jump to last post 1-2 of 2 discussions (65 posts)

What rules can we institute to reduce political corruption?

  1. Josak profile image59
    Josakposted 2 years ago

    Some thoughts:
    No campaign contributions allowed all campaigns are funded by a tiny flat tax every party receives a given amount to publicize their views so long as they can get say 50 000 party members.

    Yearly full IRS audit for all major elected officials.

    A limit on legal fees for any court case thus preventing wealthy people avoiding justice or overwhelming poorer legal opponents with un-affordable lawyers. (This obviously affects more than just political corruption)

    I know many support term limits, personally I don't as they are a perversion of democratic principles.

    Agree or Disagree? Any to add?

    1. Silverspeeder profile image60
      Silverspeederposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with most of your statement Josak but I do think politicians should only be allowed a maximum of 2 years in office. Part of the reason why the UK hasn't got caps on campaign funds, expenses, and legal aid for the rich is because career politicians say it shouldn't be so.
      !0 years is enough time for any politician to say he has done is bit for his country and the world in general.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        But the UK does have caps on campaign funds and expenses!

    2. HowardBThiname profile image89
      HowardBThinameposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with the mandatory audit - I don't agree with a flat tax assessed to pay for campaigns because that means the party committee essentially chooses the candidates. A lone wolf that might be decent won't stand a chance if he/she doesn't toe the party line.

      Your "legal fees" thing might have some merit - but I don't know how you're applying it to politicians.

      I think term limits are not only a good idea - I think they should be even shorter than they are now. That might not coincide with democratic principles but it fits with our form of govt., which is a constitutional republic based on federalism. The longer a politician is in office - the greater the chance of corruption. As long as we have the Constitution to hold sway over our laws, the best results (for the people) are going to be realized by a steady stream of new politicians and new ideas.

      We've become so large - I think we've almost outgrown the presidential system. I think we might be better served by - say - five head's of state from different geographical regions that are subject to two-year term limits. And instead of Washington DC., let's move our govt. offices to the middle of the nation, say Nebraska.

      I don't think we'll ever get rid of all corruption, because politicians are often the sort of people who are corrupt. But, I think we can minimize it.

      1. Josak profile image59
        Josakposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Term limits are dictatorship by paper. You can't force the people who are governed to be governed in the way you see fit rather than the way they do. Otherwise all you have is tyranny.

        1. HowardBThiname profile image89
          HowardBThinameposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Term limits are the only saving grace of a democracy. Term limits prevent tyranny - they do not increase it. Term limits force corrupt politicians out of office and ensure that no person usurps too much power. Term limits do the exact opposite of what you are suggesting.

          1. Josak profile image59
            Josakposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Every tyrant always has an excuse as to why the people are not qualified to run their own government. It is usually encapsulated by "It's for their own good".

            1. HowardBThiname profile image89
              HowardBThinameposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              That has nothing to do with term limits that actually discourage tyranny. You're looking at the situation backwards.

    3. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with the campaign funding to be publicly based. As to it being based on a flat  tax I don't know. We already have the ability to donate with our tax returns so I say base it on what people are willing to donate then.

      The court case restrictions on legal fees can be tricky as some cost comes from private investigation and expert witnesses. How do you determine who is getting what in a defendants ability to provide a defense? And how much should that cost be allowed. What may provide a filter is if there is an award of legal fees being reimbursed to the defense by the prosecution if it loses.

      Term limits have to be engaged if there is to be any progress with those whose whole purpose is to remain in power and engage in gridlocking the democratic process. If you are elected and have two terms to get something done then get it done or get out. Lobbyist will have to make their moves quickly and if they do they may be talking to the wrong guy as they haven't a track record to base their approach. They will be found out quickly.

      I have stated many times, Term Limits, Publicly Financed Campaigns and Lobby Reform are our only chance. A good thing would be if the media could provide an unbiased platform to inform us all as well.

      1. Josak profile image59
        Josakposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I like everything else but...

        Well I can't support anything undemocratic. I am extremely wary of anyone claiming that the people should not decide their government because they know better... That reeks to high hell of tyranny.

        Can't agree on term limits.

        1. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Well we are a Democratic-Republic. The two were conjoined as a need for expediency rather than waiting to have everything on a ballot. It worked fine in the beginning as the government had limited power and the problems of managing a small central government required limited maintenance. Where it went terribly wrong was when the government grew and the revenues from it grew as well. You could put a congressman in your pocket and sit back as your vote was cast in your favor. Term limits would make the process of buying a politician very expensive while limiting the amount a corrupt politician could collect in a shorter time period. This is nothing new and is in the constitution with regards to the presidency. Besides without new ideas to confront new problems a society becomes stale and complacent.

    4. lmoyer92 profile image82
      lmoyer92posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I know that your idea of putting a limit on legal fees has good intentions, but I think I'd have to disagree. I understand that your reasoning behind it is to reduce political corruption, but what about the few cases where the wealthy individual that can afford an amazing lawyer is actually innocent, even when no one believes him/her?

      1. Josak profile image59
        Josakposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Well my answer is why does the innocent rich man falsely accused have more right to good representation than the poor man?

        Justice should be equal for everyone.

        1. lmoyer92 profile image82
          lmoyer92posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I do suppose that's a valid argument. I'm just trying to see it in the eyes of the attorney. They charge what they feel their skills are valued at. If the government were to step in and say "you can't charge more than this much" in an attempt to help the poor man, wouldn't it be taking away the rights of the attorney?

          1. Josak profile image59
            Josakposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Perhaps. I think you are correct it would reduce the profits of the legal profession a bit, personally I see that as the lesser of the two evils given the other option is the law favoring the wealthy in such a monumental way.

            This often comes to the fore when politicians are tried as they tend to be very wealthy.

            1. lmoyer92 profile image82
              lmoyer92posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              At this point, I must agree. When it would come down to deciding whether to allow a guilty man to walk free, or force lower prices on an attorney that's already making more money than they probably need, the lesser evil would certainly not be allowing a guilty man to walk free

              1. Josak profile image59
                Josakposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                That is my view of it yes.

    5. 0
      Dave36posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I don't personally think that there's anything, that would get rid of Political Corruption....I live in the UK, & it's just one MP after another getting done for corruption nowadays....The trouble is having Human Beings "run" the system, & Human Beings (in power) can't be trusted!....I always say that in general it's the s**t that rises to the top, in most companies/organisations/governments etc....Also anyone who's been in a position of "power" at work or the forces etc, will know that "power" is a real feeling....It's manifested from within the person, but if that person isn't careful they can become "big headed", OR even worse "power mad".....That's what i think our Prime Minister, & your President are "power mad"!....Only the people can stop corruption in their Governments, but the Governments are doing everything they can, to stop the people protesting etc....Why?, because their all corrupt!....Their locking people up in the UK & the USA now, all because they want to voice their opinions!....(Terrorist Act) Just remember this folks, your Government are supposed to work for "you"....So "when" was the last time, they actually did something you "wanted"?....Our society in the UK is going down hill "very" fast now, the Government blames the Unemployed when i know for a fact that "EVERYTHING" is the Governments fault.....I mean it's "them" that's been running the show for all this time!. :-(

    6. 61
      retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You misidentify the root cause of corruption as money, it is power that corrupts. 

      1)Reduce the power, scope and reach. Deregulate and defund every aspect of government power not specifically granted it by charters, referenda and constitutions.  Eliminate the adminstrative, regulatory state by throwing those responsibilities back on the lazy legislatures in the country.

      2)Subject all campaign funding and spending to absolute full disclosure through a readily available, widely circulated, free and searchable record - both electronic and paper.

      3)Impose criminal and civil penalties and fines to any violation. Jail money launderers - even if they are Buddhist nuns.

      4)Elected official should not be insulated by their own government mechanisms from a fraud investigation.  A permanent election review process focusing on fraud with the power to issue subpeonas and criminally indict any elected official, should the investigation warrant it.  Do not permit resignation to be the acceptable punishment.  Bar anyone with a felony conviction, any where at any time, from elective office - nation wide. Frog march, with ankle, wrist and waist chains, any convicted former official in front of every news agency in the world.

      5)If public flogging, the stocks or hanging were acceptable, I would advocate those.

      Serving the American people is a grant of trust and a noble honor with out peer, if a politician cannot meet that standard then he has no business serving.  We are to be served not to serve, politicians are our servants, they need to be reminded of that  - frequently and loudly.

      "Sunshine is the best disinfectant"
      Justice Louis Brandeis

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Well maybe not 5, but the rest should help a lot.

        1. 61
          retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I did say "if."  Sadly, they are not.

      2. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        May I add that legislators are to be subject to the very same laws the rest of the people are?

        My state includes a provision that state legislators do not need a concealed weapon permit in order to carry one.  It hit the fan last year when one legislator had his permit yanked for lying on the permit application (failure to disclose criminal actions), but continued to carry under that exemption.  The law is being reviewed, but many legislators are adamant they will not give up their special privilege - something that is astounding to me that they would even consider.

        Let's have our "leaders" accountable to the same laws they put onto other people.  No exceptions, no exemptions.

        1. 61
          retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          There are some responsibilities that officers in government have that require some secrecy but precious few responsibilities and even fewer officers have them.

          It should never have been acceptable for any government official to be insulated from the law.  Is there a situation or condition when subjecting a government official to the laws we must obey would place him in undue danger?  I am not sure I care.  If one is in a government office then one should have the fortitude to endure such danger.  It is time we demanded that only the best will do when awarding someone a salary supplied by the citizens of the locality, state or national government.

          Screw your courage to the sticking place politicians it is time to nut up and do your job!

      3. rhamson profile image77
        rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        By casting aside the money issue with regards to corruption you are ignoring the methods by which political power is attained. Money buys friends, morals and elections, all of which are key ingredients to gain and hold power. 

        1) What power would you wish to marginalize to local legislatures in their regions? With regards to ecological areas shared such as rivers and streams that transfer pollution to those downstream. Should we tie something like that up in federal courts?
        2) Who would audit the campaign funding and mitigate the politicians as even the IRS can't find all the corruption corporations and business owners commit in any given year. Mind you many of these candidates are lawyers or savvy business men with top accounting firms at their disposal.
        3) Criminal penalties are already in place and remember the money. That buys a lot of justice.
        4) Remember who is doing the prosecuting? The very ones that either are in cahoots with the offender or are trying to lessen the blow so if they themselves ever get caught the rest will go easy on them.
        5) If that were the case why shouldn't we go Henry VIII on them. lol Cruel and unusual punishment is a constitutional no no.

        "Serving the American people is a grant of trust and a noble honor with out peer, if a politician cannot meet that standard then he has no business serving.  We are to be served not to serve, politicians are our servants, they need to be reminded of that  - frequently and loudly."

        I agree with everything in this statement. Now if we had a useful media and vigilant electorate something serious and valuable might have the climate to take place.

        Publicly Financed Campaigns, Term Limits and lobby reform are our only hope of curing our ills.

        1. 61
          retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Again, it is the power that commands the money.  If I can drive you out of business, or I can make huge money with my personal insider information about legislation through the power of my political office, why wouldn't you try to influence me?  It is survival for a business that is at stake.  If you want to end corruption devolve power from politicians.

          1. rhamson profile image77
            rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The money is what draws the element we now have in charge. It takes money to get elected, it takes money to get heard and it takes money to control others who would dispute your power over them. If you took the money out of the elections and the subsequent decision making process who would want to do the job? 47% of Congress are millionaires 268 to be exact, up from 257 the year earlier. Many who enter Congress under a million net worth leave a millionaire. The focus is on the money and the money comes at them from all directions whether worthwhile or nefarious. You have the tail wagging the dog in your observation. This is a capitalist society and money is king as such is our political system. Up until recently the members or Congress who were privy to insider trading information were allowed to do so without any prosecution. They did it because it was free money to them. Why else would they do it other than for the money. No my friend, money corrupts at all levels and the greed associated with it has no moral conscience.

            1. 0
              Dave36posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Yes buddy money makes the world go round, our prime minister for example is worth 40 million pounds, & all his Cabinet members are all multi millionaires!...Why would David Cameron want to be prime minister of GB, a job that only pays around a 160 grand a year?, bearing in mind he's worth 40 million.....Because Politics is just one big corrupt fiddling system, & the EU is even worse!.....Work for the EU & you can claim everything you want, & you don't even need to hand receipts in.....No audits on how much is spent/wasted at all!!!!.....The thing about money is it's completely worthless, so even if you had 1 hundred grand in the bank, what have you actually got?.....You've got 1 hundred grands worth of "paper", as they've got ALL the gold/silver etc....(They, meaning the Bankers!)....They stole all our land, then they stole all our gold/silver from us.....So i wouldn't necessarily say money was the number one thing that draws people into politics, i'd say it's the power, & their ALL power mad psycho's!....The USA & GB politicians, & politicians in other countries, are trying to gain "complete full control of the masses", keep us poor so we have to work for them!.

              1. rhamson profile image77
                rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I don't know if the rich are trying to keep us poor as much as they are striving to get and have more than we do. Unfortunately in a scheme such as designed to keep the poor and middle class down the rich cut their nose off despite their face. The poor and middle class are the drivers in the US economy. If they don't buy the rich don't profit and the economy stagnates. The rich are therefore not the job creators as we are led to believe. What is a solution that does not tax our way out of this situation?

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Are you distinguishing between "job creator" and "job provider"?  Because I've never seen a poor person with employees, and very few middle class.  Just the rich, although it DOES matter how you define rich.

                  And you will not find a solution that supplies the needs and wants of most of the people without having some of them being rich.

                  1. rhamson profile image77
                    rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    We have had this discussion before. A job creator can come in two forms. One being in the narrative that conditions create an opportunity for job creation. The other is that while a business can establish a job to fulfill a need in the course of doing business, essentially all they did was meet a need. Supply and demand is what business uses to determine their investment or anticipation to meet a need for expansion. It is not the "build it and they will come" scenario. If you have ever been involved in starting a business or launching a product very little risk is what you wish to incur. Corporations are now in the habit of allowing others to establish a business or product at the others risk and then are happy to buy out the person who has risked their own assets for proof of concept. I have been involved with this process many times and have seen little eagerness on the part of corporations to just hire people in anticipation of a successful product launch. People buying the product determines who and how many jobs are to be created.
                    No one is leaving the rich out of this scenario as entrepreneurs are always looking for a way to exploit a product or service to make money. There is nothing wrong with this exploitation as it rewards the entrepreneur for their risk and hard work. In the course of seeing a profit and reasonable success they may decide to hire employees to fulfill the need. The success of the product is what created the need for a job and not the person per se. What is in question is whether they invented the product or service or risked all to serve a need.

                2. 0
                  Dave36posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  No one "needs" a job, they just like to make us think we do....I mean doesn't anyone think it's strange, that we all have to work or we starve....Ask yourselves this: Where was your fair share of land when you we're born?, & why aren't you working & living off that land now?, trading with your neighbors etc....The Economy is complete made up bullcrap, & all you've really got, is Politicians around the world trying to stay on the top of the pile....Power mad people running the world is what there is, & we're all born into a "system" where we have to work.....They stole the land & gold etc before we we're born, now we have to work for them in the name of progress/growth etc!.

            2. 61
              retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              How many armed agents can the Kock Brothers field to drag politicians off to jail and confiscate their property?  The Government is force, what business can field indiscriminate force.  Ask Gibson Guitar about the force of government. When the Black Shirts start arresting your peers, you are left with two choices, cooperate or fight.  If the Black Shirts promise you can retain most of your wealth, who would fight?  Power flows from the barrel of a gun.

              1. rhamson profile image77
                rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I don't know if a Nazi like level of authority is being enjoined by the government or that a business even needs to mount such a defense but there are excesses in every quarter and doomsday scenarios don't seem to be the norm as of yet. The problem with our government is with us. They are our fabrication updated with every election we decide to and not to participate in. Where we go wrong is wanting things our own way and the h#ll with compromise. We elect people who are as corrupt as the day is long because what they do to others is pale in comparison to what we the individual get from the corrupt official. We go to extremes demonizing those whose opinion doesn't match our own and come up with all or nothing so called compromises to appease the other side. We cannot talk to each other anymore without marginalizing them by placing them conveniently in a suitable cubby hole. We have lost our ability to relate to each other. I have seen in so many discussions the mere mention of some terminology used by others as a brush to paint the conversation completely a different direction and put down the person trying to make a point. It might be a valid point but that is soon forgotten as the attacker is now hell bent on further removing any semblance of a qualitative discussion.
                A wise old man once told me that we get the government we deserve and it is the best money can buy.

                1. 0
                  Dave36posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  The thing is buddy is it doesn't matter jack shit who you vote for, the same system will keep getting rolled out as it's the same in the UK.....A 2 party system, & both are corrupt....Politicians are just puppets for who ever's pulling their strings, i don't know who the puppet masters are but they must exist.....So if you think society is going down hill fast, who's fault is it?....Yes, it's the Governments fault every time, their the one's running the country....The people haven't let themselves become that way, they've been pushed, & manipulated that way through the media & celebrity culture etc etc.....Exactly the same in the UK, their breaking down society, & also trying to break down the family unit.....And they are winning, their master plan is working!.

                2. 61
                  retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  You see government doesn't have to act fascist to be fascist, the threat is sufficient.  Gibson Guitar was the focus of government inspections, why, to intimidate.  Associated Press phones were bugged, why, to intimidate.  Failing to see government for the dangerous device it is leads to the false notion that government  works for us, not against us.

                  "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

                  George Washington

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Why is it that there are so many similar quotations from the men smart enough to design a system that has worked for over 200 years, but half the country finds that we need ever more and ever stronger government?  Government that exerts ever stronger controls on every person under it's wings?

                  2. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    So nothing to do with Gibson harvesting timber in contradiction to export laws of various countries then?

                  3. rhamson profile image77
                    rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Unfortunately government is a fabrication to deal with the many facets of human nature. The more of it you have the less you want to be restricted.

                    Just as Jefferson said,"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

                    You have to take the good with the bad and there are unscrupulous characters that will use it to force others into situations they choose. Without it we have anarchy.

                    "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
                    James Madison (1751 - 1836), The Federalist Papers, 1788

  2. Kathleen Cochran profile image84
    Kathleen Cochranposted 2 years ago

    Each state should invest in housing for their congressmen and senators like military housing on posts and bases, so they don't have to bear the expense of a second home in D.C.  Instead of states paying such high salaries to these part time workers, states would be making an investment with some return.  I realize many legislators are wealthy, but this one thing would make it less of a requirement to run in the first place and reduce the temptation to look out for their own financial interests.

    I also think no one should be eligible for reelection.  Do what you promised to do in one term and go home.  Serve instead of being concerned from Day One about being re-elected.  I wrote about this:  Want to Change the World?

    1. 61
      retief2000posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Let them sleep in their offices.  If it is good enough for some it is good enough for all.
      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 … 1395762460

      1. 0
        Dave36posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        We're the slaves (the people), and there the slave masters (Governments/Royalty).....They stole our land before we we're born, now we have to work for them to get a piece back......I mean out of a country of 500 million people, is that the best you could have done, as far as Presidents?????lol

 
working