This quarter we were tasked with creating a solution to the issue of money in political campaigns in the United States. To solve this issue our group developed the solution of a non-partisan web platform that combines social media and other information about the political process as well as specific candidates and elections to better inform voters in their decisions at the polls. Our solution addresses the influence of money in politics by creating a central hub of information that is low cost. By creating a one-stop-shop for information on politics and elections we hope to develop a more educated voting population while also reducing the amount of money needed to advertise and run a political campaign.
The reason for creating a web platform is that it is low-cost but has the potential to reach a high volume of voters, especially young voters who are a mostly disengaged demographic. The fee structure for our web-platform, which calls for higher rates for candidates in federal elections with a sliding scale down for state and local elections, requires all candidates in the same race to pay the same price for their information to be included so this will help to even the playing field. With less need for money to run a campaign, politicians will be less reliant on big donors which will lead to less political favors being done and less money in politics overall.
The impact of our social media platform will be measured through its ability to educate the public on the political process and reduce the influence of money in campaigns. These two goals are different, and therefore, they need to be measured in differing ways. Measuring the platforms effectiveness at educating voters on the political process will be challenging. Voter education is not necessarily apparent in any easily measurable political metric that already exists. To meet this challenge we will have to measure voter education using our own platform.
Quizzes will serve multiple purposes on our platform. First, quizzes provide an interactive means of providing value to voters. Buzzfeed style quizzes on political topics will attract users with their entertainment value, but they will also serve as an effective measure of voter education. Based on changes in correct response rates, we will be able to determine the platforms effectiveness.
The platforms ability to reduce the influence of money in campaigns is its most important role. Measuring this effectiveness will be relatively easy because the majority of campaign financing is publicly disclosed and easily accessible. We will determine our platforms effectiveness through measuring the amount of money that is being spent on campaigns after the platform is implemented, and comparing those amounts to the amounts used before the platform was available. Ultimately, if the amount of money being spent on campaigns declines, we can be confident in the platforms effectiveness.