Saturday, September 1, 2012

Parties as Mediators

I have been mildly entertained by conversations discussing our two political party.  Regardless of party, people act like the two parties are mediating institutions.  While they are technically still mediating institutions, they are almost entirely dysfunctional in this capacity.  Some of this has to do with progressive reforms.  A lot of it has to do with the Internet.  The Internet has allowed talented writers to more easily disseminate information.  In turn, the requirements of a national campaign on an issue - as opposed to a candidacy - has gone from a tens of millions of dollars endeavor into a hundreds of thousands of dollars endeavor.  There isn't a big challenge any longer for a wealthy individual to hire some talented individuals and run a national campaign.  Organizations that can put aside more money can of course have more influence, but the starting requirements are quite low.  As for candidacies, the cost of running for the Senate, as an example, is now down to one or two million dollars.  When I was a youth, it was relatively rare to run for Senate without having held a major office within the state.  Now it isn't unusual at all.

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