Money, Money, Money

29 September, 2007

As speculation grows in the UK that our political season may well be drawing to a closethe US political classis also marking timeas the fundraising quarter closes and campaigns have to report how much money they have raised. Subscribers to US political email lists will have noticed a flurry of recent activity. The DCCC is impersonating Karl Rove. Obama’s current supporters are offering to double the value of new donations as tehy strive to reach 350,000 donor to the campaign. Bill was offering a night ion front of the box with a bowl of chips for 6 lucky donors before Hillary put her foot down and substituted carrots.

The rythem of political life is diefferent on this side of the pond. Spending by UK political parties has been capped though not so low that they don’t have to worry about raising millions. Rightly or wrongly there is a perception amongst the public that large donations mean influence. For political parties that had their glory days in the 1950’s the downward trend of political activism means they are more reliant on megadonors than the puublic would like.

I think there is a common challenge bridging the Atlantic. Namely how does the political class empower ordinary voters and indeed non voters so they they feel they have a stake in the system that governs them?

 More later ….

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