DEMOKRATI | Tio författare. Tio förslag. Alla med fokus på vad Barack Obama kan göra på det inrikes- eller utrikespolitiska området.
Foreign Policy har tagit fram förslagen med tanke på att de ganska snabbt skulle kunna få effekt. Med eller utan kongressens stöd.
Ett av förslagen handlar om att fixa så att den amerikanska demokratin skall fungera bättre än vad den gör idag.
By executive order, he could require that government contractors disclose their political expenditures, as he considered doing in 2011. He could make his political appointees disclose their contacts with lobbyists and their involvement in fundraising activities. To revive his moribund open-government agenda, he could require that federal agencies list all the data they collect, whether or not the data are being made public. Then he could mandate that anything already being made public be made available online, so it is more accessible to all, rather than just to insiders and the well-connected.
Obama could also follow up on his off-the-cuff remark during his victory-night speech and actually start fixing the country’s broken voting system. Voter registration ought to be automatic at age 18. Election Day ought to be moved to the weekend, to make it easier for working people to vote. Polling places ought to be held to uniform national standards, with federal funding made available to help localities with the costs.
Fortunately, much of the legwork has already been done. The Fair Elections Now Act, which has 118 co-sponsors in Congress, would institute a constitutionally sound system of voluntary public financing for congressional candidates. The DISCLOSE Act would ensure that donations above $10,000 contributed by corporations and labor unions to influence elections get reported. The Lobbyist Disclosure Enhancement Act would require lobbyists to disclose which officials or members of Congress they are lobbying, speed up disclosure, and close loopholes that allow some of Washington’s most powerful players to avoid disclosure. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act would establish uniform public reporting of government spending by agencies and recipients, enabling much better tracking of where tax dollars actually go.
All this would hit Washington like an earthquake, but nothing less is needed — that is, if we are going to have a democracy in which ordinary Americans count for more than a throwaway line in all those fundraising emails.
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Foreign Policy januari/februari 2013.