Tuesday, May 17, 2011

McCainescu-Feingoldciuc


You may be wondering why I haven't written a post for several months.  In part, it was due to being very busy doing other things, but in part it was also due to my disappointment at realising that all of Moldova's parliamentary parties had become hostages to business interests.  I don't understand or necessarily agree with Mihai Godea's reasons for leaving the PLDM, but he hit the nail on the head when he said that Moldova's economy was being run by the three Vlads - Voronin, Filat and Plahotniuc.

There are four parties in parliament, and it has long been apparent that three of them were representing business interests rather than the people who voted for them.  The last straw, however, came when the Liberal Party (my 'last great hope') turned out to also be financed by Plahotniuc and was turning a blind eye to the excessive concentration of media assets in his hands.

The problem with this is that the three Vlads effectively get a lot more votes than Mrs Popa in Apartment 27.  They use their money to influence (manipulate?) citizens into casting their votes in the appropriate direction, rather than allowing voters to develop their own opinions based on quality information.  This isn't right, as the Moldovan constitution protects the right to an equal vote.

 If parties are in-hoc to someone for finance, they do not have the freedom to promote the policies that emanate from their core values, and which are designed to serve all the people of Moldova.  Instead, they must serve the interests of the money which got them into parliament (or local councils, as the case may be).

As in many other countries there is an urgent need to restore power to the people by breaking the dependency of political parties on the sponsorship of corporations and wealthy individuals. I'm not so naive that I think the link can be broken completely, however that's no excuse for not trying.

Parties incur their major costs during election campaigns, and most of this expense relates to the purchase of publicity.  This is where the focus should be

Some ideas that need to be considered:

1.  Ban all forms of publicity which treat subjects superficially.  This would include posters, television sound-bites, radio jingles, flyers with little content, television commercials shorter than, say, five minutes.  As well as increasing the quality of debate, this would also reduce campaign costs.

2.  Ban all contributions from corporate entities, and limit the amount that individuals are allowed to contribute to a sum that is reasonable for someone on a middle income.  Police this rule, and don't let companies and rich folks channel contributions through individuals.

3.  Provide financing to political parties out of the state budget.  In a sense this is a terrible idea (why give my hard-earned taxes to those rascals?), however it should be looked on as being the cost of maintaining a healthy(ish) political system.  Parliamentary parties would receive a certain fixed amount, regardless of the number of seats they hold, in order to promote pluralism.  Extra-parliamentary parties and individuals would receive lower amounts.  All expenditure would be thoroughly audited.

PS:  Other ideas welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Number 3 was on Tănase's agenda - before he realized AIE was full of cronies. He left the government, but unfortunale they are here to stay.

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