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BS: Is the USA really a democracy?

GUEST,The Stage Manager 03 Oct 04 - 01:37 PM
DMcG 03 Oct 04 - 01:46 PM
CarolC 03 Oct 04 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,The Stage Manager 03 Oct 04 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 04 - 01:58 PM
Rapparee 03 Oct 04 - 01:58 PM
Rapparee 03 Oct 04 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Oct 04 - 02:04 PM
CarolC 03 Oct 04 - 02:16 PM
Rabbi-Sol 03 Oct 04 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,The Stage Manager 03 Oct 04 - 02:27 PM
CarolC 03 Oct 04 - 02:35 PM
artbrooks 03 Oct 04 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Oct 04 - 02:36 PM
CarolC 03 Oct 04 - 02:44 PM
Ebbie 03 Oct 04 - 03:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 04 - 03:33 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 04 - 03:37 PM
Uncle_DaveO 03 Oct 04 - 04:07 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 05:21 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 05:44 PM
Rapparee 03 Oct 04 - 06:20 PM
freightdawg 03 Oct 04 - 07:05 PM
Amos 03 Oct 04 - 07:11 PM
s6k 03 Oct 04 - 07:15 PM
Bobert 03 Oct 04 - 07:42 PM
jimmyt 03 Oct 04 - 08:13 PM
Amos 03 Oct 04 - 08:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 04 - 08:24 PM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 04 - 08:56 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 08:57 PM
jimmyt 03 Oct 04 - 09:17 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 09:20 PM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 04 - 09:28 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 09:46 PM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 04 - 09:55 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 09:57 PM
Little Hawk 03 Oct 04 - 10:01 PM
CarolC 03 Oct 04 - 10:19 PM
jimmyt 03 Oct 04 - 10:23 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 10:26 PM
jimmyt 03 Oct 04 - 10:30 PM
dianavan 03 Oct 04 - 11:40 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 11:48 PM
dianavan 04 Oct 04 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,Boab 04 Oct 04 - 12:53 AM
Ellenpoly 04 Oct 04 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM

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Subject: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:37 PM

BBC Radio 4 has just run a programme about Gerrymandering in the US.    The blurb says:

In the past five years, the practice of redrawing electoral districts for political advantage has expanded out of control in the United States. What does this mean for democracy?

If politicians even hinted that they be allowed to redraw political boundaries over here, there would almost certainly be massive demonstrations and probably riots.

The impression from the broadcast is that many American voters do not even know it is going on even if they understood what was meant by the word.   Can this really be true?

I would be interested to know from US Catters is if these boundary changes have any bearing on the forthcoming Presidential election.   Seems to me that if they did Kerry might as well throw in the towel now.   

The creation of the "Strip of Bacon in Texas" would be hilarious if it wasn't for the repercussions on the democratic process.

Is anyone seriously suggesting that this is the model of democracy that America is proposing for the Middle East?


Anyone who gives a toss can hear it again: link at "Editors Choice"   'Gerrymandering'

Radio 4 home page


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:46 PM

If politicians even hinted that they be allowed to redraw political boundaries over here, there would almost certainly be massive demonstrations and probably riots.

If by "here" you mean the UK, it has happened quite often - usually without much reaction from the voters. The most famous case where there was a strong reaction was Shirley Porter's actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:53 PM

In the upcoming presidential election here in the US, my vote will not be counted unless I vote for Bush. This is because I'm registered to vote in a state in which the majority of votes will be for Bush, and according to the rules of the Electoral College, all of the Electoral College votes in my state will go to whichever candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in this state. So even if 49% of the voters in my state vote for Kerry, 100% of the Electoral College votes will go to Bush. The Electoral College votes are the ones that decide the election. Not the popular vote.

Do I think this state of affairs is democratic? No, I do not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:54 PM

Sorry Yes I mean't the UK. Here we have an independent Electoral Commission that reviews boundaries.

The Porter bitch got her comeuppance. She was taken to court, lost her case, and was surcharged £s millions by Westminster. At which point she fled the country.

But as usual anything we do, the Americans do bigger and better!

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:58 PM

The Shirley Porter approach didn't involve redrawing boundaries as such, other techniques, such as stopping property owned by the council being used to rehouse tenants living in dangerous buildings, because they might have voted Labour in marginal wards, and selling them instead to people who could be expected to vote Tory.

Fiddling the electoral boundaries as such over here is pretty difficult these days, because strict rules about how it should be done have been imposed over the years.

I suppose when you've got such an old country with such an old established system as the United States it's a bit hard to change. After all, the USA is probably the country with by far the oldest established constitution in the world. Not so surprsing if a few wheels fall off the old girl from time to time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:58 PM

The US is not now, and never has been, a democracy. It is a constitutional republic.

FDR popularized the term "democracy" for the US because it gave the Democratic party a better "face" than "republic" did, since that was the root word of the Republican party.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:03 PM

Oldest constitution?

Well no...the Constitution of the UK dates from the late 1600s, and the Althingi of Iceland dates from AD 930 (although the Constitution of Iceland wasn't written until 1944, the Althingi was elected by direct vote).


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:04 PM

Explain the Electoral College Carol. I can't make sense of what you say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:16 PM

We have the popular vote. That's the one vote per person part of the election. Then we have the Electoral College. Popular votes are used to determine who the delegates will be who will go to vote in the Electoral College. I don't think the rules are the same in every state, but in many states, the rule is that whichever candidate gets more than 50% of the popular vote in that state will send 100% of their delegates to the Electoral College, and it is the Electoral College votes that determine the outcome of the election.

This is why GW Bush became president even though he got less than 50% of the popular votes in that election. And it is even disputed whether or not he legitimately got more than 50% of the Electoral College votes, since the situation in Florida was such a fiasco, and the US Supreme Court intervened in what should have been a decision made by the government of the state of Florida.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:25 PM

The Congress of the United States is made up of 2 houses, The Senate and the House Of Representatives. Each state is represented in the Senate by 2 senators, regardless of that state's population. The amount of representatives (congressman) that each state sends to the House of Representatives is determined by the population of that state. The Electoral College is made up of delegates equal to the amount of representatives + the 2 senators that each state has in Congress. The population districts for representation in the House Of Representatives are heavily gerrymandered by the local political bosses. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:27 PM

Hi Rapaire,

So a constitutional republic is not a democracy? What does that make some of the European democracratic Republics?

Excuse me for asking but what the **** does Dubya mean when he talks about "Democracy", "Democratic freedoms?" and "The Forces of Democracy" Seems not what I thought he meant.


So "One Man (or Woman) One vote" is not a cornerstone of a Constitutional Republic? I take it then that Proportional Representation is definitely out of the question?

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:35 PM

Excuse me for asking but what the **** does Dubya mean when he talks about "Democracy", "Democratic freedoms?" and "The Forces of Democracy" Seems not what I thought he meant.

Bush is confusing "democracy" with "capitalism". He's not making the world safe for "democracy" or spreading "democracy". He's using "democracy" as a code word for "cronyistic capitalism". And it's cronyistic capitalism that he is really promoting around the world.

So "One Man (or Woman) One vote" is not a cornerstone of a Constitutional Republic? I take it then that Proportional Representation is definitely out of the question?

No, "one person, one vote" is not a cornerstone of this constitutional republic, although there are many people in the US who don't understand that fact. We most certainly do not have proportional representation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:36 PM

The redrawing of District boundries will have no impact on the Presidential election, but it seriously effects the potential composition of the US House of Representatives. The Representatives (aka, Members of the House) are chosen by a majority vote within their Districts, and these are what have been changed in a few states (Texas is, I think, the worse situation) to make a Republican victory more likely. The District boundries are set by the states themselves and this is something that goes on, in those few places that tend to do so, every time the state legislatures have a significant majority of one party or another. Its the "you screwed us over last time so we'll get you this time" mentality.

The Electoral College is an arcane system of counting presidential votes in a state, and the system is not the same in all states. States have a varying number of electoral votes, depending primarily (but not entirely) on their population. In most, all of the electoral votes go to the candidate for president who gets the largest percentage of the popular vote. That is, if a state has 10 electoral votes, and Kerry gets 46%, Bush gets 43%, Nader gets 5%, and other minority candidates get the rest, than Kerry gets all ten votes. A few states divide up their electoral votes according to the percentage breakdown of the popular vote.

So, as in CarolC's situation, if a person lives in a state where one of the majority candidates gets all of the electoral votes, then a vote for the other person counts for absolutely nothing in the overall election process. This is what actually happened in 2000, and in a number of previous presidential elections; one candidate (Gore) received more of the popular vote while the other (Bush) received the majority of the electoral votes and thus won the election.

This system was set up about 220 years ago, primarily in reaction to what the British-born framers of our Constitution thought was an overly complicated and corrupt system in their former country. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:36 PM

Hmm thanks Carol, I think!!! ;-)

If I am understanding you, I would have expected that the electoral college should be representative of the popular vote rather than 100% to one. Have I got you right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 02:44 PM

In some states it is representative of the popular vote, but in most states whoever gets the most popular votes gets 100% of the Electoral College votes for that state. And artbrooks explained it better than me because he is correct about it being "the most votes" rather than "more than 50% of the votes".


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 03:09 PM

In this year's election there are 538 electoral votes overall; the 'winner' has to collect 270 of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 03:33 PM

There's still no "Constitution of the UK", Rapaire, and, as you pointed out, the Icelandic Constitution only dates from 1944.

I wasn't suggesting the USA is the country with the oldest elected assembly. That's probably the Isle of Man, I believe.

But when it comes to Constitutions as such, the USA's is the great-grandaddy of them. There's noone else even in range.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 03:37 PM

Which works out to about 50.18% (270/538)


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 04:07 PM

The Founding Fathers, in their godlike wisdom, were greatly afraid of the electorate. They would have as little to do with direct rule by the people as possible. This is not a cynical put-down on my part; it is the known fact of history.

As a result, although the House of Representatives was to be elected more or less directly by the people, there had to be an upper house, a la the House of Lords in England, to control the wild desires that might be exhibited by the people. So the founders created the Senate, which was not to be elected directly by the people at all, but its members appointed by the State legislatures. The expectation was that the legislatures would be informed as to who the most able citizens were, and would appoint them, trusting that they would do what was right. There was no thought in this scheme of parties mediating in the process at all; "faction", as it was called, was feared and warned against.

The Senate was not intended and does not reflect the size of population of the various states, for the very good reason that the fear was that the larger states would have too great an influence if power was in direct proportion to the number of the electorate.

As a guard against the unwisdom of the masses, and as a sort of mirror of the arrangement with the Senate, the Electoral College was to have its numbers according to the respective states' representation in the House of Representatives, but the Electors were not to be directly elected. The Constitution did not and does not prescribe how the Electoral votes were to be apportioned in a state--(remember, no parties, and "send the best men"). It was left to each State to determine how to select them. It was originally done in each legislature, and could constitutionally be done that way today if a given state decided that was best, I think; I could be wrong on that. In any case, it is the individual State's legislature that sets the distribution formula of electoral votes for that state. Most states go by the winner-take-all system referred to above.

I believe that the Electoral College approach is a good one, and should be retained to prevent an overwhelming influence by the high-population states--if there were a Constitutional amendment to require distribution of Electors on a proportional basis. Unfortunately, I think the likelihood of such an an amendment is small--almost as small as the likelihood of abolition of the Electoral College. Partisan political interests are too bound up with the status quo for that to happen.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 05:21 PM

Government in the US has become much like governments all over: it is no longer responsible to the people, and so it has lost much that it once had in the way of freedom and concern for the population. It's about money now, and people don't add up to much compared to the dollar. It is no longer in the best interests of multi-nationals and banks to be concerned about all people. Maybe now, it's more about arriving at figures to determine what the optimum number of world citizens would be and maybe arriving at plans to get the world population down by a few billions. I no longer believe in governments, and subsequently I would put nothing beyond the scope of their sick, twisted minds. IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 05:44 PM

So, exactly what IS Project Cloverleaf?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:20 PM

I can't talk about other countries, since I'm only really familiar with the US.

MoH, a websearch on "British Constitution" bring up several things, including this, this, and this -- among many other references.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: freightdawg
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:05 PM

The voting procedure in the US is a hodge-podge of various procedures, and the electoral college has been expertly explained above. However, for every other position there is the "one person, one vote" procedure. For the senate each resident gets to vote for his/her candidate on a statewide basis. That is, a senator has to carry the majority of votes in her/his entire state. A senator's term is 6 years, and they are set up in such a way that at no time does both senatorial positions in one state come up for election in one year. The terms in the House of Representatives are (forgive me if I err here) two years in length and the congressmen/women are up for election every election cycle, every two years. They are elected from "districts" set up within a state. For example, in New Mexico there are three congressional districts. One, in the south, is largely held by Republicans. Another, in the north, is consistently held by Democrats. The third, primarily in the middle, is closely contested every year. Each person can only vote for one candidate in the district in which they live.

There has been some Republican bashing going on here in terms of gerrymandering. Let's remember, folks, that in states with local legislatures held by Democrats that the exact same process is going on to guarantee that no Republican is ever elected in their districts/precincts. I use New Mexico as another example, where in the local state legislature it is virtually assured that we will never have a Republican majority because all the Republican leaning areas are gerrymandered into separate districts. These "super-Republican" districts elect Republicans, for sure, but because of the way the lines are drawn there will never be a majority of Republicans elected. I am not saying this to say the Democrats are evil. I'm just saying that both political parties draw the lines in a way such as to guarantee the continuation of their political power. As Art Brooks says above, it has absolutely no impact on the Presidential elections.

Incidentally, NM usually splits its senatorial team - we have had one Democrat and one Republican for quite a while now. The vote for governor tends to alternate - we get fed up with a Democrat, elect a Republican for a term or two, and then get fed up with the Republicans and elect a Democrat for a term or two. They don't call our state capitol the "Roundhouse" just because of its geometrical design. ;-)

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:11 PM

Brucie:

Project COloverleaf whether real or imagined, is a project to use commercial airlines to spray the US with population-control chemicals.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: s6k
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:15 PM

no, its Nineteen-Eighty Four


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:42 PM

Democracy? No, the US dosen't have one but the larger question is that even if it did is "democracy" such a great form of governemnt where 51% of the population can ram down the throats of the other 49% purdy much whatever they want...

The American system of government is fundamentally flawed and cannot survive the real possibility of turning into a fasist state, which it is quickly becoming...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: jimmyt
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 08:13 PM

I am glad that freightdog pointed out that gerrymandering is not limited to one party, in fact the worst gerrymandering I have ever witnessed in my voting years is here in Georgia, and it follows the African American vote half way across the state a swath about 10 miles wide from Atlanta to Augusta. It was not a Republican idea let me assure you.

The concept of the electorial college is completely different from the gerrymandering one. In either case the party that is elected is happy, the other one is not.

One of the nice things about our federal system here in the USA is it gives the rights for such matters to individual states. If one is not happy with the way things are in a state, he can complain, effect change of what he or she doesn't like, or, simply, move.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 08:15 PM

In any case it is a representative republic.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 08:24 PM

There's a system of government which can be changed at any time in Britain by the Government by a simple vote in Parliament, Rapaire, but as those sites indicated, there is no written or formal constitution.

For example, there were no "constitutional" problems in cancelling - not even postponing - the General Election which was due in 1940. Roosevelt couldn't have done that, even if Congress had been in full agreement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 08:56 PM

It was a semi-democracy in original intention (in the form of a constitional republic with some very progressive ideas...for the time). It is now a capitalist oligarchy dominated by two corrupt parties which do not represent the public. Both major parties are guilty of gerrymandering and collusion with major financial interests (corporate lobbyists and banks). Big money runs the show.

It pretends to be a democracy, and a lot of people are fooled by the rhetoric. Enough of them aren't...or are just plain discouraged...that it keeps voting turnout chronically low.

For the USA to pretend it is taking democracy to other parts of the World is downright laughable. It is taking corporate control and corporate pillaging to other parts of the World...and just about the whole World knows that by now.

What the USA installs in other countries is client governments. Those governments may go through the motions of democracy, but they are seldom very democratic in truth...since the $y$tem that spawned them is itself undemocratic in the extreme at this point.

American presidential elections are largely a sham to fool the American public into thinking they still have some influence on government...when it's actually the other way around. Government influences them on a fulltime basis...mostly by an endless barrage of false propaganda through the media...fear-mongering and appeals to the basest, most destructive forms of jingoism and zenophobia.

American elections serve one other purpose. They allow the two big phony professional political sports teams (the Democrats and Republicans) a periodic chance to fight a series of playoff games with each other....the winners gaining the spoils of victory that they and the losers have mutually robbed from John Q. Public. To vote for either of those teams is to sanction a totally rotten and pointless game.

Are there times when one of those parties is marginally preferable to the other? Yes...there may be, but it's hard to say, given that they both serve the same interests. Very hard to say. Everyone has got to make their own mind up about that as best they can.

Can an inspired individual actually reach the office of president and try to fundamentally change things for the better? Yes, but it's highly unlikely...and he may very well get shot in that case, normally by a "lone gunman" who is characterized by the media as some unstable person or lunatic who "acted alone". Hmmm. One can't help but wonder about that when it happens. There is rarely deemed to be any need for it to happen by the controllers, because most people who run for president have already been bought, body and soul, by the Machine long before they were ever nominated. If not, they can usually be bought afterward...or intimidated into cooperating with the real powers that be in America (whom you do NOT get a chance to vote for).


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 08:57 PM

Bien dit!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: jimmyt
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:17 PM

Thanks Little Hawk for your Synopsis of the United States of America. NOw let me see,............what is with you guys and back bacon eh? grin


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:20 PM

Gives us something to do with the cornmeal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:28 PM

We love back bacon, JimmyT! :-) Just don't try to take away our back bacon.

By the way, our political system is deeply compromised as well by essentially the same big money interests as in the USA. They control the political parties here and orchestrate government policy, regardless of what the public has to say about it. There are important psychological differences between the two societies, though, mostly because they developed along different historical lines. Canada is fundamentally more peaceful, more moderate, more reasonable, and at the same time less entreprenurial. The USA is a country with a terrific entrepreneurial spirit...which can be good, if aimed at a worthy objective...and not so good at all if aimed at a destructive objective.

The USA has great potential for either good or evil. Canada does too, but is a more modest nation in both its ambitions and its actions. Those modest expectations have actually served us very well, so far, and are the best protection we have against the new robber barons at the top of the $y$tem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:46 PM

"Modest Expectations"

You might be onto something there, LH.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:55 PM

Yup. Never team up with anyone who wants to conquer the World (or "save" it) (or RUN it) if you want to live a peaceful and agreeable life that harms no one... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:57 PM

Was thinking what a great book title that would be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:01 PM

Hmmm. "Modest Expectations". Yeah, it would. A book that encapsulated the Canadian ethic.

The title "Highway to Hell" or "Road to Perdition" would be a good one for a book about Bush's international expectations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:19 PM

One of the nice things about our federal system here in the USA is it gives the rights for such matters to individual states. If one is not happy with the way things are in a state, he can complain, effect change of what he or she doesn't like, or, simply, move.

In the presidential race, this is only true for those who align themselves with one of the two major parties. For those of us who do not want to align ourselves with either of the two major parties, there is no state in the country we can move to and expect our vote to be counted. Ever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: jimmyt
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:23 PM

How about "Brucie and Jimmyt and LittleHawk's Excellent Adventure?" We could get an old caddy convertable, some beer, some donuts, ( Don't worry, I have the leasure suits) then pick up a few chicks, and start selling my mapleLeaf thongs door to door on Prince Edward Island? SOrry, I just can't control my runaway capitalistic spirit! I will get back on my medicine tomorrow


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:26 PM

I'll help you with the medicine. An', are these thongs we're gonna thing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: jimmyt
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:30 PM

NO, they are the latest folkie costume rage. some actually fabricated from old guitar straps, not to mention old G strings........but i digress


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: dianavan
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 11:40 PM

guitar straps with a maple leaf? I think you may be on to something. I wouldn't call that modest! I do think, however, you could probably flog a few at the folk festivals. Now thats the entrepenerial spirit! Combine sex and Nationalism. Its a sure winner.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 11:48 PM

Dare I say there is a chance for a revival of the beaver as the national emblem? Don't sluff that off without giving it a second thought. Tie that in with the V thread and we may have something here. Work the Joey into it and there's a shot at the Oz community buying some. This could be BIG.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 12:41 AM

I thought the beaver WAS the national emblem! Did they change that too? Maybe its just the mascot or something. Do Joeys and beavers get along?

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 12:53 AM

There is a vast difference between "freedom" and "licence". The gibbering heads which spout "freedom" most appear to be the ones who recognise the difference least!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:16 AM

No it isn't.

And never will be until we get rid of the Electoral College.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM

This is a very interesting thread. Because it raises the question of definitions and what definitions exclude or include. Yes, a Republic can be a democracy, as can a monarchy or a parliamentary Democracy. So What DOES being a democracy mean ? I would say that by the cuurent world standard that the USA IS a democracy, as are many other countries, not all of whom are republics.
    Although I am not a big fan of the American brand of saving the world, I do respect the democratic principle of America, flawed as it is. However, I do believe there countries that are better at democracy, if democracy means a social contract with citizens.
    America may not be perfect but to suugest that is not a democracy is a bit over the top.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:04 PM

GUEST,James. Define democracy please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM

I believe it to be a social contract with citizens . I Think I said that in my previous post although I was perhaps not clear. It is a difficult thing to define, is it not. But I tend to think of it as a contract between two parties who have a covenant with other. I think Americans have that in principle,although I also see the flaws. But I still believe that America is a democracy in spite of the flaws. Americans and many others have rule of law, freedom, rights and responsibilty, and many other things that in less than ideal countries, simply do not exist.


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