As a politically inclined individual, I have noticed that a lot of donated funds for campaign go to waste. How can blockchain come to assist
Blockchain will eventually begin managing political donations
Political campaigns and financing have long been controversial undertakings for both supporters and presidential candidates across the world. These Campaigns require millions of dollars to run successfully and presidential candidates usually request or solicit for donations from supporters. On the other hand, supporter and donors have higher expectations placed upon politicians to live up to their campaign promises by fulfilling their desires and wishes.
Often, supporters are left disappointed when politicians fail to fulfill their promises. They are left powerless as they look on their huge donations go into waist when politicians fail and ignore them. Despite their huge donations, surely, donor appears powerless and incapacitated to control what Politicians do with their donated funds. How can blockchain retain the power to campaign funders, while keeping the politicians accountable to their promises?
In today’s scenario, if I express interest to run for political office, I would ask well-wishers to fund my campaign. In most cases, the well-wishers will pledge funds, say $10,000. I will get the pledged amount, use it in my campaign and possibly win. Whether my stay in office would yield results and fulfilled expectations of my supports is another issue. If I do not fulfil my promises by the end of my tenure, my funders may not consider funding me again but they would have lost out on their funds. How can blockchain change this current scenario by giving power back to the funders while holding the politicians accountable at the same time? Can blockchain promote accountability?
The possible role of smart contracts in campaign funds
Blockchain can be used to empower voters and donors while at the same time, keep the politicians more accountable to the promises they make on their campaign trail. How so? Instead of directly donating ten thousand dollars to my campaign, the funders will write a smart contract on the blockchain to manage campaign donations. They will deposit the amount to a smart contract with specific conditions. That smart contract will be programmed with terms and conditions under which funds will be released. For example, the contract terms may spell that half the amount pledged would be used in the current campaign.
The rest of the amount will remain in the smart contract after the elections. If some critical promises are not fulfilled during my tenure, the remaining amount could be refunded to the funders. However, if 90 per cent if those promises are fulfilled reasonably enough, the amount will on the blockchain wallet and be available for the next campaign. On the other hand, the funds can be retained to the funders.
In short, I can only utilise the remaining amount on condition that I have fulfilled most of my promises, ninety per cent of all my promises. This scenario as the ability to promote accountability on the part of politicians while at the same time, safeguarding the campaign funds for the donors. At least, they would get back part of their funds if the politician fails to fulfil promises.
This would put immense power in the hands of voters and funders while keeping politicians accountable for the promises they make, long after Elections were held. These are possible with conventional technology but clearly, not feasible to some reasonable degrees.
From the foregoing, it appears that when blockchain and smart contracts are adopted and implemented in this area of the political arena, it has the potential to retain power back in the hand of voters as well as the potential to radically reform campaign finance and campaign donations.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Lumai Mubanga