Is this real Democracy, who influences policy change?

The Government Listens To Lobbyists And The Wealthy, Not You And Me


CEO pay

By Bryce Covert on April 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm

“When organized interest groups or economic elites want a particular policy passed, there’s a strongly likelihood their wishes will come true. But when average citizens support something, they have next to no influence.”  Read the full article by clicking here

Please take a look at the above article written by Bryce Covert.  It discusses the influence on policy the average citizen has versus the elite and wealthy.  I thought this would be a great piece to start off We The People’s first discussion.

I think this article is pretty spot-on.  I cannot think of one example in recent history of an average American influencing any policy change or new policy on a Federal level.  I would be interested in any examples anyone has.  I can think of one possible example, but it I believe this example is due at least in part to the public exposure to the underlying tragedy.  Several parents who have lost their children due to backup accidents in their vehicles have finally successfully lobbied to get backup cameras mandatory in all new vehicles.  But this new law will not be in force until May of 2018.  So while this may support the proposition that average citizens, when they get together and let their voice be heard can cause change, I have to ask, why so long of a wait for enforcement?

My opinion is that the auto industry does not want this mandatory change because they will not be able to charge a premium for the option of a backup camera.  I think you can also use this example of how the powerful auto industry lobby successfully fought off this change in policy for several years and was able to obtain a 4 year grace period before enforcement, despite the fact it is estimated these cameras would save between 59 and 69 lives a year.

My ultimate question of is this real Democracy in my opinion can only be answered with a “no”.  Wikipedia defines Democracy  as a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally.  When policy change is primarily influenced by corporations, lobbyists, and the wealthy how is participation equal among eligible citizens?  It seems in this day and age, the average citizen has the least influence in federal policy and local policy is starting to follow the same trend.