Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Better Campaign Strategy

I was discussing the current presidential campaign with my dad today. Somewhere in the conversation I was reminded of this man who was in my social circle for a while a few years ago. He was involved in local politics and considering a run for governor.

I got to know him through a guy I was dating at the time.

So over a period of several months I got to know this guy since we were invited to the same dinners and parties. Actually, he was usually the one hosting the party. Nonetheless, I learned that he’s a very smart guy, with great plans, and a big heart. I believed this guy would do really good things if he had the chance to hold office.

He did throw his hat in the ring. He would have had a pretty good shot at getting elected too. But a few months later, he explained over dinner that he just couldn’t bear spending all that money on a campaign. Don’t get me wrong. He could afford it. He’s a self made millionaire a few times over. But he told us that he’d rather contribute his money to the programs he believed needed investment – than blow it on a campaign which he saw as a waste.

If only more civic minded people thought like him.

So today it occurred to me: Wouldn’t it be great if we could change the way campaigns are conducted? What if a candidate was allowed to raise money, but instead of spending it on campaign ads and travel - an enormous campaign budget … they were charged to put that money into programs they believed in. Do you really think universal health care is possible? Show us a program. Throw your money at it. Make it work. Make us believe.

Then we (the voters) could see what they really stand for – where their mouth and money really go! Then we decide who gets the job!

It would certainly be better than the political machine we endure right now. We don’t really know what anyone stands for - or what sort of leader they would be.

Coupled with the fact that most of the donations to a candidates' campaigns are really just lobbying efforts. They're funding the candidate, buying the candidates support for their issue.

With my theory, we might actually get a decent glimpse at their heart before we blindly put someone in office just because they are less offensive than the other guy or gal.

Man… what I would give to see that work!!

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