Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig is well known for his work on intellectual property issues, having developed the Creative Commons licensing system. For the past several years, however, he has been focused on political corruption and the role of money in politics.
Professor Lessig recently gave a TED Talk, in which he described a country called Lesterland, where there are two elections for every position. One, in which only those named Lester get to vote, and the other, where all citizens are eligible to vote. The Lesters make up just .05 percent of the electorate, and so have a disproportionate power to pick the leaders of Lesterland.
Who are these Lesters? They are political donors, whom Professor Lessig thinks have an undue influence on our electoral process (as he puts it USA=Lesterland). It is an interesting, and very well done, talk, although it is focused more on Professor Lessig’s view of the problem than on offering any specific solutions.
Since most of our readers are probably Lesters, work for Lesters, or try to get people to become Lesters, it is worth a few minutes of your time to see what he thinks. Remember, this is not just a random academic delivering a lecture in the ivory tower, but a man who has introduced proposals for major changes in other areas—and gotten them implemented—so understanding his position on money in politics is important.
What affect will Professor Lessig have on your ability to participate in the process as a Lester?