I watched a presentation by Lawrence Lessig today about why we need campaign finance reform now, and it got me thinking -- the ideal of democracy is 1 person, 1 vote. But how much of a vote does each of us have?

First, here's the presentation:

Each citizen starts off with one vote. But those with the money buy control of the information that we base our voting decisions on. Optimistically, that takes 1/5, leaving the rest of us with 4/5 of our original vote.

But then the politicians waffle, weasel word, and wimp out. So optimistically, they may try to deliver on 4/5 of what they promised (I won't bother estimating how much they succeed at delivering -- that'd just be depressing!) So now your down to 3/5 of a vote.

Sadly, this time around, the 3/5 compromise means that each of us gives up 3/5 of our vote. The next 1/5 seems to be going more and more to foreign interests (which are probably controlled by some of the same big money people who took the first 1/5) through secretive trade agreements, international banking organizations, etc.

The 14th Ammendment is supposed to guarantee us equal protection under law. But how can there be equal protection when representation is so unequal? And how can we ever hope for equal representation unless big money gets kicked out of politics?

Enjoy your 2/5 of a vote. If you can. Your spouse is probably trying to take half of it! :-)