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Democracy, Money and Power

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, November 27th, 2014 - 6 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, brand key, class war, democracy under attack, democratic participation, Economy, monetary policy, overseas investment, poverty, Privatisation - Tags:

The stage was long ago reached where members of the US Government were told they should “wear their sponsors logo’s on their shirts”.
“Since most politicians’ campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company’s logo, or individual’s name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate’s clothing at all public appearances and campaign events”.

Both Republicans and Democrats depend on corporate funding to remain in power.

Re-election is unlikely, now, without the funding to drive the advertising, public relations and marketing machine.
Political power goes to those who have the money for the best “brand” marketing.

Not surprising that Government decision making favour wealthy and corporate interests.

Managerially inclined types, who run major parties, know that policy that reduces corporate power, reduces their funding, and their re-election chances.
Increased funding from wealthy business was very noticeable in the 80’s, when Labour started the Neo-liberal experiment.
“whose advocates support extensive economic liberalization, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.”
The immediate swinging into action of the whole corporate media, and the bashing machine, when a small party upsets the cosy Labour/National club by similarly obtaining money from a wealthy individual, or restrictions on business funding of the National party are proposed.

We will not mention what this money pays for;
The Donations to schools in Tonga by figures close to the National party, to influence Tongan voters in New Zealand.
The funds available to National to persuade deadwood to depart.
The lucrative sinecures, in the same firms their legislation has benefited, after leaving Parliament.
The free party political advertising in the Herald, on talkback radio and most TV current affairs.
The use of security services and the police to discredit and silence opposition.
The threats to withdraw funding to community groups that highlight the frightening effects of National/ACT/Conservative polices on New Zealanders.

How can politicians remain true to principles, and work for those that have elected them, when their re-election, like the US Democrats, depends on funding from corporates and the wealthy.

Who can forget the “DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK”, banner headlines, when Labour tried to make funding more equal and transparent.

Conspicuously absent when an ex politician becomes a director, on leaving politics, of the same corporate who benefited from legislation they have passed. When movie companies, gambling companies or another wealthy self-interested individual, or corporation, buy the policies they want.

The solution is total taxpayer funding of political parties, during their term, proportional to their vote, and, election funding depending on the number of paid up individual party members. (Funding on previous election results tends to pre-determine the election to an extent).

Decisions and the reasoning should be totally transparent except for legitimate privacy and valid National security reasons.
Tax funded commercial operations (including SOE’s), Politicians and the “public service” have no right to hide what they do in the course of their employment from their employers.

More de-centralised democratic control over decisions made, and policy enacted, would be nice, but I do not see any of our politicians voluntarily giving some power back to us any-time soon. Even the modest increase in people power, of MMP, has been hotly opposed.

6 comments on “Democracy, Money and Power ”

  1. Coffee Connoissuer 1

    “The solution is total taxpayer funding of political parties, during their term, proportional to their vote, and, election funding depending on the number of paid up individual party members. (Funding on previous election results tends to pre-determine the election to an extent).”

    Or perhaps the same amount of funding to all parties no matter how big or small (membership or MPs). That way the best ideas will have a better chance to be the ones that see the light of day.

    Very good article by the way. It is high time people started paying more attention to this.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    The solution is total taxpayer funding of political parties, during their term, proportional to their vote, and, election funding depending on the number of paid up individual party members. (Funding on previous election results tends to pre-determine the election to an extent).

    Your last sentence there tells us why all political parties should get the same funding.

  3. miravox 3

    Agree that a formula for funding should include party membership. That could lead to parties focusing on voters interests rather than corporate interests and lead to increased public participation in politics. This can only be a good thing.

  4. The lost sheep 4

    “The solution is total taxpayer funding of political parties, during their term, proportional to their vote, and, election funding depending on the number of paid up individual party members. (Funding on previous election results tends to pre-determine the election to an extent).”

    As you imply, that would simply give the party with the initial advantage an ongoing one?

    If you applied that now for instance, National would go into the next election with far more funding than any other party.
    If your premise is that funding=votes, then they would gain extra votes from their funding advantage.
    And at the next election have an even bigger advantage?

    • KJT 4.1

      Not as clear as I would like. Party funding between elections should, as I would like to see it, restricted to the sort of things that parties do for the public such as electoral offices and advocacy for ordinary people and an amount for open publicity and discussion of policies.

      Any funding towards elections should be in ratio to confirmed members. Only individuals cen be members and, the opposite of Citizens United, in the USA which decided corpoartions had humen rights as an individual to buy the Government.

      I hoped their would be more interest in this aspect of our politics.
      The blatant buying of policies by a small group, of influential wealthy people in New Zealand, and overseas corporates. It is so common that we seem to consider it OK.

      Despite the sciaving comments from New Zealanders about similar, but more open corruption for blatant, but lower levels of open corruption in other countries.

      • miravox 4.1.1

        “I hoped their would be more interest in this aspect of our politics.”

        I don’t think there’s a lack of interest, just unfortunate timing with the mess-ups by Key taking priority.

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