Thursday, February 16, 2012

Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission and the 2012 Election

Republican primary season is wrapping up, if it hasn't already. Hopefully many of you know about the supreme court ruling in the Citizens United case, and if you do, I'm going to tell you anyway.

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions cannot have restrictions put on their expenditures towards presidential campaigns, essentially giving them the same right as human beings. To agree or disagree with the ruling that corporations are people is strictly a political matter, and the opinion is all yours. However, what I would like to examine is the change in the rules of the game--how big money now has the ability to control the elections.

Money has always been influential in elections. The most seizable donations made to a campaign, however, would typically come from wealthy individuals or families. Now, corporations and unions can donate obscene amounts of money to the runner's super pac, so long as they don't in any way, shape, or form, "coordinate" with the candidate. But there are so many loopholes that this clause is easily circumvented.

Do you think this is fair?


Erin said...

I don't think this is fair because the money from corporations would be the primary source of money that would win any candidate their election. Legislation would more likely be passed and their favor and the voices of the citizens would diminish.

Sarah Craig said...

I don't think this is fair because odds are that not everyone apart of the company would agree on one candidate to win. However if somehow they could fir marketing their produce into the election I would think that would be okay then just handing them large sums of money just for the heck of it.

Brayden said...

I think this is fair. Just because you give a candidate a large sum of money doesn't automatically give them a ticket to win. You could give Helen Keller all the money in the world for her campaign and she still wouldn't win. A presidential candidate still has to have the ability to lead and speak, no matter how much money they have to work with. And on another note, is it a candidates fault if he has the ability to out-think the others and acquire large sums of money to campaign on? That is just pure competition.

Darcy said...

Erin, you bring up a good point. If large corporations contribute sizable donations to a candidate's campaign, the candidate could in turn favour that corporation later in their term, should they win. It could turn into a corrupt cycle.

Also like you said Sarah, a corporation cannot represent their entire work force's political opinions. By going to work for a company who donates money to a particular candidate, you are in essence also supporting that candidate, be it for or against your will.

Darcy said...

Brayden that is very true. A candidate must have skills in certain areas, like charisma, in order to go anywhere in an election in the first place. However, a candidate can be extremely unpopular in the beginning, like Rick Santorum, but remain in the race regardless of the polls due to their funding. And now Rick Santorum is considered in some areas to be the front runner, whereas a while ago he was at the bottom of the electoral food chain.
Money certainly changes the game. I personally believe that corporations should not be given the same right to the first amendment like you or me do. That puts a corporation like Nestle or Google on the same playing field as you or me, which in any situation doesn't seem fair to me!