Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carter Goes Too Far in Condemning the American federal electoral process

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Shortly, the Foundation for Democratic Advancement will release a 124 page report on the American federal electoral system. The report is based on detailed research and team audit which utilizes matrices, financial spread sheets, and scoring scales. The FDA auditors measured an overall passing unacceptable score of 54.50 percent (out of a reasonably attainable score of 100 percent) for the American federal electoral system. Although the American electoral system has a sound structural base, this base is offset by deficiencies in other areas. The FDA measured severe deficiency in legislation pertaining to electoral finance and media. According to the FDA's research and measurements, the American federal electoral system borders a failed state. The FDA factored in 57 independent variables into the audit.

Based on the FDA's global electoral process audits, Jimmy Carter goes too far in saying that the American electoral process is one of the worse in the world. In the Middle East and Africa, for examples, there are grossly unfair electoral processes that make the American electoral process look satisfactory. In addition, as the FDA report shows, unlimited contributions to independent third-parties and unlimited independent third-party expenditures are only part of the problems with the American electoral system.

Jimmy Carter slams ‘financial corruption’ in U.S. elections 'We have one of the worst election processes in the world,' former president says
By The Associated Press

...Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter issued a blistering indictment of the American electoral process Tuesday, saying it is shot through with "financial corruption" that threatens democracy.

Speaking at the international human rights centre that bears his name, Carter said "we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it's almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money."

The dynamic is fed, Carter said, by an income tax code that exacerbates the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the electorate, allowing the rich even greater influence over public discourse and electioneering.

The 39th president lamented a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited contributions to third-party groups that don't have to disclose their donors.

'You know how much I raised to run against Gerald Ford? Zero.'—Jimmy Carter

He added that he hopes the "Supreme Court will reverse that stupid ruling," referring to the case known as Citizens United.

Carter praised Mexico and several countries where staff at his centre have monitored publicly financed elections, and he said the United States should return to publicly financed elections for president. The system technically is still in place, but it is voluntary and both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have chosen to bypass the taxpayer money because they can amass far more on their own.

"You know how much I raised to run against Gerald Ford? Zero," Carter said, referring to his 1976 general election opponent. "You know how much I raised to run against Ronald Reagan? Zero. You know how much will be raised this year by all presidential, Senate and House campaigns? $6 billion. That's 6,000 millions."...

Question for Readers:

Do you think it is fair that privately funded presidential candidates like Obama and Romney should have no legislated campaign expenditure limits and no legislated cap on their personal contributions to their campaigns?

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