If our campaign finance system should be "reformed," it should be in the direction of making it easier, not harder, for parties to attract "soft" money and other resources required to strengthen national organizations and nurture grass roots participation. Parties are the only alternative to government dominated by special interests and narrowly focused influence groups.i don't think i can anything of value to that. except maybe another link.
The idea that there is a third alternative, with voters choosing among isolated candidates offering disparate, uncoordinated, and incomplete policy proposals was a conceit of the Progressive reformers. It has shown remarkable vitality as an idea, but it is a wrong idea, a dangerous idea. Politics abhors a vacuum. Only if strong parties are able to articulate coherent, and competitive visions of governance, and be held accountable for the performance of those visions, can democracy in the U.S. survive.
Finally, public financing combines most of the worst features of all the other proposals. It denies equality of opportunity to challengers, and to third parties. Ultimately, voters and citizens must rely on parties to provide a counterbalance to the power of entrenched interests in government. If parties have to rely on the public purse for their funding, how can we rely on those same parties to serve their function of providing effective countervailing power?
01 January 2007
campaign finance reform
from Munger's campaign finance testimony before congress: