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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What makes you think elections are not bought (or at least purchased out the back door)?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) June 11th, 2010

How do you figure elections are not basically bought? Logically by default 8 out of 10 elections are. You have a billionaire or multimillionaire running for an office and sinking boatloads of their own money in the campaign how are they not de facto buying the election? If people are more than likely going to vote on whom they hear about most or see most on TV those with the bigger bucks win. How many times have you noted some one running that was so likes or charismatic they won spending like 30 cents to every dollar of their opponent? And would you really trust some megabuck candidate that is wiling to spend 100s of thousands to millions to get elected to a job that will pay them annually what they spent to refit their mansion in new furniture? Sure can’t be because they want to serve the public.

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12 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Wait, your last sentence is very contradictory. If they don’t need the money, then surely they must be doing it out of a desire to serve the public. What other reason could there be?

Would you care to explain how this guy got elected?

Cruiser's avatar

Obama bought the Presidency with his monster 800 Million dollar campaign and these past primaries record amounts of money was spent on the campaigns so yes IMO 99.999% of the elections are “bought”.

Just the other day there was a very rare exception when Alvin Greene didn’t spend a dime and won a huge upset…
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/06/alvin-greene-south-carolina

SmashTheState's avatar

Because they don’t have to. Why waste money and resources cheating when they can make the result of any election irrelevant?

“In the hands of a people whose education has been willfully neglected, the ballot is a cunning swindle benefitting only the united barons of industry, trade and property.”Daniel Guérin

josie's avatar

Of course elections are bought. It is not an altruisitic desire to serve the public that drives candidiates, rich or poor. It is a desire to be the center of attention and to wield power. That is how it has always been, and how it always will be. There is no such thing as a virtuous politician. Such people are working for free, or peanuts, in charitable organizations.

roundsquare's avatar

As with @YARNLADY I don’t understand your last sentence. If they were doing it for altruistic reasons, they would be willing to take a “low” paying job. Of course they may have other reasons which @josie lays out very well. I’d only add that being in power can indirectly lead to making more money (or least living such a lifestyle).

That aside, its very true that elections are won by the candidate with the most money. Sure, its possible for upsets to happen, but its very rare.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t believe it. I live in CA. the ex-CEO of HP and ex-CEO of eBay just bought their primary wins. They are billionaires.

Sidenote: Jerry Brown said that bored billionaires have no business trying to run our government. Ooh. Burn.

chyna's avatar

@YARNLADY That’s funny. But apparently in that case, it wasn’t money that got him elected. From the article, it was just possibly that his name came first on the ballot.

mattbrowne's avatar

If they were, McCain would be US President right now.

filmfann's avatar

@mattbrowne True that.

We have two bazillionaires running for Governor and Senator here in California. They spent vast amounts of money to win the primary, and didn’t really talk about their positions. The commercials simply slandered their opponents.
Meg Whitman, running for governor, ended up spending something around $80 per vote.
Yes, money can get you so far, but in the end you have to be able to show people what you want to do. Meg is gonna have trouble here.
As far as Greene, Keith Olbermann suggested that since SC has an open primary, republicans voted for him in the primary to knock out the potential democratic winner, and replace him with a feeb. Greene is obviously an idiot, for those who missed the interview. If you want to see how painful it was, Check it out

prescottman2008's avatar

Politicians in general ceased to be “Public Servants” years ago. I don’t believe anyone currently in office anywhere has anything on their mind except lining their pockets and fueling their ego. True, a few, a very, very small few may go into it with thoughts of helping human-kind, but as soon as the “influence-mongers” show up with money, sweet trips to exotic locations, and whatever else they’re offering, the morals fly right out the window.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

”Greene is obviously an idiot, for those who missed the interview.” That was painful to watch as well as all the other Youtube interviews. It is scary to think a person like him could actually be in some capacity to run part of government; give me the slimy shysters! You would think those who paid his filing fee would have gone to the Men’s Warehouse and got him a decent suit and tie. If they can’t get him not to run I guess the DNC better make sure he wins, the only hope is that he is so slow they can assure his “yes man” vote on all their agendas.

This is one reason why all who want to run should be allowed to run regardless of party. Here partisan politics seen a loop hole and blasted it wide open.

@YARNLADY He was a “straw candidate”, it may not have been his money but someone paid for his campaign. He said in an interview that there were sites out there he didn’t authorize that was attached to his candidacy. He is not big on saying how or where the money came from or how specific his campaign even ran or with whom. Either he is so dense he can’t remember of figure it out or he is stonewalling in either case I would not want him representing me. I think when the money trails is found it will show it wasn’t him doing it with his money or money he raised but money funneledto him.

mattbrowne's avatar

@filmfann – Interesting.

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