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Popular vote + Monetary vote = Electoral Vote

Use the billions in campaign contributions toward a good cause
  (+6)
(+6)
  [vote for,
against]

In this system, any money contributed towards a presidential campaign does not go towards advertising, publicity, or the usual efforts, but rather, must be placed in a trust fund that cannot be accessed until after the election.

The popular vote in each state is then modified by a factor representing which side raised more funds, times a typical "influence percentage" which represents how many extra votes each dollar typically is worth in publicity, like I don't know, 10% per $1 billion.

Each state's unadjusted popular vote plus the deemed "monetary vote" determines the winner of that state's electoral votes.

The trust funds are then emptied and they become a discretionary fund for the government to reduce deficit, instead of valueless advertising and gainless temporary jobs that artificially affect the unemployment rate. Or if this system is used for a state election, the trust funds could go towards education.

phundug, Mar 07 2012

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       But... but... that actually makes sense. It's un-American!
Alterother, Mar 07 2012
  

       I gave it a + for the pure engineering elegance, and the fact that it makes clear what is already true: the election results are for sale ot the highest bidder. But while all the advertising is quite annoying, at least it helps somewhat to educate the general population about the issue and candidates. If you combine this with some other system to help promote productive debate in the general population it might even be workable.   

       For maximum benefit the money should be collected in such a way that money submited earlier in the collection time period counts more than money collected later. That way contributors will submit money as soon as possible, but then based on the real-time tally would dig deeper to add funds. For example, if after the first day of collections the money in support of XX was behind by $1M, that shortfall could be eliminated by submitting $1.1M the next day.
scad mientist, Mar 07 2012
  

       I was also considering a system where every person can either contribute money or vote, but not both. But that would be too hard to administer.
phundug, Mar 07 2012
  

       Not to mention that it's a no-brainer for politically-minded CEOs who have millions of easily-laundered tax-deductible corporate dollars but only one vote.
Alterother, Mar 07 2012
  

       I want to hate this idea so bad, but, it is better than the system we have. :'(
DIYMatt, Mar 10 2012
  

       In all political systems (even dictatorial ones) - there's some range of idea competition -- obviously a narrower one for dictatorships.   

       The closer you get to a democratic ideal, the larger that range is, but it's not infinite (i.e. some ideas are so politically incorrect true debate is impossible in a modern society, but they still exist at the fringes).   

       Enter campaign contributions. What are they used for?   

       1) Organization, i.e. hiring campaign workers, etc 2) Advertising, primarily TV advertising.   

       It seems to be a universal presumption that this second use is at the very least problematic. It is also statistically demonstrable that it is effective, at least in the form of negative advertising.   

       But what does it actually mean that it is "effective"? It means the vote of a range of voters is very sway-able, which most likely means it is insufficiently informed. (or if you'd like, they are not set in their ways).   

       Bottom line is -- no matter what you do, so long as a democratic system depends on getting votes, in large part on getting the votes of those who are not informed and honestly mostly couldn't care less, it is impossible to expect that money would not be used to attempt to influence those voters - - since they are the only voters who would actually possibly change their mind.   

       I suspect the real flaw is in the system, and is unfix-able. It is a direct result of actually letting people vote. Enter your favorite Churchill quote.   

       As to the "goodness" of the cause, and whether money comes from one or more sources:   

       There's a wondrous thing about money -- it is a mostly universally accessible, fungible exchange mechanism.   

       So if you are able to motivate 1000 people to send you $1000 each, or a single person to send you a million dollars, or even if you are using your own -- it is an indication of different skills, and perhaps different strategies -- but in the end, what matters is that you figured out how to get a sufficient amount of money to pursue your goal.   

       One way or another, in the upcoming Presidential election, the candidates will spend roughly $20 per vote. But in actuality, if you divide by the "sway- able" votes, it's closer to $200 per vote. Gotta get the money from somewhere.
theircompetitor, Mar 10 2012
  

       You want to reduce the deficit? Have the people who pay taxes, make the budget, not the politicians. If you don't pay taxes, you don't get to decide (even through a representative) where the money goes.
copycat042, Mar 12 2012
  

       Politicians pay taxes, cat. Well, some of them do, anyway.
Alterother, Mar 12 2012
  
      
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