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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Democracy in Ohio: the best government money can buy

Do you think your vote matters? Do you think you have representation in this state? This Plain Dealer article seems to answer that question squarely in the "no" column. It starts right off with the following:
If you want Ohio politicians to give you the time of day, the annual fee -- as totaled by one of the wisest of Capitol Square's magi -- is now more than $130,000.
Sure, you can vote on elections across the state. But when it comes to actual decision making, you have no say on what happens. Unless you are wealthy and willing to pay good money for a lawmaker's ear. This means that it doesn't matter who you vote into office.

With so many people unemployed in this bad economy, it is painful to see money being spent this way. Yet, it is necessary, because if you are a business and you choose not to, your competitor will. And they will often be successful in getting politicians to pass laws or hand out contracts in their favor.

You can wish all you want that strong campaign finance laws will some day change things. But then the special interest money will just be spent in other ways. It is practically impossible to stop the big money from buying your favorite politician. That is just how democracy works.

The only feasible solution is to take away our leaders' power to micromanage our life. People need to learn that they are better off ignoring these politicians. Stay home on election night. Don't donate. Don't participate in the political process.

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