Special interests are the disease afflicting governments everywhere.
Let’s discuss the disease. Governments at all levels, from municipal to national, are controlled by special interests. The money influx from special interests distorts what is supposed to be government of, by, and for the people. Each special interest is only interested in its own interests, but it recognizes the fact that, working together, they can control governments so that each of them can get most of what they want. And that’s exactly what they do.
I’m not telling you anything that a lot of people don’t already know. And there have been lots of attempts to wrestle back control of government from the special interests. Here is a short list of ideas to solve the problem that have been attempted or proposed:
- Elect the “right” people to office
- Institute term limits
- Pay for elections with public funding
- Control how much money lobbyists can give to legislators
- Control how much money can flow into political campaign coffers
Most people now recognize that the crux of the problem has to do with money, and how it gets into the political system. What no one has yet figured out is how to channel the money so the special interests cannot control governments with it.
Special interests are the disease. Cantons are the cure.
What is a canton? It is a voluntary, ideologically-based organization, like a political party, but with a different purpose: to control how government revenues are spent. How would that work? Every citizen believes in a certain ideology. When a citizen chooses to join a canton that reflects his or her views, he does so by contract with the canton that lasts for one year, renewable. He authorizes his canton, thru this contract, to regulate how his proportion of total revenue for a particular government is spent. Thus, if a canton’s membership represents 30 percent of the eligible voters in a municipality, the canton is authorized to determine how 30 percent of the revenues of that municipality are spent for that year. If the canton does a good job at this, the citizens will renew their membership. If not, they choose a different canton that will do what they want. This is called responsive government, something we haven’t seen before.
While special interests pour lots of money into the political system, what they are really after is deals that will funnel some portion of government revenues into their pockets. All revenues ultimately come from the people. If government is of, by, and for the people, every penny of revenue that any government receives really belongs to the people. Cantons, by regulating proportionately according to the number of members they have, make sure that the REAL money in government is spent as the people want, not as the special interests want.
Each canton is also a special interest group, but one representing people. Working together, they can wrest control of governments from all the other special interests, and return government to what it is supposed to be: of, by, and for the people.