WAMU 88.5 : The Big Fix

Elections And Campaign Financing

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William from Houston, Texas, wants citizens to be randomly selected to serve in Congress, like jury duty. Both guests agree that this is an appealing idea going back to Ancient Greece. Bradley Smith thinks the average person may not have expertise to govern effectively, transferring power to the president and bureaucrats. Jaime Raskin suggests including part of Congress to minimize the disruption to policy.

Sherry from Boulder, Colo., proposes taxpayer-funded elections for mayors of large cities, Congress, and the Presidency. Smith argues that taxpayer-funded elections don't produce the benefits that people expect. Raskin supports publicly funded elections, saying that it opens the door for people who would otherwise be unable to run for office.

Ron from Keller, Texas, suggests that district lines be drawn by pre-existing political boundaries to prevent gerrymandering. Raskin has a different idea - return to at-large elections based on proportional representation for House members. Smith says that pre-existing boundaries may not divide communities well and that there's value in some politicians having safe seats.

Music: "For The Love Of Money" by O'Jays


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