Lawrence Lessig Addresses Political Corruption in the Nominating Process for Government Elections

July 21, 2015

.024% of the population of Hong Kong (1200 people) is to serve on a “nominating committee” for elections in 2017.

 

In Iran, 12 members of Guardian Council select government candidates for all citizens to vote on.

 

In the Soviet Union, 19 people (the Politburo) selected candidates for 270 million voters.

 

Starting in 1870, Texas legally had an “all-white primary” for 95 years - meaning only white citizens decided the final candidates for the entire state to vote upon.Representatives for congress and senate spend 30%-70% of time raising money for campaigns.

 

Michelle Nunn (the democratic nominee for Georgia's senate seat) had a leaked memo which instructed her to spend 80% of time raising money for campaigns until October, after which time she could reduce the amount of her time spent raising money to 50%.

 

.05% of Americans are “relevant funders” to political campaigns which is at most 150,000 people - a number equivalent to the number of Americans named Lester. This number may fall to 35,000 this year - a number equivalent to the number of Americans named Sheldon - due to Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon. Again, this number later may fall even further due to Super PACs in the previous election cycle to a total of 132 Americans – equal to .000042% of the population or the number of Americans named Adolph.

 

Lawrence Lessig refers to this kind of broken democracy as a “Boss Tweed Democracy,” a system in which “Tweedies” (a select group of the population) control who is nominated for elections

 

Lessig at MIT: "Tweedism" MA: YouTube, 2014. Film.

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