Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that a soulless bastion of greed and layoffs is more of a person than an 86 year old lady with dementia, we can no longer pretend we’re not a plutocracy. In case you’ve been living under a rock without wifi, I’m referring to Citizens United. This flagrant perversion of the campaign finance system was the death knell of democracy, essentially pimping out Lady Liberty on Ashley Madison by equating money to free speech.
While that abortive decision has opened the floodgates to limitless bags of dark money seeping into to the political system like biohazard level 4 radioactive waste (both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vow to overturn it), Brazil just banned corporations from making political donations. Well, ole’!
Proving that it has balls bigger than the ones in its Futball program, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that allowing companies to donate to election campaigns – which totaled around $200m last year – were unconstitutional. It seems this decision came amid a deep corruption scandal, which tainted Brazil’s political class and brought the country’s president to the brink of impeachment.
With eight votes in favour and three against, the court declared last week that the rules allowing companies to donate to election campaigns were unconstitutional, according to the Guardian.
Upwards of 76% of the over R$3bn ($760m) donated during last year’s election campaigns for the presidency, senate and congress all came from corporations. Incredibly enough, both the ruling left-wing Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) and the main opposition Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB) received over R$1bn each. But kudos to Rosa Weber, one of the key Brazilian Supreme Court justices (a salsy Ginsburg, perhaps?) to rule in favor of the ban, felt corporations were exercising undue influence on Brazil’s political system.
“The influence of economic power has ended up transforming the electoral process into a rigged political game, a despicable pantomime which makes the voter a puppet, simultaneously undermining citizenship, democracy and popular sovereignty.” (The Guardian)
Perhaps we can start a kickstarter for Rosa, in which she repeats that line a gazillion times to America’s right-wing, corporate-owned Supreme Court Justices. We’re looking at you Scalia and Thomas.
Believe it or not, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Idea) found that 39 countries ban corporate donations. including Mexico, France and Costa Rica. That’s right–Mexico! You know, the country that wants to infiltrate America with rapey coke dealers. Even they have the freaking common sense to put an end to this corporate crap. As far as America goes, ughhhh! While I firmly remain a disgruntled idealist; that is, seeing the glass as half full of sh*t, one must hope that either a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders presidency ends this obvious perversion of democracy.