[FoRK] Money and Campaigns Re: My sentiments exactly...

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Fri Jan 22 18:51:59 PST 2010

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar <drernie at radicalcentrism.org> wrote:
> http://www.mfw.us/freakonomics-money-elections
> > Here’s the surprise: the amount of money spent by
> the candidates hardly matters at all. A winning candidate
> can cut his spending in half and lose only 1 percent of the
> vote. Meanwhile, a losing candidate who doubles his spending
> can expect to shift the vote in his favor by only that same
> 1 percent. What really matters for a political candidate is
> not how much you spend; what matters is who you are.

Misses the much more important point:

"Chances are you’ll give the money in one of two situations: a close race, in which you think the money will influence the outcome; or a campaign in which one candidate is a sure winner and you would like to bask in reflected glory or receive some future in-kind consideration. The one candidate you won’t contribute to is a sure loser."

The corporate financial influence is directed at one of two situations. One is to help buy votes if that seems possible. That is aimed directly at overcoming the one person:one vote condition. 

But it's the second item that's more fundamentally scarey. It's to increase the leverage considerably. Having bought the winner - whether the winner spent all the money on the campaign or not - you've just bought 100% of the votes in that constituency, including all those against the winner.

I suppose there are a few politicians in any election who honestly don't feel any obligation to those who supported their campaign heavily. But there aren't many. And they won't last long.


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