How would You make Elections "better"?

Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi, in the October 25th issue says, “What we Americans go through to pick a president is not only crazy and unnecessary but genuinely abusive”.


Ask anyone who grew up in another western democracy (I’m from Canada) and they’ll tell you the American Process is a colossal mess. And there’s no way to fix it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t think about it.

What would you do to fix the process? If I gave you one wish but with the caveat that you had to use it to make American elections better, what would you do? What are some examples of how the process is better/different in your country? What are some ideas you’d like to see implemented here in the US? I’ll start:

1) In Canada, the election of the Prime Minister has a set time limit. The length of election campaigns can vary, but under the Elections Act, the minimum length of a campaign is 36 days. But because election spending is strictly controlled and limited to X amount of dollars, elections tend not to be too much longer than that.

2) Campaign spending limits. The amount of money spent on this election is utterly insane.

3) All TV ads must have prior approval before broadcast. We would set up an unbiased commission that would investigate the claims made in campaign advertisements. If the ads are not true, they can’t be broadcast.

4) All negative attack ads will cost four times as much a positive ads.

I’ve got lots more ideas but I want to hear yours.

One thought on “How would You make Elections "better"?”

  1. 1. Set campaign windows. You can only campaign for a maximum of 40 days. If you cannot effectively get your message across to the electorate in 40 days, you are not capable of being a politician, let alone president.

    2. No Anti / Attack advertising. Tell me what you can do. Tell me why your idea is better than your opponents. Don’t tell me its crap but fail to tell me why yours is better.

    3. Take no funding from any company that employs more than 50 people. If that means you have to sit on a bus for 6 hours, welcome.

    4. Particular to US presidential candidates. Learn the names and basic political positions of first, your world allies, next your trading nations, third, your enemies. Watching a prospective USA Presidential Candidate being quizzed on international affairs is fucking cringe worthy experience.

    5. Know that there is a world outside of the borders of the USA.

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