GCAAtoday

Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

Natalie O'Dell, Business Manager

Although many teens see politics and the government as boring and irrelevant, and as yawn-inducing as many political terms and concepts may seem, it is important that we keep an eye on our government and use our rights as citizens to influence policy to benefit our interests as much as we can.  Although opportunities to do so are few and far between, there will be one on the ballot on November 6th in the state of Missouri called Amendment 1. It aims to reform essential parts of the political system by limiting the government’s corruption, which is essentially legalized bribery by various forces, like the very rich and corporations, in order to buy policy in their favor, in our state’s politics.

The first thing Amendment 1 does to fight this blatant corruption is ending gerrymandering.  Although this might sound like a monster from a bad kid’s movie, it is actually a political term that refers to the redrawing of congressional districts for the state, which is explained in the video above.  Although it is easy to see why the average citizen would look past this, its a crucial concept because it is used to unfairly manipulate election results by drawing district lines in favor of one political party over another. Therefore the politicians may not actually represent what the majority of the population wants.  If this amendment is passed, the congressional map will be drawn by a panel-chosen demographer, which is just a fancy word for a map maker, and can only be changed if 70% of the lawmakers can vote on it within the first two months. Although I am skeptical about how the panel will choose the demographer, I think this will make important progress for making our elections fair and democratic, and, if nothing else, will serve as a call for further action.

The second, and perhaps the most important part of the amendment, is about campaign finance.  I know that the term alone is enough to make you fall asleep, but it is actually the strings that control the entire political system, and is behind nearly every policy made at the expense of the people.  How it works is companies and powerful organizations manipulate politicians into making policy that benefits their interests by donating large amounts of money to their campaigns, which tends to work to the people’s disadvantage.  This is why so many of our politicians represent the rich and corporations, instead of the people they are supposed to be serving, and why policy ideas popular among the people rarely make their way into law.

This amendment will limit campaign donations from any individuals, organizations, and corporations to $500 for a Senate candidate and $100 for a House of Representatives candidate.  Although I don’t think corporations and interest groups should have any influence in our elections whatsoever, I recognize that this amendment will serve as a step in the right direction.

Another important issue covered by this amendment is lobbyist gifts, which is similar to campaign finance, but perhaps even more destructive.  The bill reduces them to $5. I don’t think lobbyists should be able to give gifts at all, but it will still limit a lot of their power, and according to the amendment’s website, it will eliminate more than 99% of lobbyist gifts.  

I am excited to cast my vote in favor of this amendment on November 6th, and, if you want to help this state’s policies represent our interests, I recommend that you do the same.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Leave a Comment

GCAA Student Media intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Online comments are moderated by staff editors. Alerts will be sent to staff editors each time a comment is posted to the site. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed as quickly as possible. GCAAtoday does not allow anonymous comments, and requires first and last names and a valid email address in order for comments to be published. The email address will not be displayed but may be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Editorials

    OPINION: An art school or a school with art?

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Big Questions

    Big Questions: What is your greatest accomplishment?

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Big Questions

    Big Questions: What’s your favorite thing about fall?

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Big Questions

    Big Questions: What superhero are you?

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    2018 Yearbook Spring Supplement

    An editing team’s farewell: the end of an era

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Blogs

    My senior year reflection: perseverance and commitment

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Blogs

    Tower Grove Park features open natural spaces, wide array of interesting subjects

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    2018 Yearbook Spring Supplement

    Teachers not being allowed to sit on stage for senior graduation is embarrassing, unappreciative

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    2018 Yearbook Spring Supplement

    Departure to Denmark: A semester abroad

  • Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption

    Big Questions

    Big Questions April-May 2018

The student news site of Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO
Ballot initiative aims to limit government corruption