Should campaign promises be binding?

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Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby greengiant » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:02 pm UTC

Do you think it would improve the electoral system (in your country of choice) if political parties were legally forced to honour promises they made? I often get the feeling that people don't care as much about policies as people and suspect this is because nobody really trusts that politicians will do what they say they will. It seems that at the moment the only downside to breaking promises is that it'll damage your party's reputation, but if you're in a two party system where neither party is trusted to keep their promises, this no longer provides a disincentive - people can't choose between the parties based on this criterion.

Obviously I'm not saying each candidate would be held responsible for every little thing they'd ever said, but maybe each party would have some key points (e.g. 'we will increase police spending by 10%' or 'we will make university education free') which if elected they would be legally bound to honour.

Are there some huge problems with this idea that I haven't thought of? If you agree with this idea, how could it be enforced? Who would judge if a promise had been kept? Could a party renege on a promise in exceptional circumstances (e.g. a global recession)?

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Azrael » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:26 pm UTC

So we should legally mandate that politicians can't change their minds for 4 to 6 years? Or that changing world circumstances (economic, natural, warfare) should be ignored? That shifts in the popular sentiment of the electorate shall have no effect until their voices are communicated via the formality of a ballot?

This idea is impractical at best, and downright ludicrous at worst.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby greengiant » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

No, I'm not saying they would have to spell out exactly what they're going to do beforehand. More that there should be some distinction between promises and general aims, with parties having an obligation to live up to the things they explicitly listed as election promises. A party might make a firm promise not to raise income tax, but they might have policies rather than promises for other, more volatile areas such as military spending.

Currently a party could promise not to raise income tax (which I think is very different from just stating an aim not to raise income tax) and then do so. If there's a referendum about some particular question (say on joining the Euro), the population expects the government to follow the vote. But if I vote for a party because they've promised not to join the Euro, it wouldn't be suprising if they then changed their mind.

Obviously a change in circumstances might occasionally require these promises to be broken, and there would need to be some mechanism in place for this (e.g. a referendum or permission from another branch of government). But I was envisaging a system where there was a distinction between policy and promise, and promises would be the sort of thing that shouldn't need to be broken.

P.S. I can see your point, that it would be very restrictive. I guess if we really wanted to follow public opinion, everything would be referendumed, instead we delegate the choices and vote for people we think will choose well. I was just wondering if there was something in between - Party A comes with policy x,y&z and promises m,n&p.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Indon » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

Too much formality to government structure and not enough ability to adapt can lead to untenable situations.

Take California of late. Spending more than it was bringing in in taxes, it was almost impossible to raise taxes, and the people didn't want less spending. Not a good scenario, caused through excessive restrictions on government ability to self-modify.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Qaanol » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:36 pm UTC

Disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor politician.

We already have a system in place for this. It would be simple to start using it. When a candidate makes a campaign promise, send him or her a letter to the effect of, "On date mm/yy you claimed 'Verbatim quote of promise'. Are you willing to sign a legally-binding statement that you will in fact try to accomplish that goal if elected?"

Getting this to be used would be as simple as organizing a letter-writing campaign of political activists. Include things like, "If you do not put your promises in writing as requested, I will (not vote for you/abstain from this election/vote for someone else)." That is, demand that your candidate of choice sign an affidavit vowing to make an attempt at "Promise XYZ" if elected. Then if the candidate is elected and demonstrably fails to try, sue him or her for fraud/neglect/breach of contract.

If this catches on in a few local races, it has a good chance at becoming a national phenomenon. Candidates would be expected to make a legally-binding contract to follow up on their top 3 or so promises, including specific criteria for success and failure. If someone makes theirs too vague, that would open them up to vicious "Can't even nail down his or her own position!" flip-flop attack ads. But that's a long way off.

Since you started this thread and want this to be real, start at the most local level. When someone runs for town office and makes a promise you think would be good for the town, organize your friends and neighbors to write letters demanding an "election prenup" as it were. I'd say don't include any timetables besides "before the first term ends", unless the promise specifically included a deadline. You should be able to get some candidate to agree to sign. After all, it's only things he or she already promised, and it provide a poster-point for advertising how this candidate is different and better from the competitors.
Last edited by Qaanol on Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:This idea is impractical at best, and downright ludicrous at worst.


Its just ludicrous.
Morally, rationally, logistically, its all ludicrous.



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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

How is someone keeping promises they made morally ludicrous?
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Azrael » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:How is someone keeping promises they made morally ludicrous?
GOTO 20

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:42 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:How is someone keeping promises they made morally ludicrous?


My main thought, was that people would make promises that then later put them in morally evil positions.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby folkhero » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:01 am UTC

All that it would do is make it so that politicians wouldn't make any promises. They would just talk about general aims or goals without using the word promise. Things would largely be the same except they would have to be more careful about the language they use.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:26 am UTC

In the states, if a party runs on a particular platform and they win, does that give the party carte-blanche to enact that policy? In Canada, if for instance the party runs on "We are going to separate Quebec from Canada", they wouldn't have to run a separate referendum on the issue.

Note: There is a distinction between your "Platform" and "Goals you would like to get done".
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby +ranslucent » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:29 pm UTC

Would it be possible to get a legally binding statement in place, but with the option of being overturned in exceptional circumstances? Those circumstances would be any that make following up on the promises excessively expensive, impractical, wrong or unimportant at the present time. For example, US candidate promises to reduce military expenditure by 50%, and gets elected. Ten days after assuming office, Russia invades the US. In that sort of instance, the President would have an option to ignore the promise (at least for the time being) as the country needs to defend itself. Or the candidate promises to increase fuel efficiency in all cars, and promptly a new form of transportation is developed to a point where it overtakes the car as the most popular vehicle.

The only problem I can see with that scenario is that it may be hard to determine when the candidate should get leniency and when they shouldn't, and for how long.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby JoeKhol » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

+ranslucent wrote:The only problem I can see with that scenario is that it may be hard to determine when the candidate should get leniency and when they shouldn't, and for how long.
I think that problem applies throughout, not just with the exceptional circumstances. There are so many factors and aspects to define in any given policy promise that pretty much regardless of what happened, the opposition could challenge the promise (and in the likes of the US and UK, probably would). We'd end up with countless long and complex legal cases which wouldn't be to anyone's benefit.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby SydLexic » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:49 pm UTC

I agree that making promises 100% binding can put them in a bad spot later, but I think the more serious issue is why politicians are forced to make lofty campaign promises in the first place. Feynman said something to this effect: If someone asks a candidate, "What will you do about X issue?" and he replies "well, I don't know. I'm not an expert in X field, but I know there are experts I could talk to, so I suppose I would ask a few what they think would be the best course of action, and weigh all the options," he'll lose. Most people don't want to hear that, even if it's the most intelligent answer he could provide.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby masakatsu » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:42 pm UTC

I think binding promises would be very stupid. Think about it... what if I said during the campaign we would let all the purple people go. When I get the job, I find that all the purple people are aliens bent on our destruction. That would be the oh-shit moment.

If you feel you politian is a lieing conniving SOB, fire them next election. Don't worry, the morons that vote straight party ticket will override your vote.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby toastar » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Personally I think a national initiative process requiring a super majority(65%) is the way to go.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:04 am UTC

Wait — for every law? Or do you just mean that this should be one way to pass legislation?
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Fallen Angel » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:56 am UTC

Binding unless an event that requires change occurs. Depending on how frequent each promise needs to be revised.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

Fallen Angel wrote:Binding unless an event that requires change occurs. Depending on how frequent each promise needs to be revised.


Define event that requires change? If Obama had promised to spend lets say 20Billion on changes in education, then a report comes out showing it might take 21Billion is that enough to require a change? Or lets say a candidate promised to increase military spending by 8% and then there was a particularly bad month in afghanistan, would he be allowed to change it to 9%?

Beyond that, making promises binding is extremely dangerous if we want anything other then an absolute government. If one party had promised a spending cut of 10% somewhere and was elected, but they can only get the votes to pass the cut by working with an other party and cutting it by 9% that would be a violation of their promise.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby hawkmp4 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:17 am UTC

I like the idea. Accountability. No more "read my lips, no new taxes." But...like others have said, I don't think it's a pragmatic approach to the problem. I'd rather not have politicians going around will-nilly spouting all kinds of garbage promises, yet, your proposed alternative is so inflexible that I find the status quo much more appealing.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby mosc » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

Presidents aren't dictators. We have separation of powers in this country which means holding one person, one branch solely accountable is total bullshit. Some relativism is needed by anybody with a rational brain.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby grifter_tm » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:52 am UTC

Assuming that there are no economic, demographic, technological, legal, or environmental changes happen over the course of 4 to 6 years, why not? But since these changes do occur (and occur with great frequency) having campaign promises become legally binding is one of the worst things you can do. The best a politician can do is back track and try to make the best of it. Besides, having them become legally bound to honor their campaign promises would just bog down the whole system (as if its not slow enough already) with politicians battling each other in court with legalese over what they said during the campaign period. If legally bound they wouldn't make any decisions at all.

The best thing we can do as citizens is to remind what the politicians promised during their campaign. Or maybe just watch more Daily Show/Bill O' Reilly (whatever floats your boat).

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby rdnetto » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:28 pm UTC

Potentially, they might be already. There's a type of contract known as a unilateral contract, and it doesn't require formal acceptance. How it works is someone (the politician) makes an offer to a group of people (the voters). e.g. "Vote for me and I will (not) do X." The people can accept the offer by performing the required act (i.e. voting for the politician). At this point a legally binding contract has been created and the politician can be sued for damages or specific performance (i.e. forced to fulfil the promise).

At least, that's how it could work. To my knowledge this hasn't been tested in court before. At the very least, getting the judiciary to agree to it will be far easier than getting the legislature to.

As for allowing changes, how about simply letting it go to a referendum? I don't think anyone would be unhappy about a politician going back on their word if the public actually wanted them to.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Indon » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

Okay, so I'd like to propose a related concept that removes some of the downsides of making campaign promises binding:

Imagine the establishment of a 'persistent poll', one which tracks the preferences of all citizens in a constituency on a variety of different topics, and which allows citizens to register changes in their positions to keep the poll up-to-date.

This neatly deals with the problem of adapting government to changing conditions. So the question is, from here, would it be a good thing for a politician to promise a high degree of conformity with this persistent poll system?
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

rdnetto wrote:Potentially, they might be already. There's a type of contract known as a unilateral contract, and it doesn't require formal acceptance. How it works is someone (the politician) makes an offer to a group of people (the voters). e.g. "Vote for me and I will (not) do X." The people can accept the offer by performing the required act (i.e. voting for the politician). At this point a legally binding contract has been created and the politician can be sued for damages or specific performance (i.e. forced to fulfil the promise).

Even if politicians typically made promises in the form of "Vote for me and I will do X," would you be able to sell your vote as a term of a contract?
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby MiB24601 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

rdnetto wrote:Potentially, they might be already. There's a type of contract known as a unilateral contract, and it doesn't require formal acceptance. How it works is someone (the politician) makes an offer to a group of people (the voters). e.g. "Vote for me and I will (not) do X." The people can accept the offer by performing the required act (i.e. voting for the politician). At this point a legally binding contract has been created and the politician can be sued for damages or specific performance (i.e. forced to fulfil the promise).


This wouldn't happen in the United States for many, many reasons. For one, the courts do not address "political questions," which this would fall under. Additionally, if it is possible for the politician to perform the action in the future, then the issue would not be ripe for litigation. Also, for a voter to have standing, they would have to show that they voted for the politician because they were acting on the specific campaign promise in question.

As an aside, it takes a rather specific set of circumstances to create a unilateral contract and courts would most likely find that campaign promises do not fall within those circumstances. Also, while contracts do not need to be written in order for a party to be held to the contract, many courts while begin a breach of contract case by asking for a copy of the contract in question, which is impossible due to the nature of verbal contracts. For a court to find that a verbal contract exists, the level of ambiguity as to the creation of the contract would have to be much lower than in the case of a campaign promise.

This has come up outside the United States and when those cases were litigated, the court said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Broken campaign promises are part of politics. If you don't like it, don't vote for that politician the next time around."
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Le1bn1z » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

Grandpa had an expression:

In this world, there are three types of bad: Pernicious, Malicious and Stupid. If you've got to choose, hire Pernicious or Malicious. You can fix those. You can't fix stupid.


While the proposal might limit the ability of politicians to lie in elections, it won't stop them from proposing really, really dumb ideas honestly.

For example, our current Canadian Finance Minister and Prime Minister are two of the most economically incompetent individuals this country has ever certified as legally sane.

In 2008, when everyone else, from governments to banks to business leaders were all declaring that a recession had begun and that revenues would collapse, our PM and FM ran on a promise that there would be no recession, and therefore promised no deficit and no stimulus. (Our PM has a Master of Arts degree in tax theory, which in his mind and the minds of his supporters, makes him an economics expert.)

Well, it took a minor consitutional crisis, but thank Heaven, breaking election promises is legal in this country, so Government was (finally) able to reverse course and launch a stimulus package, faced with loss of confidence in the House.

Now this stimulus package is being advertised as their greatest triumph.

Politicians are often far more incompetent than they are insencere.

A better compromise, and this applies doubly for Americans, is to stop voting for politicans who propose what you know to be utter nonsense. For example, the Tea Party proposal to reduce the Tax Code to a fraction its current length is manifestly imposible to pull off. So, if someone proposes it, they are either incensere or a severely brain damaged.

Don't vote for them.

Ultimatley, an election is NOT a referendum on a policy; its a processes that hires someone on the basis of their ability to make judgement calls.

A leader who cannot respond to new challenges which arise every day, as they arise, is no leader, and a country which does not have the mechanisms to be flexible in responding to these crises will not long be a country.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby greengiant » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

I'd kind of hoped this topic had died. My original suggestion was fairly naive, as lots of people pointed out. Although I do still think it's a major problem when politicians can get elected on a certain platform and the electorate has no recourse when they abandon it.

I think this issue has come sharply into focus in the UK with the actions of the lib dems. Their voters are massively unhappy with their actions (especially many students who were actually promised that their lib-dem candidate would vote against increased top-up fees) but have no power to stop their current actions. People can decide not to vote for them in the future (I think they came sixth in the last by-election), but that offers no way to combat what they are doing now.

Maybe it's a case of 'democracy is the worst form of government except all the others' and just has to be accepted as an unfortunate side effect of our democratic system. I would say though, that feeling as though representatives have repeatedly broken their promises really discourages people from having any interest in the procedure.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby zmatt » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

I think the core of this argument is a plea for government accountability when it isn't an election year. That requires a non apathetic public that is well informed and vigilant. A vote of no confidence is also a cool idea ,but it can and has been abused. the biggest problem with democracy is what happened in California. The people wanted a big state gov, and low taxes and wouldn't let their elected officials say no. People can be really stupid.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby zookap » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:59 pm UTC

Ok folks stop with the whole 'democracy is the worst form of government except all the others' thing. If you are going to quote Churchill be honest by quoting the whole sentence. It was: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Small difference, true, but one of those sentences is directly translatable to 'democracy is the BEST form of government,' and the other is not.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Antimony-120 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:09 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:In the states, if a party runs on a particular platform and they win, does that give the party carte-blanche to enact that policy? In Canada, if for instance the party runs on "We are going to separate Quebec from Canada", they wouldn't have to run a separate referendum on the issue.

Note: There is a distinction between your "Platform" and "Goals you would like to get done".


This was made some time ago, but I'd like to point out (for the sake of faith in my countries legal system) that it's flat out wrong. Just because you promised something in your campaign it at no point absolves you of the responsibility of going through the exact same voting process as would be required otherwise. I could run (and lose horribly) on a "We are going to separate Quebec" ballot, and if by some miracle I become Prime Minister I would still need to pass the House, the Senate and the Quebec legislature before such a change could occur. I could also run on the "I am going to screw Quebec over" ballot, and then table the exact same legislature with the exact same proceedings.

I can see however where the illusion might come in, in that Party Discipline being what it is and the Executive and legislative branches being the same in Canada, what the PM says is what happens (moreso in recent years, and to an absurd degree under our current PM, who changed the goddamn name of our government to "The Harper Government"). So anything the PM promises, and feels like actually delivering, usually passes Commons. Not that PM's always deliver on their promises, go have fun looking at the blue book and the red book from Cretien's first election as PM. Then have fun comparing with what was delivered (here's a hint, it wasn't the red book).

That being said, I agree that campaign promises shouldn't be binding, for the reasons previously stated. I also think they shouldn't be binding for a different reason. To provide a different Churchill quote: The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.

If the PM (or President, or Governor) were required to follow through on their campaign promises, it means following through on the godawful bullshit the average voter thinks is what they want. I watched as, in Cape Breton, the voters were all swayed by the guy who promised to reopen the coal mines. Guess what? Not gonna happen. It would take huge chunks of cash, and screw the rest of Nova Scotia right over. Similarly you can watch Conservaives out West promise this that and the other to the hicks of Hannah, and pray that those people don't get their way because it would screw their own livelyhood over. Politicians, to some exent, have to be able to get the voters to vote for them by promising things that sound good, and maintain good polls by voting for things that are effective. Those aren't the same thing all the time.

But maybe my own involvement in politics is skewing my perception. I do know however that from this end of things it often feels like (what I've been told) IT feels like. You've got some idiot proclaiming he knows what the problem is, and demanding you pay attention because he pays your wages, while his computer is a smoking ruin behind you, partly because of what he did, and partly because you didn't idiot proof it enough.
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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby wumpus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:15 pm UTC

Great idea.

I also recommend that I be made judge of all actions pertaining to campaign slogans and promises, and I will simply reverse any action I feel violates whatever might have lead the voter to vote for such scum in my infallible judgement.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby mewshi » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:20 am UTC

What we need is for people to start voting based on records and reasoning, not unverifiable bs like "I believe x is important".

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby nerobro » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

I don't think the suggestion is anywhere near as ludicrous as people are suggesting. We have a legal system, and I think that's the proper "check and ballance" to go with this. By agreeing to be elected you're also agreeing to be put on trial at the end of your term. At trial you'll be judged as to weather or not you succeed, or extenuating circumstances were at play. Ideally you'd be judged by a jury of "not" your peers. If you did what you promised, the trial would be short and sweet. "You promised X, they delivered X, you're free to go." Otherwise.. you'll need to defend yourself. "You promised X, you did not deliver, but in light of a tornado wiping out the town, and your proper management of the emergency you're free to go."

This would work well tied in with some other political reforms. I have some ideas on the subject but I think they're outside the scope of the question posed here.

mewshi wrote:What we need is for people to start voting based on records and reasoning, not unverifiable bs like "I believe x is important".
Absolutely. But they aren't; and haven't' been for ... well.. since media became a factor. This sort of law would force them to pay attention.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Deep_Thought » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:00 am UTC

nerobro wrote:I don't think the suggestion is anywhere near as ludicrous as people are suggesting. We have a legal system, and I think that's the proper "check and ballance" to go with this. By agreeing to be elected you're also agreeing to be put on trial at the end of your term. At trial you'll be judged as to weather or not you succeed, or extenuating circumstances were at play. Ideally you'd be judged by a jury of "not" your peers. If you did what you promised, the trial would be short and sweet. "You promised X, they delivered X, you're free to go." Otherwise.. you'll need to defend yourself. "You promised X, you did not deliver, but in light of a tornado wiping out the town, and your proper management of the emergency you're free to go."

Is this trial not exactly what an election is, bar the implication of imprisonment? Also are these trials binding for members of minority elected parties (i.e. the losing side in an American election)? Surely the fact that they don't have enough party members to pass bills implies that they cannot fulfil their campaign promises? Or do we put the entire party on trial simultaneously?
mewshi wrote:What we need is for people to start voting based on records and reasoning, not unverifiable bs like "I believe x is important".
Absolutely. But they aren't; and haven't' been for ... well.. since media became a factor. This sort of law would force them to pay attention.

Voters have been doing this since forever. Officially delegating the responsibility for checking up on leaders to a judge or small jury doesn't fix the problem; it just lets a smaller section of society act in exactly the same manner but with more opportunity for bribery.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:26 am UTC

nerobro wrote:
mewshi wrote:What we need is for people to start voting based on records and reasoning, not unverifiable bs like "I believe x is important".
Absolutely. But they aren't; and haven't' been for ... well.. since media became a factor. This sort of law would force them to pay attention.

But hard facts and undisputable reasonings are rare to find. We can get them in laboratory settings, where we can repeat experiments often enough to draw reliable conclusions. The real world is not so easy.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby OllieGarkey » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:20 pm UTC

What if you make a promise that's impossible?

Let's say you promise every one of your citizens a 5 million dollar check.The only country that could afford that is the US. That's, what, 2 billion? Yeah, we throw that around like it's chump change. Math Fail.

But lets say you're Latvia and some jerk makes the same promise. If it's legally binding, you just f*d your economy.

(You f*d your economy either way, but latvia would be way more f*d than the US.)

Similarly, if it's legally binding, what happens if you're the republican party and you promise to cut X% of the budget, while the democrats promise to stop them.

Whose promise gets kept? Dems technically have more votes, but the republicans are still doing everything they possibly can.

What if they make the promises " 'we will increase police spending by 10%' or 'we will make university education free'" and then find that they can't deliver?
Last edited by OllieGarkey on Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:33 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:23 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:Let's say you promise every one of your citizens a 5 million dollar check. The only country that could afford that is the US. That's, what, 2 billion? Yeah, we throw that around like it's chump change.

Actually, that's closer to 1.5 quadrillion dollars, which may be several times the world's GDP.
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DemonDeluxe wrote:Paying to have laws written that allow you to do what you want, is a lot cheaper than paying off the judge every time you want to get away with something shady.

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Re: Should campaign promises be binding?

Postby OllieGarkey » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:32 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
OllieGarkey wrote:Let's say you promise every one of your citizens a 5 million dollar check. The only country that could afford that is the US. That's, what, 2 billion? Yeah, we throw that around like it's chump change.

Actually, that's closer to 1.5 quadrillion dollars, which may be several times the world's GDP.


Yeah, I see what I did there. 5 Million times 400 instead of 400 million.

Whoops.


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