Sunday, August 02, 2015

Jimmy Carter Talks Democracy

Ex-US President Jimmy Carter discusses American democracy 

"Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. The incumbents, Democrats, and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger, so it benefits both parties…"
“…Corporate ‘domination’ of electioneering can generate the impression that corporations dominate our democracy.When citizens turn on their televisions and radios before an election and hear only corporate electioneering, they may lose faith in their capacity, as citizens, to influence public policy. A Government captured by corporate interests, they may come to believe, will be neither responsive to their needs nor willing to give their views a fair hearing. The predictable result is cynicism and disenchantment: an increased perception that large spenders ‘call the tune’ and a reduced ‘willingness of voters to take part in democratic governance.’ To the extent that corporations are allowed to exert undue influence in electoral races, the speech of the eventual winners of those races may also be chilled.

"Politicians who fear that a certain corporation can make or break their reelection chances may be cowed into silence about that corporation. On a variety of levels, unregulated corporate electioneering might diminish the ability of citizens to 'hold officials accountable to the people,’ and disserve the goal of a public debate that is 'uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.' At the least, I stress again, a legislature is entitled to credit these concerns and to take tailored measures in response."

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

A third of Hillary Clinton’s top campaign donors made their money from the financial services industry, an analysis by The Guardian shows. The list of donors to Priorities USA, a super Pac which allows unlimited contributions, includes well-known financiers such as George Soros as well as a clutch of less well-known hedge fund managers and investment advisers.

Together, eight donors whose family wealth can be traced back to the finance industry accounted for $4.8m of the $15.6m total raised in the first half of the year and nine of the 28 donations worth at least $100,000.

Clinton disclosed that she and her husband earned $28m in personal income last year.