Party Positions v Citizen Wishes
The great thing about living in a democracy is that you know there is hope for change when you’ve got the people on your side. Even though we saw billions spent on the election and most Americans today have little trust in government, we know that 74 percent of Colorado voters want meaningful reform to the explosive amount of money in our elections and the associated unfair influence the biggest spenders have on our leaders. On top of the ballot measures calling for a constitutional amendment to level the playing field, polling across the country reveals widespread and multi-partisan support for reform.
We remain confident that the Colorado congressional delegation will take the Colorado voters’ wishes seriously about Amendment 65. But we haven’t seen movement from our elected leaders all over the country on the kind of scale that would make sense knowing the support campaign finance reform has. There are many reasons why the will of the people is not being enshrined into law, including of course the issue of money in politics, so let’s use a tried and true strategy – put one foot in front of the other.
Political parties are the engines of our politics. And yet most of the Republican platforms and many of the Democratic platforms do not reflect their voters’ opinions on the issue of money in politics. And sometimes even if they do, the politicians who claim membership don’t take those platforms to heart when representing their constituents. One challenge with platforms is that only the most active citizens are involved in creating those planks – it’s the whole “the world is run by the people who show up” thing.
Here’s a bold concept. Message to political parties: Align your actions to the people.
74 percent of Colorado voters passed Amendment 65; it passed overwhelmingly in every county in the state. That means that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents cast their ballot “instructing Colorado’s congressional delegation to propose and support, and the members of Colorado’s state legislature to ratify, an amendment to the United States constitution that allows congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending.”
There is absolutely no legitimate reason for major political parties to oppose these wishes.
With these numbers, it may even be strategic to get on board the constitutional amendment movement, let alone the right thing to do.