Democracy or Donationcracy

We are lying to ourselves when we say that we live in a free democracy. It is estimated that candidates raised in excess of $1.6 billion in the presidential election in 2008. For the 2012 elections, political pundits estimate that candidates will raise as much as $2 billion. In 2008, Obama spent $10.94/vote and McCain spent $5.78. When candidates raise and spend this much money, no ones vote is free. It is the case that usually the candidates that raises the most money wins the most votes. In 2008, then Senator Obama raised a little over two times that raised by Senator McCain. As of March, President Obama had raised more than twice that of Governor Romney.

In the end, elections are run by the bottom line and the money raised. The more money a candidate has in his war chest the more they can spend in marketing. Even though every voter has a vote, the more an election costs the more every voter is disenfranchised from the political system. When a large portion of a campaign is spent attracting large donors in %50k/plate dinners the typical voter is going to get left out of the political system.

Leave a Reply, Join the Conversation