Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Candidate Review - Electoral Reform - John Edwards

I have to admit I got a bit frustrated yesterday, but I'm back in the saddle today. It helps that Edwards heard of the need for electoral reform and actually addresses it.
America ought to set an example with the most trustworthy, inclusive and secure election system in the world. But recent elections have exposed major flaws, from insecure voting machines to laws and practices that disenfranchise citizens.
Right on both points. Edwards wants to protect American's votes (by insuring that machines use open source software and are audited regularly), expanding voting right and participation (by making election day registration a reality), and ending voter intimidation and suppression.

As for campaign finance reform, Edwards has an idea there too.
Edwards will create a new Grassroots Presidential Financing System to empower regular Americans in a potentially universal public financing system. It will match small donations under $100 by eight to one, making two $100 donations as valuable to a campaign as a single $1,000 donation. (Each $100 donation would receive an $800 match, making them worth $900 each. The $1,000 donation would also receive an $800 match and be worth $1,800.) Edwards will also reduce the maximum contribution from $2,300 to $1,000 per person to better reflect the incomes of most Americans and update the campaign spending limits to attract all candidates into the system.
I don't know - this is a lot like fixing health care by making sure everybody has insurance. It superficially addresses the problem, but doesn't really fix the underlying concerns. He has the right idea when it comes to congressional races (full public funding) but he should go whole hog and use full public funding for all races. Still, while I'm not keen on this idea, it is an idea, which is better than many other candidates can come up with.

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