“The political party once held to be the world's richest was never shy about using its money to buy support. At the peak of its power in the 1990s, Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) rewarded its members with stock options, lavished expensive gifts on journalists and opinion makers, and lured tens of thousands to political rallies and election booths with the promise of free food, hats, flags, jackets, and zou-lu-kun red envelopes stuffed with petty cash. The party even dipped into its own coffers to bolster flagging stock markets or to buy diplomatic support from impoverished nations.”
“More than 77 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by a polling company on behalf of the Zero Party Assets Alliance felt that the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) huge assets create unequal competition between political parties, the alliance told a press conference yesterday.”
“…as long as the KMT asset issue exists, normal democratic development in Taiwan is be impossible.”
I said at the outset that my head and heart were in two different places but concerned about one issue. Yesterday, I received a letter from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, expressing concern about how democracy in this country has been undermined by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on December 10, 2010 overturning a bi-partisan election reform bill allowing corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited sums of money, without disclosure, in political campaigns.
Will the United States survive, in any significant way, as a democracy in which ordinary people can control their future? Or, will "democracy" simply become another commodity owned and controlled by billionaires and corporations in order to serve their own purposes? Today, as a result of the absurd Citizens United Supreme Court decision, that is exactly what they’re doing:
“Karl Rove’s American Crossroads has already pledged to spend at least $240 million in the elections of 2012. The extreme right-wing billionaire Koch brothers may be spending even more. And then there is Wall Street, the oil and coal corporations, the insurance and drug companies and the military-industrial-complex with all of their money.”
“The goal of the top 1 percent is simple. They will spend as much as it takes to elect candidates who support a right-wing corporate agenda. They will spend as much as it takes to defeat those candidates who are fighting for working families. And that’s about it!”
- Corporations do not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.
- The people have the right to regulate corporations.
- Corporations are prohibited from making campaign contributions.
- Congress and states shall have the power to set reasonable limits on election spending.