Saturday, July 26, 2008


Liveblogging for a change: On the wireless, they're talking about how micro-donations (Barack Obama appparently have over 1.7m relatively small donors, while Hillary relied upon the traditional High Value Individual route, and ended up in schtook) could change politics.

The obstacles so far:

  1. Politicians only seem to do it if they are in tight marginals
  2. Unions / Big business donations should be banned (according to the talking head)
  3. Even in the US - where parties are less controlled - they are finding that support networks can be organised to oppose individual policies
  4. The Internet has the potential to degrade politics (passim here) - though Obama was able to spend half-an-hour getting his message over on YouTube
  5. Single issue pressure groups and petitions (trans: applied idiocy)

The view that a move towards microdonations would improve the quality of public life was largely uncontested. I'm not sure I'd contest it myself - but I think it needs examining a bit more.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Microdonations put a politician in another kind of a conundrum: it's difficult to kiss an ass you cannot see.

Paulie said...

Ha! Very good. A friend of mine argued that 'direct democracy is worse than National Socialism - at least with the Nazis, you know who is in charge'

I'm not certain that it bears examination, but you can see where he was heading....

Transmontanus said...

Over here in Canuckistan, unions and corporations are limited to $1,000 contributions, individuals limited to $5,000, each party with more than two per cent of the popular vote gets a small federal subsidy per vote, and up to 50 per cent of campaign expenses are reimbursed.

Lots of wobbly edges and sordid hidy-holes involved, but in the main, we got big money out of electoral politics this way.

Paulie said...


Is that everywhere in Canada, or just regional government?