“Compare and Contrast Candidates”
How do we get money out of candidate races?
You the voter should be able to:
- Ask questions directly of candidates and compare them
- Educate yourself as a voter
- Reduce the importance of money spent on the political process
- Reduce the influence of special interests who are not voters for a candidate
- Increase voter participation
“It is the first responsibility of every
citizen to question authority”-Benjamin
On July 25, 2014, National Public Radio ran a story titled, “As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines at the Polls Grow Shorter”. The essence of the story was that voter interest is at an all-time low; anti-incumbent sentiment is at an all-time high; and voters, of every stripe, are deeply discontented, disenchanted, disengaged and disgusted with politics. The reason for these five D’s is, in large part, because of the way political campaigns are now conducted. Voters are turned off by:
- The length and excessively negative tone of campaigns;
- The candidates giving “Dodgeball” (i.e. “Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!”)* answers to questions;
- The candidates speaking in meaningless general platitudes that sound good but which have no substance and and provide no particulars (e.g. “We need to cut waste.”);
- Feeling that what they say or think makes no difference; and
- The need to raise so much money to run for office.
In a nutshell, voters see politics as a rigged game that favors the rich, special interests and their lobbyists but leave them, the common citizen, out. Most citizens feel that they are powerless to change the system. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
*From the movie, Dodgeball
So what do we, the Electorate, need to do differently to stop the insanity? The answer is that we need to demand that candidates change the way they run for office. We need to make candidates run campaigns that are:
- Empowering to the voters; and
- Something we care about.
So, how do we accomplish that? The answer is very simple: an Internet website that allows voters to ask candidates questions and then to easily compare and contrast candidates’ (C3 ) answers
Note: For several years, LWV Klamath County unsuccessfully worked to build its own site where voters could ask questions of their local candidates and get other voter information based on the C3 concept. This function has now been assumed by such websites as vote411.org and ballotpedia.