How Much Say Do Voters Have? Voters do select the candidates for various public offices themselves, don't they? Just stop and think about that for moment and look at how the process works. Do the people directly select candidates for office? Or do they just get to select from among a list of candidates that each party provides? People within each party declare themselves to be candidates. In some cases, the political parties themselves will recruit candidates to run on their party ticket. These are the only choices available to the voters.
|Major Self-Financed Campaigns of 2010|
|Linda McMahon (R)||$22.1 million||99.9%|
|Jeff Greene||$5.9 million||99.9%|
|Carly Fiorina (R)||$5.5 million||52.0%|
|William Binnie||$3.6 million||75.0%|
|David Malpass||$2.5 million||89.0%|
|House of Representatives|
|Tom Ganley (R)||$3.5 million||94.0%|
|George Flinn||$2.9 million||93.0%|
|Randy Altschuler (R)||$2 million||71.0%|
|Wink Hartman (R)||$1.6 million||92.0%|
|Rudolph Moise||$1.0 million||70.0%|
|Source: 2010's Self-Financed Candidates|
And here is a list of 2010's costliest elections:
Why Do These Restrictions Exist? These restrictions exist because the political duopoly wants them to exist. They want to limit the amount of control that the people have over the election. They are afraid that, if Democrats are allowed to vote for or against Republicans, or vice versa, it could upset the duopoly's control. It would take a whole lot of voters to do this -- probably in the millions -- but, if that many people felt that strongly about a particular candidate, wouldn't allowing them to vote either for or against a particular candidate be the truly democratic thing to do? Candidates who take a stand for or against particular issues attract huge financial support from like-minded big-money interests who could benefit directly if their candidate of choice were to get elected. These big-money interests help finance and influence political campaigns. They contribute to special interest groups who fund thousands of television ads either backing the positions of their candidate of choice or attacking the opposing candidate. When it comes to such television messages, they are usually so contorted and contrived that it would tax the capabilities of a lie detector to get the straight facts. Instead of trying to inform the people intelligently, they are deliberately designed to misinform and deceive them. Too many voters are influenced by such ads, to the detriment of honest campaigning and true issues.
Democracy In Action, Or Democracy Inaction? All of this is done in the name of democracy. However, it is more realistic to say that it is done for the benefit of our political duopoly and their plutocratic supporters. Most of the faults in our electoral process that are described here are either done by or for the benefit of the two major parties, to ensure that they maintain control, thereby freezing out any meaningful opposition from third-party candidates. As has been stated previously, we have government of the people, by a political duopoly (instead of by the people), and for the big-money interests (instead of for the people). This is not democracy in action. It is just the opposite.
|Gerrymandering for Fun and Profit! (in development)|
|In Presidential Debates, Duopoly Reigns Supreme|
|Presidential Debates: Fraud or Farce?|
|Problems For Third-Party Candidates|