What To Do To Stop Back-room Dealing In Politics

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Meta777, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Voting Thread Open!

    Backroom dealing in politics...
    A common phrase one might hear getting tossed around every now and again.
    It represents a problem in American politics (as well as abroad) that many people take issue with.
    In fact, not too long ago it tied here at politicalforum for first place as one of the Nation's Top Issues needing to be addressed. Right along side immigration... But unlike many other issues, it seems that potential solutions to this particular problem are not as well known. Whereas something like immigration is hard to solve due to its relative complexity, scope, and the need to find a comprehensive compromise among it all, the issue of backroom dealing in politics seems to suffer from a general lack of discussion for whatever reason, despite general agreement among folks that it is/should be considered a high priority issue.

    Perhaps this could simply be due to it not being quite as interesting of a topic to talk about... not quite sexy enough as it were. Perhaps its because the issue itself is mostly hidden, occurring in the shadows, with visible consequences being difficult to tie back to the sources... or maybe the problem is that there simply aren't any good solutions at all which are possible to implement... maybe the best thing to do, is just to hope that our elected politicians are always good, honest, trustworthy individuals who will always have our backs... Haha, lol! As if...

    [​IMG]

    Anyways, assuming that we actually do want to find actual solutions to the issue of political backroom dealing... I think that we first have to ask ourselves... what exactly is a backroom deal?

    Merriam-Webster
    would define them simply as deals which are,
    "made ... in an inconspicuous way : behind-the-scenes"
    Beyond the open and clear view of the public in other words...

    But what exactly does it mean to us specifically when it comes to politics?
    Or, more importantly, what exactly is it about backroom dealing that is harmful to us as a nation?
    After-all, some would argue that some aspects of backroom dealing are actually beneficial,
    so its important to be clear about the parts which aren't, whether its possible to keep the good without the bad, or whether its still worth changing things assuming the good and bad elements cannot be separated.

    And perhaps even more important, assuming we can clearly answer the first question, what are then some ways that we can change our current societal/political systems and behaviors such as to reduce the negative effects of backroom dealing?

    [​IMG]

    This thread btw is part of a multipart series of solutions-based topics and ranked votes I've been setting up to delve deeper into a variety of topics and issues our country faces which I believe we can be distracted from finding solutions for due to the daily sensationalized noise in the news. Backroom dealing is sort of the poster child for this... but if you're interesting in reading other solutions-based threads like this one, or just want to keep track of when the votes are taking place, feel free to check out any of the related threads:
    Solutions Oriented Approach to Restoring Meaningful Civil Discourse
    What To Do To Reduce Partisan Dysfunction In Politics
    Ranked Vote: Discussion Thread (includes schedule)

    And with that, I look forward to reading all your thoughts and suggestions on what backroom dealing is and how we can fix it.
    As always, try to keep discussion here nonpartisan, and just generally stay in line with the basic forum rules.
    Thanks! :)

    -Meta
     
  2. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Ideas so far:
    -Monitor Politicians 24/7 During Their Tenure
    -Pay Close Attention to what Politicians Do Out in the Open
    -Vote Out Politicians Who Make Too Many Bad Deals & Not Enough Good Ones

    -Shrink Government & Do Away with Political Donations
    -Get Rid of Overturn or Supersede the Citizens United Decision
    -Get Dark Money Out of Politics
    -Encourage Politicians to Vote Based on Wants & Needs of Constituents Rather than Personal Views

    -Put Restrictions on What a Politician Can Earn or Do After Leaving Office
    -Require Politicians to Wear Body Cams When Meeting With Lobbyists
    -Outlaw Professional Lobbying
    -Grant Power to Expel Congress Members for Ethics Violations to Congressional Oversight Panel of Rotating Ordinary Citizens
    -Make Political Parties Illegal
    -Establish Congressional Term Limits

    -Constitutional Amendment Eliminating Outside Money from Political Campaigns
    -Ranked Voting

    -Surveillance & Recording of all Non-personal Communications of Members of Congress
    -Reduce Bill Complexity by Requiring Bills Be Narrowly Scoped to One Topic at a Time
    -House & Senate Votes Conducted On Multiple Ideas Via Ranked Vote (Ranked Pairs)
    -House & Senate Votes Conducted On Multiple Ideas Via Ranked Vote (Instant Runoff)
    -Reduce Requirements for Forcing Bills to the Floor Via Discharge
    -Reduce Requirements for Forcing Bills to the Floor Via Discharge as a Function of Time Spent In Comity
    -Use a Ranked System (Ranked Pairs) to Elect Politicians
    -Use a Ranked System (Instant Runoff) to Elect Politicians
    -Cement Ethics Rules into Actual Law Increase Penalties & More Actively Enforce Against Violations

    -Get People to Want to be Informed
    -Adapt Athenian System & Elect Politicians by Lot
    -Decentralize Power
    -Require Politicians to Hold Town Hall Meetings Prior to Major Legislation
    -Remove Spin From Press Reporting
    -Repeal 17th Amendment/Elect Senators Via State Legislatures
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  3. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'm not exactly sure what the problem with it is.

    Its another term for negotiating.

    One congressman says to another, "if you vote for my bill I will vote for yours".

    Its compromising, just kept out of the public eye for any number of reasons. We expect our representatives to get results, its what gets them reelected ultimately, so as long as there is nothing nefarious I see no issue here.

    I'm sure when you get to the presidential level the amount of backroom dealing is extreme but necessary.

    It would be detrimental if the public knew everything that went on behind the scenes. Nothing would ever get done because everyone would be afraid to do anything.
     
  4. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    What "solutions" have you come up with so far?
     
  5. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    Beyond putting all legislators in a 'real world' style 24/7 monitored environment for the entirity of their office, theres nothing we can do about it.

    Just keep voting out the ones that make too many bad deals and not enough good deals.

    oiow, we gotta keep paying attention to what they do that isn't behind closed doors.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  6. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the thinking of it is that there is in fact something nefarious going on in a lot of these deals.
    Though of course, since they do happen behind closed doors, its difficult to know whether anything nefarious is actually going on in any of them. Compromise is all and good to me, but I think people like to know what's being compromised and why, and who the compromise is being made with. They want assurance that there aren't any conflicts of interests. That the needs of some influence-peddling insider is not being be placed above the interests of the American people.

    But I agree with you though, the public doesn't need to know every single thing that goes on.
    And politicians, like anyone else, should have some latitude to discuss things in confidence.

    -Meta
     
  7. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    When such massive power is in the hands of the state, the agents of the state will inevitably collude with special interests to siphon off some of that power for their own benefit.

    There is no stopping it except to reduce the authority of the state.
     
  8. doombug

    doombug Well-Known Member

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    The more money involved in the government and politics the more corruption there will be. Shrink government and do away with political donations.
     
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  9. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Donor

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    Corruption is limited when you are talking about a person in an elected position. Their main goal is to remain in power and to do that they need to please their constituents to some degree. The Koch bros. could not be successful in giving Nancy Pelosi money to have her vote their way because she would upset her voters and lose her seat so no amount of money would be effective there.

    Then there is another issue which is the length of time a person serves in office. The longer they are there the more influence they gain and they become less susceptible to relying on lobbying to stay in power. They have an organization built up and are generally funded as well as they needed to be which is why term limits would be a horrible idea. Long term members of congress are also far more powerful at getting things done through these back channels because they know how the system works and are also able to offer more to get what they want, especially if they are sitting on multiple committees.

    There will always be give and take that the public doesn't know about. Its how deals are made so what we need to look at is not how the deal got done but what the end results are. If its something drastic the odds are the public will find out about it anyways and can take appropriate action at that time.
     
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  10. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    The more economic power the state has the more corruption there will be. It follows as does the night the day. There is an old Roman saying No one with shin bones complains of the excesses of the lefionaires lest he find hobnails treading upon them...
     
  11. jay runner

    jay runner Well-Known Member

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    Go to a primary election system to qualify for the general election.

    Seriously, humankind is intrinsically evil and human nature is what it is.
     
  12. bois darc chunk

    bois darc chunk Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the public is concerned with those involved in the "backroom deals." The politician to politician type of backroom deal seems to be more of a negotiation than politician to lobbyist or donor, which sure looks like corruption. IMO, there shouldn't be "backroom deals." We should have transparency in our government. Until we get rid of Citizens United, and dark money out of politics, I don't see abatement of corruption.

    One thing that seems to be very different to me, when it comes to today's politics, is that candidates tell us their biases now, and once elected, vote based on their own biases, rather than representing the desires of their constituents. Politicians used to poll their constituents, and then vote based on what the people wanted, because they are the elected representative of that district. When politicians don't vote according to their constituents desires now, they use the excuse of… "You knew where I stood on that issue when you elected me." When there are numerous issues, no single candidate is going to feel the same way on every issue as the constituency, but we shouldn't have to choose between a candidate that supports gutting the social safety nets and a candidate that supports gutting defense. If the voters in the district want both social safety nets and a strong defense, the representative of that district should vote for both, despite their personal beliefs. We need to get back to representatives voting as their constituents want, rather than selecting a candidate based on their personal beliefs or his/her donor interests.
     
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  13. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    As of posting this thread, none at all. The purpose of the thread is for us to try and come up with a few.
    Usually though, I do have at least one or two suggestions (or a whole list worth of them as in the case with the gerrymandering thread)
    But not this time.

    If I think of anything though, will definitely let you know/post it here in the thread.
    And actually, after reading Spooky's latest reply to the thread I may have just thought of something,
    but need to think about it a bit more, again, if I get a solid idea will definitely let you know.

    -Meta
     
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  14. Liberty Monkey

    Liberty Monkey Well-Known Member

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    How to stop back handers! This is going to be a difficult one. But restrictions on what you can earn and do after presidency seems a good start to me! I cannot be on board with Clinton's and Obama making $10's of millions! This just stinks of back handers. Bush had the cash already so hard to make that call.

    I have no doubt Both Bush's, Clintons and Obama did back door deals for their own personal gain. Be it power, money, favours, whatever. I am not convinced that Trump is.

    I think honestly to stop corruption it starts in the election phase because that's where the deals are done and the souls are sold! I will have to think about this in more depth.
     
  15. opion8d

    opion8d Well-Known Member

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    I often wonder about the primary process. It seems to have evolved into a playground for the most extreme elements of our political process and I'm not convinced the results are good. The alternate is the more traditional "smoke filled room," the ultimate backroom dealing.

    Compromise was a lot easier when the "dealing' took place out of the sunlight and glare of public observation. Hard edges get rounded when your adversary is sitting across the table.
     
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  16. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    In BOLD above what's wrong with the novel idea of ALL those in Congress voting for what is in the best interest of the USA?

    IMO anything in the best interest of a couple of people, or group of people, will never solve national problems.

    Why don't more of you understand how broken our federal government has become?

    We've become collectively too stupid to solve complex problems...
     
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  17. liberalminority

    liberalminority Well-Known Member

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    backroom dealing is necessary because the few who hold the most power are the smartest for negotiation. they serve the best interests of the people, who know not what they do.

    there is nothing to fix, because nothing is broken.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  18. Crawdadr

    Crawdadr Well-Known Member

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    People say they want transparency yet do they really? The voter is a fickle creature and tends to act irrationally. You try and get things done to benefit your country and state. Yet in order to do that you have to make deals and compromise. Unfortunately if you do it publicly opponents claim you a colluding with the other side and the electorate vote you out. So you make deals on the side while saying what ever you have to in order to stay and be able to achieve your goals. The people are harsh masters and they punish based on optics not based on actions.
     
  19. MolonLabe2009

    MolonLabe2009 Banned

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    Are all back-room deals bad?

    And are all front-room deals good?

    All that matters is that we know who authored the deal and who voted for and against the deal.

    That's all the voters need to know in order to make an informed decision during an election.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  20. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, I guess that is one way to look at it.
    And it makes sense... the less government there is/the less authority the government has,
    then the less opportunities there are for folks to engage in backroom deals with government,
    and the fewer means by which such deals can occur.

    But I wonder...

    ...Are there specific parts of government which are more susceptible to such collusion than others?
    Are there particular powers or types of authority that government is more likely to try and negotiate away to special interests?

    -Meta
     

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