Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, is getting a little bit of ink for his suggestion that all politicians elected today quit their parties and “govern as independents in name and in spirit.”
Here’s how he puts it in his post on Google+:
I must confess, I am dreading today’s elections.
Not because of who might win or lose.
Not because as a Californian, my vote for President will count 1/3 as much as an Alaskan (actually it won’t matter at all — I’m not in a swing state).
Not because my vote for Senate will count 1/50 as much as an Alaskan.
But because no matter what the outcome, our government will still be a giant bonfire of partisanship. It is ironic since whenever I have met with our elected officials they are invariably thoughtful, well-meaning people. And yet collectively 90% of their effort seems to be focused on how to stick it to the other party.
So my plea to the victors — whoever they might be: please withdraw from your respective parties and govern as independents in name and in spirit. It is probably the biggest contribution you can make to the country.
[If you agree, pass it on to your newly elected officials.]
Come on Sergey, get real. Partisanship has existed since the founding of our republic. Different people have different ideas about how things should be done and groups coalesce around views and work to get things done. Nothing wrong with that.
There is something terribly wrong with our political system though and it’s something you can help fix. It’s the way money has completely corrupted the process.
You guys at Google are spending money like drunken sailors in your efforts to buy what polices you want in Washington, DC. To refresh your memory, lobbying disclosures filed in October with the House of Representatives showed Google spent $4.18 million, in the third quarter, a 76 percent increase from $ 2.38 million in the comparable 2011 period. For the first nine months Google’s total lobbying spending hit a record $13.1 million. Google spent $9.68 million in all of 2011.
So, it’s simple. If you want good government, stop trying to buy our representatives.