer 2016! Want someone to burn up Washington? Because he'll make one hell of a president!
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Ruski on Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:42 pm

My personal opinion on the matter is that there should obviously be campaigning. No doubt about that. That's a fundamental way you raise awareness of yourself, your deeds, and how you point out your opponent's flaw or controversies and vise versa. I'd like to live a world that Noc promotes, but that isn't the real world unfortunately. You may do good, but the only way that that will be known is if you promote it.

I agree with Mr.Inferior of the two Admins on the fact that there should be limits to campaign funding, much unlike there currently is. I believe the Supreme Court ruled the wrong way in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. The exact cap that should be put in place, however, I personally don't know what I would set it at.

On the point of the government funding the campaigns, I'm pretty left leaning so take that as you will, but I think that from a realist point of view that this method is not really a sustainable way to run a campaign and draws into other questions such as how will we fund this, who determines what, will a new bureaucracy be needed to do this, etc. While I think it may be achievable in time, I think its far easier and cost efficient to mend the current system.

On top of all this, I think that as a nation that strives for democratic ideals, it is in our own interests that the individuals or businesses or w/e that provide donations be meticulously detailed. No hiding behind walls or what have you, just full up declarations. Obviously the details would need to be fined tuned and shit, but I suppose that is my belief on the matter.

 Ruski
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Nocbl2 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:03 pm

(oh, as an aside I accidentally voted no on the poll. Woops.)
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:28 pm

Ruski wrote:On top of all this, I think that as a nation that strives for democratic ideals, it is in our own interests that the individuals or businesses or w/e that provide donations be meticulously detailed. No hiding behind walls or what have you, just full up declarations. Obviously the details would need to be fined tuned and shit, but I suppose that is my belief on the matter.

 Ruski
And if I'm asked to resign from my job because of past donations I've made? Even if my job and that campaign I supported have as much relevance as the price of tea in China does to annual rainfall over Iowa?
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Ruski on Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:02 pm

Rasq'uire'laskar wrote:
Ruski wrote:On top of all this, I think that as a nation that strives for democratic ideals, it is in our own interests that the individuals or businesses or w/e that provide donations be meticulously detailed. No hiding behind walls or what have you, just full up declarations. Obviously the details would need to be fined tuned and shit, but I suppose that is my belief on the matter.

 Ruski
And if I'm asked to resign from my job because of past donations I've made? Even if my job and that campaign I supported have as much relevance as the price of tea in China does to annual rainfall over Iowa?

The Register is a tech news and opinion blog site...but disregarding that, the man chose to resign. He wasn't pressured internally, in fact, his fellow employees supported his right to do business despite the fact they disagreed with him politically. It was several other businesses that went against him, for example, OKcupid was one of the largest, and they have already apologized for framing the protest the way they did. Sure, the protesters went overboard in their rally and attacks on Twitter, but again, he chose to resign, he was not fired.

Finally, that last point of your's on China's tea prices and the rainfall over Iowa as compared to supporting a campaign and your job. Listen, I'm fine with someone believing what they want. I'm fine with anonymous voting. But when you donate to someone's campaign, there is a reason you've given money to them. You don't just willy nilly hand out money to candidates.

Again, its not like I'm advocating this to be applied only to conservatives or w/e. It should apply to all those who donate.
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Rotaretilbo on Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:51 am

Ruski wrote:but disregarding that, the man chose to resign. He wasn't pressured internally, in fact, his fellow employees supported his right to do business despite the fact they disagreed with him politically. It was several other businesses that went against him, for example, OKcupid was one of the largest, and they have already apologized for framing the protest the way they did. Sure, the protesters went overboard in their rally and attacks on Twitter, but again, he chose to resign, he was not fired.

A CEO of a major organization never "just resigns". A resignation from that sort of position is pretty much always forced. "You will resign and retain some dignity, or we will terminate you." That is how that goes down. No one walks away from a gig like that of their own volition because a few people don't like an organization to whom they made a charitable contribution. To pretend otherwise is naive at best.

Ruski wrote:Finally, that last point of your's on China's tea prices and the rainfall over Iowa as compared to supporting a campaign and your job. Listen, I'm fine with someone believing what they want. I'm fine with anonymous voting. But when you donate to someone's campaign, there is a reason you've given money to them. You don't just willy nilly hand out money to candidates.

You're wrong. There just isn't any other way to say it. Dead wrong. What an individual does with his own money is inherently and irrevocably separate from his place of employment. It doesn't matter if there is a reason to donate the money. I mean, no fucking shit, there is going to be a reason he donated the money. But how does that make it significant for where you work? Whether he's donating money to anti-gay organizations or the fucking Ku Klux Klan, how does that in any way have anything whatsoever to do with Mozilla? Boycotting a business because of the political views (and yes, that is what donating to a political organization effectively comes down to) of a specific employee of that business is stupid. Asking for an employee to resign because of their political views is wrong. I don't care if they donated money, attended meetings, or got out their with signs and protested, what a man does with his personal time and money should be of no relevance to his place of employment, unless he is doing something illegal or something specifically involving his place of employment.

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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Nocbl2 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:30 am

Rot wrote:You're wrong...
Exactly. While I may not agree with his views on an issue, so long as it doesn't affect my business I can't fire him for it or force him to resign. It'd be technically illegal, yes? Something along the lines of discriminating based on belief...

Now, if he was taking money from the accounts of the business and putting it towards that campaign fund, THAT is another matter entirely and is worthwhile of some sort of punishing.
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:56 pm

Ruski wrote:The Register is a tech news and opinion blog site...
-Attack the source.

For the purpose of this argument, the article I provided will do. It was purely a news article.

Ruski wrote:Finally, that last point of your's on China's tea prices and the rainfall over Iowa as compared to supporting a campaign and your job. Listen, I'm fine with someone believing what they want. I'm fine with anonymous voting. But when you donate to someone's campaign, there is a reason you've given money to them. You don't just willy nilly hand out money to candidates.
No, you donate to someone who you agree with.
Let me parse this: You can hold a differing opinion, because you're probably ignorant or misinformed or just don't know the issues. But the minute you donate to a politician, you know exactly what you're doing. Thoughtcrime!

Ruski wrote:Again, its not like I'm advocating this to be applied only to conservatives or w/e. It should apply to all those who donate.
So, I can hold whatever opinion I want, but the minute I support someone who holds similar beliefs, my job and my livelihood are fair game?

That is just screwed up.
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Ruski on Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:52 pm

@ Rot

The tidbit about him resigning may have been off. I'll admit that I was wrong there. From what I had read at the time, there was little to no internal discourse about the issue.

@ Rasq

I understand that you wanna use The Register as a news article and its not like this is an official debate round. But from my past of debate, its just second nature to go after the source so I apologize.

Sure, you can donate to a politician whether or not you fully know and/or understand their positions. Keep in mind that that is still a risk you are taking and while it may be less severe as willingly donating to a candidate or w/e that you do understand, there is still that risk that the public may backlash at you.

To end this post, I will link to an article from Forbes that I think helps get my point across http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardlevick/2014/04/16/brendan-eich-is-a-person-and-so-is-mozilla/
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Re: Miscellaneous Issues of Contention #1

Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:51 pm

Ruski wrote:
@ Rasq
Sure, you can donate to a politician whether or not you fully know and/or understand their positions. Keep in mind that that is still a risk you are taking and while it may be less severe as willingly donating to a candidate or w/e that you do understand, there is still that risk that the public may backlash at you.
Yes, I understand that. I know that people will disagree with what I believe and what I have to say.

That said, I think it's outright madness to fire an employee for his beliefs. I've worked with communists, homosexuals, anarchists and Episcopalians, and the only question I had was "Can this person do their job?"
If I learned that they had harmed another person recently, I would call for their job. If I found that they'd ever committed rape, I would call for their job. But calling for someone to resign because of their politics robs the company of valuable experience and work ethic.

And yes, I can see an exception. If Eich had been working for OK Cupid or the It Gets Better Project, then his politics conflicts with the company's goals. In that case, give him the pink slip. Hell, just to rub it in, make it a pink triangle.  Twisted Evil
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