Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Supreme Court’s Decision -- Risk to Democracy

This week’s Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment that will allow corporates spend as much as they want on funding politicians is most sinister It will, no doubt, make politicians hostage to the big corporates, and will accelerate the erosion of democracy.

There are many examples where corporate power is already limiting freedom and democracy. For example, ex-executives from the food industry are directing the food administration, ensuring that policies protect the industry rather than consumers. This has led to the erosion of the quality of food, the obesity epidemic and many of the food-related diseases that have proliferated in recent decades.

Health care policies catering for the Insurance companies rather than the sick, has made the US the only developed country where people die because they can’t afford medical care. US is also the only developed country where medical bills bankrupt people.

The banking is another example of an industry protected by regulators with a vested interest to keep their friends and ex-colleagues successful, regardless of the cost to the country and society.

Although the above examples are merely the tip of the iceberg, so far citizens of this democracy had the option to vote out representative who did not support their cause. But the new ruling will make this last resort obsolete, as information about these representatives will, no doubt, be manipulated to serve corporate interests.

After all, when unlimited money is involved, professional spin doctors will ensure that you will elect whoever they want you to. The richer the corporate, the better it will be able to manipulate your information and decisions. For example, it’s only for the health insurer’s PR money that, despite all hard evidence, so many Americans still believe that their dysfunctional health system is the best in the world. Providing misleading information to manipulate vote, is not true democracy.

With unlimited funds flowing to manipulate public opinion, independent representative stand no chance, and soon, all our representatives will hold corporate interests at the top of their agendas.

I am sure that having corporate-paid-politicians was never the spirit of the first amendment. Once this becomes the norm there is no way back.

Hitler was elected in democratic Germany only to destroy the very law that made it possible for him to be elected in the first place. Should we allow the very corporate that built America destroy its democracy?

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