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We really need campaign finance reform, and maybe there has to be a grassroots effort for a constitutional amendment. I think our democracy isn't functioning very well right now, and I blame both parties equally for that. With a better system, it might be easier for new people to get involved.
I agree it is running poorly...and that goes for Congress as well..THAt is a total abomination..with the way bills get done..Just no oversight by Congress now on a LOT the President has done..from the whole Homeland security issues including the Katrina fiasco to the Iraq war missing money and profiteering to the oversight or lack thereof of
the executive programs..to the buying of influence alal Abramof..Basically Congress has been running terribly...
As far as reform goes, what troubles me is how 3rd parties are kept out of it all..the two parties make sure they are the only ones who get money..NOT good for real democracy. It would be betetr in some form of course, but with 3rd parties able to take a place in it. I know you mentioned women and minorities and there is NO question about that that both are needed...absolutely!!! But it is NOT easy to run and it is all about money..you need it to run and stay in office..and when MOST of the time u are in office u are raising money fore the next campaign, no wonder one has little time to actually DO what one got elected to office to do.