Illinois Needs Ranked Choice Voting
Illinois needs to follow in Maine's footsteps and institute ranked Choice Voting. Ranked choice voting uses a system where votes are cast in a ranked system and are filters each persons choice to allocate their choice based on how they rank candidates, and overall elects the candidate most supported AND least opposed. Rank Choice can also be more direct, where a series of elections takes places similar to many how many Europeans select presidents, top two from round one go on to round two. There is also the parliamentary structure, where representation is chosen by the number of votes a party or individual gets. Individuals and parties need to meet a thresh hold where they can either take the seat directly(individuals) or they hold independent elections(primaries) within the party to fill those seats. Redistricting needs to be done by algorithms with public source codes which allocate districts by population center, keeping people who live closest together voting in the same district, and does not allow for gerrymandering. Many examples are already available online to see. Ballot access requirement should be made universally equal for all new candidates to an office. Candidates with affiliation to established state-wide parties should not be given an easier time when petitioning for an office the first time. The process should be equally accessible to all candidates regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof. The current system of petition requirements for ballot access is prohibitive of new parties and independents attempting to enter the political process.
Campaign Finance Reform
Unaccountable Super PAC and Corporate money should simply not be allowed. Even when made transparent there needs to be a limit to how much money any individual can invest into political organizations on a yearly basis. That number should be low and it should be matched by the government through public campaign financing. This allows “one vote, one voice” to be possible by requiring candidates to increase donations solely by relying on increasing the number of donors, not by increasing the size of individual donations. Corporations should not be allowed to donate to candidates or political organizations at all. Corporations directly represent the views of their corporate leadership. Allowing them to donate to political organizations amounts to a loop hole which allows some individuals to effectively donate twice, and at levels that are disproportionately higher than the vast majority of individuals, to the same political parties. Party contributions to any individual candidate should also be limited for every cycle, to discourage “anointment” where candidates receive large amounts of party funding and to encourage candidates to primarily fundraiser within their own district from their own people.
Money Out Of Politics
Under the current model its clear that money chooses candidates. Money doesn't necessarily corrupt. There are plenty of politicians in this country with nothing but integrity and distorted/out-of-touch world views. Its not that the money that made them think that way. They already thought that way, the money only reinforced their system of thinking. Money picked them for the way they ALREADY thought. Of course money does absolutely corrupt A LOT of people and those temptations should be removed from our political process. The temptation of “easy fund raising” and having PAC's hand pick candidates must be curbed in order to encourage more civic engagement from politicians.
Elections do not cost millions
If recent article published by the Intercept and private memos released by the DCCC have shown anything, it is that the campaign industrial complex is completely unnecessary. People are fed up with constant ads on TV. They are fed up with constant mailers full of platitudes. No one votes for a candidate because they have colorful ads, make sweeping nondescript platitude statements, or for repeating enough buzz words. If Bernie Sander's run has shown anything, people vote on policy proposals that will affect them. The biggest mistake I see from every D and R is that they lead with a nice personal story. No one cares who you are, about your family, or about your kids. They care what you will do in the job and the track record you have in fighting for those policies. Being a receptive and present member of the community requires zero dollars. Hearing, responding to, and raising the concerns and complaints that members of the community have, costs zero dollars. Grassroots means you do not need money to get your message out. Anyone wealthy or with wealthy friends can put up a few thousand dollars to mail pictures of their face out to a database of registered voters, but it costs zero dollars to show them the real thing. Many will say "but you need TV ads, mailers, color print fliers, consultants to make up your strategy and media companies to promote your image!" which is the opposite of grassroots. First off, its been years since a commercial played on TV and I did anything but immediately look away at my phone. Second off, most of my junk mail gets tossed without a second look. Third, ideas printed in color on card stock are no different than ideas in black and white on standard printer paper. Four, if you need outside consultants to tell you what to say, where to go, and how to plan you are disconnected, do not know the community, and will be terrible at getting other legislators on your side. Therefore should not be running to begin with. And finally, if you need a media company to manage, promote and design your image; that is not being authentic. Are you trying to convince people to vote for marketing? Or for you?