Why do politicians act as they do? The following video by CGP Grey is a summary of “The Dictator’s Handbook” by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & Alastair Smith. The book is a brilliant discussion of how politicians gain and retain political power.

Basically, “He who has the gold, makes the rules.”

In our democracy, large donors are among the keys to power… and those donors expect to be rewarded.

Again, this isn’t against any individual politician, but when 50% +1 vote is the difference between winning an election and being unemployed, that +1 is worth a lot. Money really helps get that last vote. Hence, large donors are a major key to power. Those donors are almost required to get the power you need, to accomplish the good you want to accomplish.

For us, the problem is that the rewards that are going to the large donors could be going to us instead.

So how do we fix this?

  1. Eliminate future politicians’ ability to reward key donors.
    1. Notice that I specifically said future politicians, not those currently in office. This is vital to getting passed.
    2. I also said prevent rewarding large donors, not preventing the donations.
  2. Make each vote a politician receives count, not just the one that pushes the politician across the finish line.