American cellular networks are unhappy with a Federal Election Commission decision to permit political donations by text message, despite the fact that such a facility could change politics entirely. The decision was made by unanimous vote of the FEC last month, and will allow political parties and candidates to accept up to $50 …
Love to borrow a friends phone and send a few donations, oooh it will be a plague for life.
Imagine, borrow a phone, send donations to the Lib/Dems here in the UK, unauthorised of course, when the phonen owner complains and asks for his/her money back,
"no you can't have it back, we took the payment in good faith so.... Stuff you!"
> Proponents reckon it'll lead to greater democracy, as politicians are always answerable to those who fund them
Gets my vote for the most cynical justification of a new means of taking money from the credulous and dim-witted.
Re: Greater democracy?
Silly me. I thought politicians were supposed to be answerable to their constituents.
I know...SO 19th century...
Re: Greater democracy?
Nah. The credulous and the dim-witted don't have money to donate. So it's really the most cynical justification for money laundering we've seen since, well, the last election.
"... politicians are always answerable to those who fund them ..."
When some mega-corp plans to build a toxic metals recycling plant at the end of your street, just phone your local politician and remind him of the $200 donation you gave last year (with the implication that you won't be donating this year). Watch him get off his backside and start to fight the mega-corp.
Watch politician's assistant get off their backside and start to ask the mega-corp for another $200k to ignore the locals.
Can a big business put an app on all the company-issued phones that it makes all the employees carry, so that each phone makes a donation every month? Out of company funds, but not linked to the company.
I'm sure some enterprising bod will work out a way to do that
A modest proposal
"those who don't (by waving the fee as the operators do for some charities) are guilty of contributing to political parties that might be supported by their customers but perhaps not so popular among their shareholders."
I take it that the inference here is that the network operator could be seen to be supporting a particular party by not taking a cut of the donation (as they would for, say, a reality TV vote).
If that is a concern, perhaps a truly non-partisan charitable cause could be found - surely there must be such a thing - and the cut taken and diverted to said charity. Cancer research comes to mind, because it takes a special kind of person to publicly say bad things about it...
...not that an American lawyer hasn't already taken the trouble to do exactly that: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/18/carreon_sues_oatmeal_operation_bear_love/
Finally: I think that donating via text sounds great but will likely lead to exactly the sort of circumvention of already breaking-at-the-seams US campaign-funding legislation that the author fears.
Re: A modest proposal
Although as Cancer Research spends a reasonable chunk of money on lobbying MP's ......... What goes around comes around.
Re: A modest proposal
No! No! And I say again No!
The company should either take their cut, or not take their cut. They shouldn't force me to donate to some group I may have no interest in supporting, no matter how "non-partisan" you feel it is. If it is important to me I can damn well send them a donation myself without some goody-two shoes insisting on doing it for me.
Next up, Texting derivatives in lieu of money for politics
I smell a derivatives crash, I wonder what BOFH would do?
Just go the whole hog
And set up America's Next President, a reality/talent show where the contenders are forced to live in a house together. Each Saturday they have to debate on certain topics and viewers vote by phone/text who to save. At the end, the most popular wins.
One Dollar, One Vote
Just like it says in the Constitution!
Filling in an eForm is so tedious. My choice of who I'll support to govern me for five years should be an impulse decision, so I don't have to think about it.
This at first looks like a good idea
That's the trouble with politicians, too often they perform the knee-jerk action when someone suggests an idea that looks good on paper, but with some deeper thought, (which I'm sure none of those responsible for this did) it's not a good idea at all. Yet still there is no accountability for their mistakes.
Re: This at first looks like a good idea
Of course there is accountability. Their party can fire them. You can vote them out in a local election. You can vote the whole party out.
I never thought I'd say this, but...
Wow, I feel sorry for the operators. In an amazing piece of seeing into the future, they've done well to envisage all the unreasonable crap that could come their way. Fair does to them.
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