“[M]oney in the political process has become an end in itself, and when money equals policy, the public interest is shut out. Where money equals policy, you have an auction, you don’t have a democracy. The democratic system has been highjacked by special interest groups.
What, exactly, is information?
“[T]he term seemed as hopelessly subjective as 'beauty' or 'truth.' But in 1948 [Claude] Shannon, then working for Bell Laboratories, gave information almost magically precise, quantitative definition: The information in a message is inversely proportional to its probability. Random 'noise' is quite uniform; the more surprising a message, the more information it contains.”
A depiction of static or random noise.
A political ad repeated ad nausium is static. It does not surprise viewers with new information. Its loud 'noise' blocks new information from other sources. Sources that cannot afford to pay for ads over and over again will not be noticed or heard above the din of the highly-funded ad campaigns.
Negative CampaignsIn winner-take-all elections, negative campaigning is very effective. Usually there are just two people (and often just one) with a strong chance to win. Let us say I am a candidate in a winner-take-all race. If I can get some of my opponent's supporters turned off to her or to the whole idea of voting, that is just as good as getting an undecided voter to vote for me. It is also a lot easier to try and attack my opponent to make her look bad than it is to convince voters to support me. It's easier to run a commercial on television with frightening music in the background and distort my opponent's record than it is to explain issues and policies.
In proportional systems, though, more than one person can win. If I spend all my time attacking an opponent, that doesn't mean I'll get anything for it. When there are five seats up for grabs and a dozen candidates running, it doesn't make as much sense to bash another candidate - because some other third candidate can end up getting the votes of the supporters of the candidates I have been bashing. Those voters won't like me.
When there are several contenders, hurting an opponent might not win votes for the attacker. A third candidate can gather supporters of the smeared candidate. If Alice attacks Boregard, Charles might attract Boregard's ex-supporters; they probably won't like Alice. Negative campaigning doesn't work well when there are several contenders.
“The financial and economic crisis has made the term “financial bubble” a household word...
Free and fair speech for all must be a goal for a good process of making decisions.
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Ads versus info