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September 12, 2008  |  Changing elections  |  8249 hit(s)

Aaron Swartz writing about the potential to change the election process:
Here's how you get elected to Congress today: First, you make friends with a bunch of wealthy people, being sure to agree with them on all the important issues. Then you take their money and hire a well-connected Washington, D.C. campaign manager. The campaign manager shows you how to ask for more money and then gives it to his partner, who makes some TV and radio ads and runs them in your district. They keep doing this until your money runs out and then, if you're lucky, you get more votes than the other guy.

Because of the netroots, it's now possible to change the first part of this story. Instead of raising your money from conservative or centrist rich people, you can now raise money from progressive people over the Internet. So instead of candidates who all agree that telephone companies shouldn't be punished for spying on Americans, you can have candidates who think every American should have free health care.
What do you think, is this change going to change the face of politics?

Kent Sharkey   12 Sep 08 - 1:58 PM

Speaking as an outsider with a beyond healthy interest in your election (it's far more interesting than ours, although it has gone on way too long), I doubt it.

While I don't dispute it will change the funding, just look at what's happened over the last few weeks. The same old "the election is about the issues" lie is happening. Both candidates avoid discussing their real beliefs (that haven't been through a focus group), and the media spends far too much time discussing trivialities. Add to that an electorate that "wants to vote for someone they would have a beer with" and you'll get yet another election, just the same as the others.

Kent Sharkey   15 Sep 08 - 1:04 PM

One more bit on why I don't think that the election will change: