Pros and Cons of Campaign Finance Reform


Campaign finance reform has been a constant topic of discussion in the US society today. While there are people who believe that the current regulations are outdated and need to be adjusted to the needs of modern candidates, there are also those who say that it should be kept in place and allow candidates to continue raising funds the way they are accustomed to. Now, it is important to know that both sides are pushing valid points, but to build our own opinion about this matter, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

List of Pros of Campaign Finance Reform

1. It suggests lesser time to be spent on fundraising.
The traditional campaign donation limits force candidates to spend a huge amount of time on fundraising, reducing their opportunities to work towards achieving their goals and meeting their potential constituents. This has resulted in the general public starting to feel a substantial gap between them and the candidates, who do not have the time to get to know the citizens on a personal level.

2. It changes the fact that PACs do not donate to new candidates.
While critics typically point to the existence of political action committees (PACs) as proof that candidates are already getting sufficient funds, it is a fact that these committees are not inclined to challenging an incumbent candidate and funding those who are new on the scene. Because of this, it has been difficult for new challengers to successfully kick-start their campaigns, especially when they do not come from an affluent background. By imposing such a reform, this can be beneficial to the campaigns of new candidates, giving them the money they need to support a good campaign.

3. It resolves the lack of adjustment for inflation.
The current cap on campaign contributions has not been changed in over two decades, and those who support the reform believe that this is not providing candidates with value for finance that they deserve. They say that as prices continue to rise across the board, the maximum contribution is not having the same level of purchasing power it used to.

List of Cons of Campaign Finance Reform

1. It would cause illegal donations to run rampant.
There are already plenty of ways through which wealthier donors can elude the existing rules and regulations and donate larger amounts to the deserving candidates. Though soft money and independent expenditures are areas that are currently regulated poorly, such a reform would do very little to deter wealthy donors who want to take advantage of the existing loopholes.

2. It only encompasses a few significant changes.
The common problems the current campaign finance policy is facing are not the type that can be resolved with just a few changes to the donation limit. Critics say that adding more money to the system is not a catalyst for true change, as opposed to a full-scale policy revamp.

3. It would increase the influence of the wealthy.
The campaign finance reform is believed to expand the influence of the wealthy, with most of the working class is unable to afford to provide candidates more than the existing spending limit. And if the spending limits are to be uncapped, it would lead to increased corruption.

Now, based on the pros and cons listed above, do you think a campaign finance reform is needed or not?