The Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic
PART IX: POLITICAL PARTICIPATION & REFORM
We believe that to ensure equal representation and to restore public faith
in our democracy, we must act to curtail the influence of special interest
money on our political process. To help accomplish our goals of political
reform, we call for the complete implementation and the full funding from
general revenues of the Clean Elections System, in a fashion consistent
with voter intent in approving this initiative. We recognize that aspects
of this legislation give rise to legitimate concerns, difficulties, and
differences of opinion and we support continuing efforts to resolve these.
We endorse such proposals as enhance the workability of the System and the
likelihood of candidate participation, and which are consistent with voter
intent. Among these is full public funding for the legitimate costs of serving
constituents as an elected legislator, separate from public funding for
the Clean Elections System and supplanting expenditures that currently must
be made from campaign accounts.
National Campaign Finance Reform.
We support federal campaign finance reforms that act to limit campaign spending,
remove the influence of large-donor contributions, end the soft money system,
and create a level playing field for candidates and voters. We endorse the
McCain-Feingold Bill and urge its approval by Congress. We reaffirm our
support for voluntary systems of comprehensive public financing for qualified
candidates paired to campaign spending limits. We support proposals to increase
communication between candidates and voters through access to free television
time, reduced postage rates, and other means that may be deemed appropriate.
We believe the right to vote is made meaningful only when joined with access
to the ballot. We note recent events in Florida and elsewhere that again
demonstrate how flawed procedures can result in unjust discrimination among
voters on the basis of race, national origin, age or other characteristics,
and can create needless uncertainty around outcomes. We strongly support
efforts like the Motor Voter law that ease potential barriers to registration
and voting and encourage maximum public participation. We call on the Commonwealth
to make usability by persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and others
a criterion in the purchase of new voting equipment, and we seek the strongest
possible enforcement of existing laws to ensure full and equal access to
the ballot and polling places.
We support efforts to ensure the most accurate possible count of all Americans
through the decennial Census. We believe that these data are critical to
the fair and representative distribution of Congressional and Legislative
districts, and to appropriate apportionment of government benefits and responsibilities
among the states of the nation and the communities of the Commonwealth.
We oppose attempts in Congress to replace actuarial methods advocated by
non-partisan professionals of the U.S. Census Bureau with calculations based
on political party advantage.
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