Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> governments should still be viewed as instruments of the voters to a significant extent.

At least in the US at the federal level, certainly not.[1]

[1]: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/fi...




Does that mean the presidential election's outcome won't make a significant difference for the vast majority of Americans, that whoever is elected - Sanders, Clinton, Trump, et al - will basically administer the Federal government the same way?


I wouldn't say that. The president has a tremendous amount of international influence, and they have control over federal departments and the military to direct a significant amount of their behavior.

They just aren't the people that will change campaign finance reform, build walls, or raise the minimum wage. That is kind of what congress does. So you could elect any president and only see legislation they want passed because either they bargained with the other party in congress or their party had a majority in it already to pass the legislation.

It is only force of habit that most people expect the president's party to go with their policy ideas in congress. If Bernie were president, for example, you would not expect the Dems or Reps in congress to ever support him on anything, because hes anti-establishment.


The study's abstract says, among other things, ".. economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

Toward the end the study notes: "When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."

At the national level, US democracy is an illusion.







Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: