Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 22:40 UTC
In the News "The increase is a sign that the search engine can no longer afford to operate in a Silicon Valley vacuum. For years, Google had a reputation for indifference inside the Beltway. It took Google until May 2005 to set up a presence in Washington and even then, its headquarters consisted of a one-man lobbying shop in suburban Maryland." Do the Americans among you just accept this? Is this normal? Why aren't you guys turning to the streets when your country is quite clearly being bought left and right? I mean, I'm sure this happens everywhere, but on this scale? Gives me the creeps.
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Comment by Flatland_Spider
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 24th Apr 2012 00:27 UTC
Flatland_Spider
Member since:
2006-09-01

Do the Americans among you just accept this? Is this normal? Why aren't you guys turning to the streets when your country is quite clearly being bought left and right?


Yes, it's a well established facet of the congerssional legislative process. We aren't revolting because it's a useful tool, which works fairly well. The US is a big country, and as such it makes sense to have a mechanism where the distant citizens can have a presence in the capital.

Hiring lobbyists isn't exclusive to large businesses. Anyone can hire a lobbyist. The EFF hires lobbyists, and support of lobbying efforts is one of the reason to donate to organizations that support personal causes. Lots of organization websites have written tools, so people can easily lobby their representatives in regards to causes they support. PETA and Downsize DC are two examples.

We do have problems, but we have so many leaks one weepy little leak isn't going sink the ship. We'll fix that one after we fix the basketball sized hole in the side of the ship.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Flatland_Spider
by Fergy on Tue 24th Apr 2012 05:23 in reply to "Comment by Flatland_Spider"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

The US is a big country, and as such it makes sense to have a mechanism where the distant citizens can have a presence in the capital.

That is what voting is for.

Isn't it weird that you have to hire organizations to influence the people that you voted for to get them to do what you want?

If you take away normal democracy in the US you are left with how most of the world sees the US: the president is the guy that spend the most on his commercials, lobbying groups are directly in charge, huge corporations spend the most money and thus are in charge of the country.

Reply Parent Score: 7

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It isn't weird at all. The actual vote is only one way of many to participate in the democratic process, and only gives an affirmative or negative on an elected official's whole platform. Since you will never find a politician who's platform is both all encompassing and 100% identical to your platform, you have to be active in helping to shape what your representative does.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

That is what voting is for.


Right, because 1500 miles if just next door.

What the politicians want us to do is forget about them until the next election and let them vote without any oversight.

Lack of oversight is how we end up in this position in the first place. We let the politicians pass legislation whatever they felt like, and they passed bills that benefited them and whomever was prompting them.

If we want change, we're going to have to get in their face, and let them know what we want. Have you heard about the squeaky wheel that got the grease?

Pulling a lever and hoping everything works out isn't going to cut it. It's going to take a lot of effort, time, and diligence to right the ship, and casting a vote isn't the end of your responsibilities as a citizen. That's one day out of the year. There are 364 days, 365 in leap years, left in the year where you need to make sure your representative is serving your interests.

Reply Parent Score: 2