The Fourth Branch


politics stories
Voting day stress
Angry White Woman
The Fourth Branch

Rambling Stories
Hamas & Fatah
Fear the Mighty DVR
Anime Meaningless?
Stonehenge Hijinks
21st century flop
Cellphone Manners
Iran & Nuclear Power

As anybody who graduated from highschool should know, our government has three branches. They're the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. At least, those are the offical branches. However, there is another group of people who have a huge influence on government. I am speaking, of course, of the Lobbyists.

They do not directly make judgments, pass laws, or enforce them. Instead, they have what appears to be a mighty influence on all the branches of Government. They are funded by various individuals and groups who know that money talks, and are willing to spend it to get their way.

The fact that there are lobbyists says two things. First, that there are people who think their objectives are more important than the wants of the non paying populace. And second, that there is some breakdown between what the people want and what the government thinks the people should have.

In many arguments, the losing side can win by throwing enough money at the problem. In the case of our government, the money gets thrown at our representatives, or elected officials instead of the people on the opposite side of an issue. In effect the people who determine what is right for the country are being bribed.

Of course, money rarely changes hands. Instead it's perks and outrageous rewards for minimal service that are traded for influence. The problem with a representative democracy is that our representatives are only beholding to us when it's election time. Even then, they get enough money through various contributions to their campaigns that they can buy whatever image they need to get elected.

People running for office should not be allowed take any contributions to their campaigns from anything other than individuals. The amount an individual can contribute should never be more than what an average consumer could afford to give. Billionaires should have no greater sway on a candidate than the general working person.

Once they are in office, politicians should not take any contributions or be paid for any activities outside of doing their jobs. All travel and expenses must be paid for from their office budget, and any major expenses beyond their budget must be approved by all the members of their branch, and made available for easy review by the public.

There are a lot of people that choose to run for an office that earns far less than what they earn outside of government. Either they're all idealogs who believe that service to the country is worth more than their pay, or they're making more money doing deals on the side. Eliminating these outside sources of revenue would result in a different class of person seeking political office.

Forcing the lobbies to stop lobbying politicians would result in them lobbying the people instead. Simply put, they'd have to try to influence the people to put certain politicians into office, or to vote for or against laws. They would have to make the people tell politicians what the lobbies want. This would of course bring into play the general rule that "You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time." If lobbyists want to sway opinion, they will have to sway the people instead of the person who is supposed to represent the people.