On Mon, 8 Sep 2003, Steve Schear wrote:

> Everyone knows that money is the life blood of politics.  The topic of 
> campaign finance reform in the U.S. has been on and off the front burner of 
> the major media, for decades.  Although the ability of citizens and 
> corporations to support the candidates and parties of their choice can be a 
> positive political force, the ability of political contributors to buy 
> access and influence legislation is probably the major source of 
> governmental corruption.  Despite some, apparently, honest efforts at 
> limiting these legal payoffs there has been little real progress.  The 
> challenge is to encourage "neutral" campaign contributions.  Perhaps 
> technology could lend a hand.
> One of the features of Chaimian digital cash is unlinkability.  Normally, 
> this has been viewed from the perspective of the payer and payee not 
> wishing to be linked to a transaction.  But it also follows that that the 
> payee can be prevented from learning the identity of the payee even if they 
> wished.  Since the final payee in politics is either the candidate or the 
> party, this lack of knowledge could make it much more difficult for the 
> money to be involved in influence peddling and quid pro quo back room deals.
> By combining a mandated digital cash system for contributions, a cap on the 
> size of each individual contribution (perhaps as small as $100), randomized 
> delays (perhaps up to a few weeks) in the "posting" of each transaction to 
> the account of the counter party, it could create mix conditions which 
> would thwart the ability of contributors to easily convince candidates and 
> parties that they were the source of particular funds and therefore 
> entitled to special treatment.
> Comments?
> steve
> A foolish Constitutional inconsistency is the hobgoblin of freedom, adored 
> by judges and demagogue statesmen.
> - Steve Schear 
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