Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Cheney might control national politics and foreign policy -everything you see- , but daily-to-day matters like if a Walmart can be built in your town or how safe your neighborhood is or affordable housing laws, gun control, etc. are decided at the local level.  And for many Americans, these are more pressing matters than USAttorney-Gate...  

And the big plan Dean has -basically modelled after the GOP's rise to power- is that these local politicians can start out in the ward or town board and work their way up to Congress.  It's called a "farm team" - like in sports.  Minor leagues->Major Leagues.  

Can a non-squillionaire win?  It's certainly difficult.  I bet not simply because of fundraising, but having friends on boards of networks, or having no qualms about taking money from Big Pharma, etc.  But if it puts anything into perspective, Obama, in his race for Senator, ran against a self-funded millionaire in the Primary.  The millionaire lost...  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 01:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That kind of democracy is still active here too, up to a point. If you make enough noise the big store won't be built - probably. The new road from nowhere to nowhere and the shopping development in the town that doesn't really need one may not be built either - perhaps.

But when it comes to core issues, which are more or less the same as the ones in the US - health care and education, economic policy, foreign policy - ordinary people are completely disenfranchised.

We aren't given the choice to vote for populist, bottom-up policies. The rules are set by Big Money, Big Oil, and Big Death, and they're the ones who are steering the ship.

We're allowed to rearrange the deck chairs. But we're not allowed to avoid the rocks or join the pillage party in the big ballroom.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 03:29:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of the non-squillionaires, I followed Bill Wyatts run in the preisdential primaries of the Repbulican party in 2004. This is what wikipedia says about him:

Bill Wyatt is a liberal Republican and was a candidate for the U.S. Republican Party presidential nomination, 2004. He is a 43-year-old T-shirt maker and father of three from California. Wyatt left the Democratic Party to become a Republican after Democrats voted for the war in Iraq, an action he saw as a betrayal. He hopes to have a greater voice as a member of the Republican Party.

Wyatt has traveled 12,000 miles and spent an estimated $20,000 on his Presidential campaign. He managed to qualify for ballot status in New Hampshire, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, and even the Democratic Primary ballot in Arizona.

His early showings were disheartening but not surprising. He finished tenth in the New Hampshire primary with 0.23% of the vote (153 votes).

However, a major upset occurred on Mini-Tuesday when Wyatt won just over 10% of the vote in Oklahoma. He also placed second in Missouri, where he gained 1,268 votes (1.03%). Wyatt also received 233 votes (0.10%) in the Arizona Democratic primary.

Wyatt has stated that the Louisiana primary was his last stand, since it was the final state where he qualified for ballot status. He gained 4% of the vote there, which he considered a symbolic victory against George W. Bush that sent a message to the Republican Party. Wyatt has declared that he will be a candidate in the 2008 presidential election.

What was particulary interesting was his failed attempts to get on the primary ballots in the first place. The reason he ran in the Arizona Democratic primary was that the republican was cancelled because of lack of other candidates then Bush. That he was a republican and wanted to participated did not matter (this was also the case in a number of other states). So he ran in the Arizona Democratic primary to get more votes then Bush in Arizona.

To be a candidate for the presidency in the US you apparently have to be a candidate accepted by the media or have enough money to be buy media time. As a comparision: to be a candidate for the presidency of Iran you have to be acceptable to a group of mullahs (or possibly buy their acceptance).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 10:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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