Nancy Pelosi Has a Plan to Fix Democracy – Here Are Her Ideas

Let’s be honest: American democracy is a big ol’ mess right now. As we witnessed in the most recent election, voter suppression is rampant, legislators are beholden to private interests and money dominates all. That’s why, having newly regained the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party is making government reform its top priority.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the likely next Speaker of the House, coauthored an article in the Washington Post with Rep. John Sarbanes that outlines the changes their party will push for with its first bill come January in an effort to put democracy back on the right track.

Here are their significant reforms:

 

1. LETTING PEOPLE VOTE

  • New guidelines for drawing district lines fairlyGerrymandering is out of control and manipulates the will of the voters to stack the deck in favor of a particular party. Establishing guidelines on how districts can be determined could prevent the worst abuses.
  • Automatically register voters – It’s beginning to happen in various states, but a national push to make sure everyone gets registered – without all this jumping through hoops nonsense – would be a boon for participation.
  • Commit to voter security – Presently, our voting technology is susceptible to hacks from enemies nationally and abroad. Unless we commit to safeguarding our systems, there can be no confidence in the outcomes.
  • Restore the Voting Rights Act – The Supreme Court dismantled some important protections allowing conservatives to pounce and disenfranchise, so efforts need to be made to once again defend the right to vote in areas that have a track record of voter suppression.

 

2. REMOVING MONEY FROM POLITICS

  • Campaign finance reform – Incentivize small donations by matching the money and giving the support of average Americans as much weigh as the wealthiest ones.
  • Put an end to dark money – A Constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United probably isn’t in the cards, but rules stipulating that super PACs have to disclose who their donors are could go a long way toward exposing how moneyed interests are influencing our politics.

 

3. CURBING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

  • End lobbyist loopholes – Lobbyists have found creative ways to avoid registering as lobbyists, which allows them to more easily transition into government positions despite their obvious interests.
  • Keep legislators from holding positions on for-profit boards – While serving their constituents, they don’t also need to be representing corporate interests.
  • Stop allowing the private sector to give bonuses to employees that accept government positions – How was this ever permitted in the first place? That’s basically paying someone to work on a company’s behalf (rather than the people) in the government.
  • Increase the power of the Office of Government Ethics – Stopping corruption starts with making sure ethics bodies have more authority than merely wagging a finger and saying “tsk tsk” to rule-breakers.

 

This reform is ambitious, but necessary. As for its chances of passing in the Republican-led Senate, Sarbanes isn’t all that optimistic. The GOP has chopped away at democratic institutions and norms because it realizes it benefits from disenfranchising voters, serving corporations and allowing unlimited campaign donations, so Republicans would probably ignore this bill.

Nevertheless, Sarbanes pledges to continue taking up the bill until progress is made. Hopefully in subsequent elections, those citizens who believe in democracy will understand the importance of voting for leaders who are willing to secure the institutions rather than undermine them and these changes can be made into law to protect elections moving forward.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

60 comments

Julia R
Julia R3 months ago

I think that these ideas are very good and should be implemented quickly!

SEND
Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E3 months ago

brian f
Are you denying you voted FOR Ms. Clinton or are you hoping there is one member of C2 perhaps living in Antarctica that hasn't read your Blah, Blah blah posts?


SEND
Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Rhoberta E You're comments are really rediculous. It's just the same old tire bromides, and rants. For the ten millionth time, I voted for the Democrats because I had no choice after the corrupt Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary and anointed a Wall Street crook Hillary, which caused this crook Trump to win.

SEND
heather g
heather g3 months ago

Good ideas from a dedicated politician

SEND
Carole R
Carole R3 months ago

Some very good ideas.

SEND
Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E3 months ago

brian f
It must be you someone is referring to Deny, deflect, blame, ……...deny , deflect, blame and on and on and on !!
Why did you vote FOR the democrats, brian ? Wait for it !!! Buyer's remorse???.
NEVER a positive comment from brian !!! NEVER !!!

SEND
pam w
pam w3 months ago

I'm loving ALL these ideas! The GOP, of course, will hate them....deflect by blaming the Clintons or anyone else in the Democratic party. When all else fails....deny, deflect, blame....deny, deflect, blame....deny, deflect, blame, blah, blah, blah.

SEND
Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Rhoberta E We can't get Medicare for all until we replace corrupt corporate establishment Democrats like Nancy Pelosi with honest progressives who support Medicare for all like Barbara Lee. Akeem Jeffries who beat Barbara Lee to become head of the Democratic Caucus is extremely corrupt and has taken massive amounts of money from Wall Street and other corporate donors. The Democrats are so corrupt, they would rather lose to this crook Trump and the Republicans, than win with an honest progressive like Bernie Sanders. The Democrats only care about the millions they take from their corporate donors.

SEND
Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

It's good that Nancy Pelosi wants badly needed reforms, but according to opensecrets.org, Nancy Pelosi has taken millions from corporations, Wall Street, our healthcare industry, and our dirty fossil fuel industry. In addition Nancy Pelosi supports natural gas fracking and refuses to support a $15.00 minimum wage, free colleges, marijuana legalization and Medicare for all. Nancy Pelosi is worth 100 million dollars and gets the best healthcare money can buy, and yet she denies it to millions of working poor who desperately need it. So Nancy Pelosi is bought and paid for by Wall Street and corporations, and in the pockets of our criminal healthcare industry. We need a new speaker who is honest, supports Medicare for all which we desperately need in this country, and doesn't take money from Wall Street or corporations. Barbara Lee recently lost her bid for the Democratic Caucus in a secret ballot. The Democrats are so corrupt they have secret ballots. Barabara Lee has alot of experience and would be a great replacement to the extremely corrupt Pelosi.

SEND
Susanne R
Susanne R3 months ago

I hear so many negative comments about Nancy Pelosi (most of which I don't agree with) but one thing we should be able to agree on is that we need her dedication and experience at this particular time. Our government is in chaos and the future of the president and his closest advisers is uncertain, at best.

The reforms she supports, if implemented, would solve a lot of the problems our country has been experiencing since trump took office and keep them from happening in the future.

SEND