Should we restrict campaign spending or contributions?

Should we restrict campaign spending or contributions?


A 2010 Supreme Court decision – Citizens United – opened the door for unlimited spending by individuals on behalf of political candidates.

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Should we take steps to reduce the influence of money on our presidential elections?  We could do this either by limiting the amount of money candidates can spend directly, by limiting direct contributions, or even taking steps to limit spending on behalf of a candidate (something that would require a constitutional amendment).


· 2. Should we get rid of the Electoral College?

Discussion Topic


In two of the past six presidential elections, the candidate who received the most individual votes has not won the election in the Electoral College. Proponents of a national popular vote argue that this is unfair and that our continued reliance on an archaic eighteenth century voting procedure cannot be justified.

What do you think?  Should we abolish the Electoral College?

If yes, then what do we use instead?   A national popular vote?  Some type of hybrid or some new kind of Electoral College?

If no, then what are the advantages of retaining the Electoral College?

You don’t need to do any outside research, just take a look – in the slides – at the claims made by people who want a change and people who resist that type of reform.

If you feel like you want to learn more before you post, you can read a section in the text on the Electoral College (Chapter 12, pages 456-7 ) or check out:


3. Should the Senate get rid of the filibuster?


The filibuster has recently been in the news as Democrats in the Senate confront Republican resistance to raising the debt ceiling and funding key social initiatives like child care subsidies and investments in education.

The filibuster is a tool for the minority party to obstruct or block legislation that a majority of the Senate prefers.  in 2013, the Democrats changed the rules so that members could not filibuster judicial nominees (except the Supreme Court) and executive branch appointments,  In 2017, the Republicans changed the rules so that members cannot filibuster Supreme Court nominations.

Why not just rid of the filibuster altogether so that the majority party can govern?  (For a brief discussion of the filibuster and it use in the past, see “The Noble History of the Filibuster” in the text, at page 436)