The following appeared as a letter to the editor of the CT on August 27th.
Bede Harris in his article “Our democratic system fails us” CT August 26th makes two good suggestions on how to reform the system. Another reform can be made in the allocations of public funds and political donations to candidates. Currently we give election money to people after the elections, not before, and we link the money they receive to the number of votes. This system is guaranteed to preserve the status quo and makes it very difficult for new parties, and people with different views to become elected. One way to reform the system is to give candidates money before the elections and for voters to allocate the money to candidates. Here is one easy to implement inexpensive approach that could also reform political donations.
Let us have a pre election electronic fund allocation election.
Twelve months before the real elections we have a fund allocation day where voters specify the proportion of money they wish to go to the different candidates. The money is distributed the day candidates on the ballot are announced. The system would be built and paid for from non political sponsorship in the same way we sponsor sporting events and the extra funds raised will supplement the public amount available. This would also provide a “non political” way for organisations to support the democratic process and remove the need for unedifying “fund raising dinners” and political donations that are a blight on our democracy.