ERIC Number: EJ770120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: 14
Freedom versus Equality in Campaign Finance Reform
Luckowski, Jean A.; Lopach, James J.
Social Studies, v93 n3 p124-129 May-Jun 2002
From the beginning of the U.S., the political values of freedom and equality have received top billing. However, these core values can come into conflict in the making of public policy. For example, affirmative action can provide substantive equality in the form of a job or college admission to some at the expense of others' freedom. The same tension exists in some approaches to campaign finance regulation. One reform is to "level the playing field" by reducing the ability of wealthy citizens to contribute money to candidates and the ability of corporations and unions to contribute large sums to political parties. Giving poorer citizens a louder voice by silencing the voices of those with more money places the value of equality in opposition to the value of freedom. In this article, the authors discuss ways for resolving the conflict between freedom and equality in campaign finance reform. Debate over new campaign finance regulations has prominently occupied members of Congress and the nation's media and will find its way into classrooms. A lesson plan and student materials to simulate the U.S. Supreme Court's deliberation in resolving the constitutional question raised in the 2001 Colorado Republican case are presented.
Descriptors: Democratic Values, Public Policy, Finance Reform, Freedom, Conflict, Court Litigation, Political Campaigns, Civil Rights, Lesson Plans, Conflict Resolution, Role Conflict
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado