Would "Democracy Vouchers" make a difference?

Seattle is proving to be the birthplace of new, progressive policies. Last year, that city was the first in our nation to pass a $15 minimum wage.

Last week, they were the first to pass a new public campaign finance initiative to put democracy back into the hands of voters.

The so-called “Honest Elections” initiative not only strengthens campaign finance restrictions in Seattle, it will give every registered voter there $100 dollars of “democracy vouchers” to support their favorite candidates as well.

This proposal is aimed at getting more people to participate in local elections and an effort to weaken the power of big money in our democracy. However, the plan is not without its possible faults.

Critics worry that candidates can opt to use the public financing system, which will make them eligible to receive vouchers, but still get the benefits of big donors with the help of Super PACs.

Thankfully, Seattle voters have proven time and time again that they're savvy enough to identify candidates who cheat the system. It will be up to them to test the “Democracy Voucher” system and determine if it can become an effective way to take our election back from the billionaires.


Al Alpert's picture
Al Alpert 8 years 32 weeks ago


I just want to correct you on 1 (one) thing. SeaTac not Seattle was the first city in this nation to implement the $15.00 PER HR. MIN WAGE. Seattle then followed suit later on.

Sincerely Al Alpert

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 32 weeks ago

"It's the policies, stupid." For whom would you vote, if no party/pol represented you or your leading priorities? Republicans represent the rich, Democrats and third parties today represent the middle class. For whom could the rest of the country vote -- the poor, and those who get why unrelieved poverty matters? As the record shows, it is Democrats (since B. Clinton) who have steadily worsened conditions for the jobless poor, the elderly poor and the disabled. I can't support that. Many of us can't support that. No matter how much you tinker with things before Nov. 2016, Democrats already lost the election.

Tacoma Liz's picture
Tacoma Liz 8 years 32 weeks ago

A voucher doesn't do a thing to change the system. It keeps money as a huge factor in campaigns. Publicly funded races with equal time on our publicly owned television and radio airwaves is the only way elections would be truly democratic.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 32 weeks ago

In my opinion, compulsory voting as in Australian style is the answer. This way the Foxmerized, God, and Gun voters would finally have some company on election day...unwanted company!!!!

lefaivre's picture
lefaivre 8 years 32 weeks ago

In response to "It's the policies stupid" I think it would take an ordinary person only a minute or two to corrolate the decline of the poor since Clinton with 8 years of Bush. Even since Bush and the financial mess he left Republicans have blocked every effort of the Obama administration to help them. If the Democrats are going to loose in 2016, it will be beacuse you and the rest of the right wing continue to baffle them with lies and half truths.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy