Congressional Plutocracy

Congressional Plutocracy

Congress has organized itself so that a few elite members can dominate their peers. These leaders are enabled by their ability to account for how other members vote for legislation. Members of Congress have long ago voted away their right to vote by secret ballot. And since that time it has been very difficult for them to re-gain that right.

The secret ballot was invented to prevent voter intimidation and blackmail. It also discourages bribery. Powerful special interests are able to punish those who do not vote a particular way. That is what happens in the U.S. Congress and State Capitals. Fundamental Congressional reform cannot happen until our elected officials vote by secret ballot.

Without the secret ballot, members of Congress cannot reform how legislation is created. A few select members of Congress have been delegated the authority to decide what laws will be voted on. Legislation is currently designed to give political cover to members that vote for elite interests. That helps to keep cooperative members in office. This is done by including what is commonly known as ‘pork barrel’ spending or similar fodder in a bill. It diverts the attention of local constituency’s away from the rest of a bill that may be against their interests.

The public can only depend on their elected official’s conscience to protect them from outside interests. The voting public is not able to compete with the influence of elite Congressional leaders and wealthy lobbies. Analyzing a member of Congress’s voting record can be deceiving due to muddled legislation. Congress cannot vote according to its conscience without the secret ballot.

One response to “Congressional Plutocracy

  1. One objection to giving members of Congress the secret ballot is that voters won’t be able to analyze their politician’s voting record on issues.

    But the point of this reform is that neither would special interest groups or lobbyists have that ability. And since those two groups have gained much more advantage than voters by being able to account for how a member of Congress votes, this reform improves the influence voters have over their representatives in Congress.

    The less power and influence one group has over something, the more power and influence the rest have over it. In this case the secret ballot takes power and influence away from wealthy special interest groups and lobbyists.

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