The end of American Democracy has just occurred

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The end of American Democracy has just occurred

Welcome in the new rule by corporations. By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday rolled back restrictions on corporate spending on federal campaigns. The decision could unleash a torrent of corporate-funded attack ads in upcoming elections.

Now corporations will buy their politicians, and support the party that gives them the most profits.

This is a sad day for politics, and the final nail in the coffin of America as a functioning democracy.


Don't underestimate the change this will have in the next election, and in politics in general from today onward. Nothing else outside of a military coup could be as significant.

America used to lead the world economically, politically, and morally. It now has nothing to say except "Don't be like us".
By netchicken: posted on 22-1-2010

Even New Scientist magazine have an article about the end of American Democracy.

The decision could affect topics covered regularly by New Scientist, especially policy on the environment, health and technology - as oil companies, big pharma, health insurers and tech firms are among the most conspicuous donors to US political campaigns.

The hefty influence enjoyed by big corporations and their lobbyists is already one of the most divisive issues in US politics. For instance, the watchdog group MAPLight, based in Berkeley, California, has documented how Congressional votes on healthcare reform correlated with financial contributions from the health insurance and drugs industries.

Restrictions on the direct funding of politicians' campaigns aren't changed by the ruling, but it could transform political advertising, allowing corporations to spend huge sums attacking or supporting particular candidates.

As the Washington Post explains, the case was brought by a group called Citizens United, which during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries produced a movie attacking Hillary Clinton. This was deemed an advertisement by the Federal Election Commission, and banned for breaching campaign finance rules.

Will companies really want to go on the warpath against individual politicians by funding lavish attack ads? Some commentators doubt that they will, but with the mid-term Congressional elections looming in November, we should soon get a chance to see.

If the debate has made you wonder about corporate influence over your own political representatives, there are some useful resources on the web. MAPLight is especially good for exploring the relationships between campaign finance and votes in the US Congress and the California state legislature, while, run by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington DC, offers a comprehensive overview of donations.

And if you're particularly interested in tracking oil company money, Oil Change International's Price of Oil site offers some visualizations of OpenSecrets data - punctuated by partisan anti-oil comments.

Click the link to see many examples mentioned in the article.
By netchicken: posted on 23-1-2010

Not only does this ruling mean corporations now dictate who succeeds in the political process, but also gives companies outside of America the ability to influence the election process as well.
... Quote:
But itís one thing for U.S. firms to have their say. What about foreign companies that operate U.S. subsidiaries? Many of these, like American businesses, are owned by ordinary shareholders ó but a host of others are owned, in whole or in part, by the foreign governments themselves.

One prominent examples is CITGO Petroleum Company ó once the American-born Cities Services Company, but purchased in 1990 by the Venezuelan government-owned Petrůleos de Venezuela S.A.

The Citizens United ruling could conceivably allow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has sharply criticized both of the past two U.S. presidents, to spend government funds to defeat an American political candidate, just by having CITGO buy TV ads bashing his target.

And itís not just Chavez.

The Saudi government owns Houstonís Saudi Refining Company and half of Motiva Enterprises. Lenovo, which bought IBMís PC assets in 2004, is partially owned by the Chinese governmentís Chinese Academy of Sciences. And Singaporeís APL Limited operates several U.S. port operations. A weakening of the limit on corporate giving could mean China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and any other country that owns companies that operate in the U.S. could also have significant sway in American electioneering. http://www.publicintegrity....

Also Americas foreign policy will also be influenced by corporations. For example if America protests the human rights abuses in Nigeria, Shell, who have huge holdings in the country, can give money to politicians who say nothing and remain silent on the topic. And then there is the topic of war, and the influence of the military industrial establishments....
By netchicken: posted on 24-1-2010

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