Political campaigns have been consuming way too much money and that is something that some people feel that needs to change, while some other people believe that this is money well spent since the public is being properly informed about political issues. Campaign finance reform is something that aims to reduce the amount of money being used in political campaigns, and in this article we’re looking at the pros and cons of it.
List of Pros of the Campaign Finance Reform
1. The Public Knows Who Supports Who.
With the campaign finance reform, the public will know exactly where the money for each party came from, and that means that the public is going to know exactly who is supporting who. This means that the public can make informed decisions as to why a politician might be defending something that doesn’t seem correct, and what would a politician gain in winning a determined type of preposition. Simply put, there will be a lot more transparency in the world of politics due to financial restraints.
2. Less Power to Campaigns.
Politicians running determined types of political campaigns can no longer decide to bribe corporations into supporting them, and that is one of the biggest benefits that thee campaign finance reform could bring to the country. Now, political campaigns have less power to abuse corporations and to gain their support through influential force.
This means that it is a step towards the cleansing of the political world, and that in itself is going to increase the amount of available funds for political campaigns, since a lot of these funds are spent on things such as bribes and donations that intend to gain support through power and influence, rather than righteousness and honesty.
List of Cons of the Campaign Finance Reform
1. Less Options for Political Campaigns.
With the loss of money and the loss of power, came also the loss of options for political campaigns. It is now hard for them to gather funds for campaigns and as such, some things might be left out. Things that, to a certain extent, could be incredibly important for a specific part of the public. This is, essentially, limiting free speech.
2. Corruption Might Not Be Reduced.
Even with a whole set of restrictions, even the most radical types of reforms won’t be able to stop human greed, specially in a position of power. This means that people in the government will still have wishes and temptations to have their interests met, even this means that they have to take a bribe or two.
3. There Are Loopholes.
Even after the campaign finance reform, the terrain isn’t leveled for every politician and every party that there is. There are loopholes in the reform that allow politicians to legally break the rules. Everyone knows that they weren’t intended to break the rules and to do what they do, but through the exploitation of loopholes, they do manage to break the rules without having to even be scared of the consequences. Even if corrections were made, the flaws that exist in natural language would still create loopholes – just like in every other system.
A Look Back in History
In the 1800s, politicians would have to use their own funds, as well as the funds that came from their supporters, in order to persuade the public into liking them and into going along with their message and line of thought. This can even be traced to incidents of bribery, and as we all know, bribery is completely unaccepted.
Back in the days, political groups used to threaten corporations into financing their campaigns, and that meant that the most influential politicians had incredible financial advantages over other politicians that did not have as much influence at the time. This meant that even though one could be a million times better than the other, the ruler of the nation would be determined by money and power, not ability.
President Theodore Roosevelt was the very first president that actually had something to say against this and that spoke supporting such a reform. In his actions against the campaign finance issue, he supported a lot of bills that were going to aid in the reform, but even though he clearly supported them, congress decided not to pass these bills. In 1907, the Tillman Act was passed, and this made it completely legal for corporations to be able to financially support campaigns directly.
Major Reform in the 1970’s
Even though the issue had been around since the 1800s, the first major reform that was done about it only happened in the 1970s. It was during these years that the Federal Election Campaign Act was passed (1971) and this act increased the transparency that political parties needed to have regarding their campaigns. In order to increase transparency, political parties had to disclose all of their funds.
From The 1980’s to the 2000’s
The debate around campaign finance reform as pretty quiet through this time, but it then quickly came back to the news and into the minds of the public. In 2002, there was the McCain-Feingold bill, and it made it so that money could not be donated to a candidate, but it actually had to be donated to a specific party instead. This made it to the minds and mouths of the public so badly that is was a heavy influence on the campaign finance reform of today.