The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Getting the democratic process by the throat

The Seattle P-I's Joel Connelly, of the best scribes in the Pacific Northwest, weighs in on the ills of American political campaigns.

Connelly notes the tiny amount of free airtime given by broadcasters to inform votyers on political campaigns. Virtually no free airtime for candidates to explain their platforms to voters. Very short political reports on TV news, and shorter "soundbites" (42 seconds on avewrage in the mid-'60's, less than 8 seconds today.)

Of course, any regulations forcing broadcasters to give over more airtime to the electoral process would be med with a fierce reaction from the industry; American TV stations took in some $800-million US in the last election cycle!

He also bemoans the massive size that political campaigns have grown to in Washington State (and elsewhere in the U.S.)

How big? Consider this: In 1990, there was exactly one Congressional race where the cost of the campaign exceeded $1-million US. In 2000, some candidates were spending $7-million. And that money has to be raised every two years -- over $60,000 US every week.

Or, you have campaigns elsewhere in the country: Jon Corzine, the junior Senator from New Jersey, and Michael Bloomberg, current Mayor of New York each spent more money in their most recent campaigns than did all the parties and candidates in the UK in last year's Parliamentary election.

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