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BS: Is the USA really a democracy?

CarolC 06 Oct 04 - 01:00 PM
Little Hawk 06 Oct 04 - 12:50 PM
Bill D 06 Oct 04 - 11:40 AM
CarolC 06 Oct 04 - 11:12 AM
CarolC 06 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Oct 04 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,The Stage Manager 06 Oct 04 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 06 Oct 04 - 08:44 AM
dianavan 06 Oct 04 - 01:06 AM
Peace 06 Oct 04 - 12:29 AM
CarolC 06 Oct 04 - 12:11 AM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 04 - 12:57 AM
Rapparee 04 Oct 04 - 09:45 PM
Peace 04 Oct 04 - 07:28 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 05:07 PM
Peace 04 Oct 04 - 04:50 PM
Bill D 04 Oct 04 - 04:40 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Oct 04 - 04:39 PM
Peace 04 Oct 04 - 04:31 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 04:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Oct 04 - 04:09 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 04:05 PM
Peace 04 Oct 04 - 03:55 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,The Stage Manager 04 Oct 04 - 03:44 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 02:25 PM
Bill D 04 Oct 04 - 02:19 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 02:18 PM
Alaska Mike 04 Oct 04 - 02:10 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 02:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Oct 04 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 01:45 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 01:35 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 01:31 PM
Rapparee 04 Oct 04 - 01:20 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM
CarolC 04 Oct 04 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,James 04 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM
Ellenpoly 04 Oct 04 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Boab 04 Oct 04 - 12:53 AM
dianavan 04 Oct 04 - 12:41 AM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 11:48 PM
dianavan 03 Oct 04 - 11:40 PM
jimmyt 03 Oct 04 - 10:30 PM
Peace 03 Oct 04 - 10:26 PM
jimmyt 03 Oct 04 - 10:23 PM
CarolC 03 Oct 04 - 10:19 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:00 PM

I agree with you about the political parties, LH. Government is not the same thing as politics. Politics, party politics in particular, turns government into a team sport, only with much higher stakes. Bad idea altogether resulting in bad decisions, bad behaviour from the politicians, and bad results for the majority of voters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:50 PM

It's a bad idea to convert a political system into a playoff game between two huge organizations...it detracts from the actual purposes of having a political system in the first place.

Therefore, I propose abolishing all political parties and starting over again...by voting for individuals on the basis of their ideas and character, NOT for party members. If no party can be organized, then no party can corrupt the process.

Political parties are as bad an idea as hereditary monarchies...maybe even worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:40 AM

Since the Republicans have in recent years polished the art of appealing to special interests and single-issue voters, they have thereby pretty well locked in certain states, and are swiftly Gerrymandering others. They would no doubt fight any attempt to change the electoral process right now, since they 'might' win a popular vote, but would be even more likely to be able to manipulate an electoral vote.......They do not care for the idea that all the Democrats in Alabama would have the same power as Democrats in Mass. or New York.

I personally would like to see the electoral system eliminated, as well as changing the nominating process for candidates and adjusting the primary system so that every state would have some input.....and then SHORTENING the entire nomination and campaign schedule to a few months.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:12 AM

I also like the option of awarding electoral votes on a proportional basis, Uncle_DaveO. I'm not sure how this would be different from eliminating the Electoral College altogether, but it seems like a good compromise if nothing else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM

I don't know, Brucie. I keep remembering that this is the country where John and Bobbie Kennedy, and Martin Luther King were all assasinated. The more I learn about the world, the less inclined I am to believe that their deaths were a coincidence.

The Stage Manager, we had some pretty massive protests during the period leading up to our attack on Iraq. They made not one tiny bit of difference. The government takes a patronizing attitude toward protest these days. They have to say they support our right to protest, because our constitution guarantees it, but they do everything in their power to discredit those who are protesting. And let's not forget that this is the country where the National Guard opened fire on university students with live ammunition during protests against the Vietnam War.

And they have the news media in their pockets (or the news media has the government in their pockets, not sure which), so a lot of the time, protests hardly get any coverage and no-one who doesn't live in the area where the protest takes place even knows it happened. This is such a big country, if something happens in, say, New York, and doesn't get reported in the news, most of the rest of the country won't know anything about it.

Ted Kennedy got put on one of their lists, and nobody who's talking even knows why. Now he gets harrassed at the airport when he's trying to travel by plane. It's insane. This country is governed by madmen (and a few madwomen).


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:52 AM

CarolC, thank you for a thoughtful reply. I, too, am concerned about the present "battleground states" phenomenon.

However, I do believe that if electoral votes were required to be awarded on a proportional basis in each state it would go far toward neutralizing that problem. Not entirely, granted, but it would help, and would not create the "dictatorship of the big states" problem which bothered the founding fathers and which bothers me.

The communists of the old Soviet Union used to talk about "the dictatorship of the majority". This, unfortunately, seems to be a basic problem with either a democracy or a republic. If one is in a minority, it always seems that the majority is a dictatorship. I don't know a good answer to it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 09:05 AM

Over here in Europe protesters tend to take to the streets. Indeed we have a long tradition of it. French Farmers are pretty adapt at bringing their Country to a halt until such a time as their grievance is sorted out.

Remembering the Martin Luther King speech from, I think it was the Lincoln Memorial, It would be great to see the pictures of "Restore Democracy to America" campaign rally from the same place, beamed around the world.

I'm up for Grosvenor Square protest in London.


SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:44 AM

I've always believed the US to be essentially an eighteenth century constitutional monarchy, only with an elected (rather than hereditary)monarch.

nick


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 01:06 AM

Maybe democracy isn't worth protecting.

Majority rule is a bummer if you're always in the minority.

diana


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:29 AM

I hear you Carol. Believe me, I hear you.

So, what's left to do?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:11 AM

I've been thinking about your post for a while, Brucie, and also about Uncle_DaveO's last post.

Uncle_DaveO, I think the electoral college is producing exactly the opposite result from the one you think it's producing. Because of the Electoral College, presidential candidates only concern themselves with being accountable to the "battleground states" during the run-up to the election. The states that are solidly in one camp or the other, and these can be either states with large populations, or states with small populations, will hardly be noticed by the candidates. As a result, many large and small states (those with large populations and small populations) get left out of the process, while a small handful of states (ones with a significant number of delegates up for grabs, and therefore, not small states) get all of the canidates' attention and consideration.

Brucie, do you honestly beleive that a government that is capable of what you are suggesting this one is (especially with regard to chemtrails) would pay any attention whatever to letter campaigns from ordinary citizens? Personally, I do not. And my experience as a prolific letter writer has born that out, as far as I'm concerned.

The only effect I've ever noticed as a result of letter writing campaigns is that the rhetoric (spin; lies) gets adjusted in whatever way is necessary to enable them to continue to mislead the public. And these days, not only will the letters make no difference whatever, they'll probably get you put on some kind of Homeland Security list, as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 12:57 AM

What it amounts to is that the USA was set up to be a democracy, but it has since been derailed by the influence of Big Money on the political process. What has resulted is a govermment "of the rich, by the rich, for the rich". As long as most of the non-rich can be bamboozled into continuing to cast their votes for either the Democrats or the Republicans that situation will endure. Given the fact that money controls everything that happens, it's hard to see how that situation can be changed. A complete collapse of the US financial system and the US dollar itself to where the money would become valueless would change it...but I don't think any of us are particularly eager to live through that. I know I'm not.

I think that this society will either wake up...and change radically in order to revitalize itself...or it will slowly decline, and be supplanted in time by a new power (likely China)...or it will, in its decline, slide into the folly of a major war. The last of those 3 possibilities would be the worst by far. Let's hope it wakes up instead, and stops just worshipping money for money's sake alone.

Money was made to serve people, not the other way around. The same goes for government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 09:45 PM

Another thing that can and should be done is to hold the elected in EVERY country accountable to the Constitution. Examples:

1. Every conflict the US has engaged in since 1941 has been undeclared war, with the possible exception of Korea. Why? Because Congress (which the Constitution gives the sole authority to declare war) has become filled with gutless wonders. If war is necessary, the President should have the guts to ask Congress for a declaration of war; if not, then don't go to war.

2. The defection of Congress for its responsibilities has brought the US to the brink of economic disaster. The Constitution gives Congress the budgetary authority, but they have handed it over to the Presidency, and the result is a debt load damned near beyond belief.

3. The business of the government is government, not business and certainly NOT to make the rich richer.

4. The War Powers Act should be revoked, since it is both unconstitutional and misused.

So...decentralize the government.

Move the Executive and Legislative Branches out of Washington -- the House and Senate can have offices in their home states and districts and telecommute (I'd rather spend billions for a wonderful telecommunications system than what it's now being spent for). Put at least one office of the Executive Branch in each State, with the poorest states getting the biggest branches (e.g., Defense could go to Alabama) -- the increased wages should do wonders. Move the President's House to the geographic center of the United States. Except for the Supreme Court, DC becomes a tourist mecca and museum haven.

Those serving as legislators are paid the average prevailing wage in their home town, while the secretaries and gofers and assistants are kept at their civil service salaries and benefits (the legislators get exactly the same medical, vacation, and other benefits as their staffers). Salary increases for the members of the Legislative Branch must be approved by at least 55% of the popular vote in a regularily scheduled election.

As for the Executive Mansion -- the geographic center of the US is now located on private ranchland in a rural part of Butte County, SD. The county seat, Belle Fourche, is the nearest town. Good -- South Dakota can use the fame.

Think of the benefits: lobbying would be very difficult, at best; by living at home the constituents could keep a better eye on the folks they elected; by tying their raises to the vote they'd be forced to work for their constituents; terrorists would have the same problem lobbyists would; and the government could survive a nuclear war far better than it can now! And, I suspect, the cost of the government would be less....


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 07:28 PM

Sorry, D'van.

Carol,

I do understand and I don't have an answer either. I do think it's a good idea to write and mail letters to congressmen/women and senators. Not e-mail, but real letters. You are smart. Protest chemtrails--ask why you don't receive info about what is in the chemtrails. Hell, you're breating the stuff. Protest through letters. Force the closed-mouth basttards to respond. Letters to the editor, stuff on the www. The whole world is in this; it's not just the USA (I know you know this, but it's easy to lose track of that very important fact.) The US is outta control--or rather, it's being made to seem that way. I think the whole scenario is being orchestrated, and I do believe the Neocons are starting to make the grab. Hell, Bush in 2000, and what can they accomplish with more of that slathering idiot in 2004?

Oil is getting scarce, no matter what kinda spin the Neocons and their representatives put on it. This is really about the future of the planet and the people on it. There is scary stuff coming from Washington and world banks.

I am old enough to die. Hell, I have lived a life. My kids, however, not so. I know you don't believe in violence. Therefore, let the pen be your weapon, and let the people you elect be responsible to you. Start local and move on up. Letters may still work. At least it will let your elected reps know something rotten is going on when the folks they ask for answers don't give them any.


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

Uncle_DaveO, I live in Alabama.

Brucie, I believe it was dianavan who suggested the boycott. But she was suggesting a boycott against the US by people outside the US. We do need to eat and buy the basic necessities here in order to live. This is pretty much what JtS and I are already doing (because of the corporations sending so many of the jobs overseas), so not much would change in the way JtS and I do things if we did try to effect change through the power of the purse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:50 PM

True, Bill, and some of those forces are represented IN the White House.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:40 PM

well, McGrath, I actually think that a new Constitutional Convention would be a good idea--it needs clarification on various points....except...*wry grin*...in these times it would last 5 years, produce a document 5000 pages long, and be rejected by 47 out of 50 states...all on different grounds!

I guess we'll have to make do with the (very) occasional amendment.

without trying to be too specific or make detailed points, I see parallels with the Roman Empire and the British Empire in our inability to adjust to the changing world situation fast enough. There are forces out there that test ANY attrmpt to cope rationally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:39 PM

GUEST, James asked if the citizenry could not change the electoral system, and suggested petitioning as a start.

To change the electoral system would take a constitutional amendment, which was deliberately made difficult, though possible, by the framers of the Constitution.

My recollection of the process may be flawed (and if it is someone will correct me, I know), but I believe a proposed amendment must originate in the House of Representatives. If it succeeds there (by what proportion? 2/3?), I forget whether it has to go through the Senate or not. My vague recollection is not, but I could be wrong.

I believe that the president may not veto an amendment.

Having passed the origination in the legislature, it must be submitted to the state legislatures, and only if it is ratified by a requisite proportion of the legislatures within a set time (what? 3 years?) will it become part of the Constitution.

As I said, my recollection of the process lacks a good deal of detail

But the likelihood of congress passing a proposed amendment on this subject, either
(a) to make the distribution of electoral votes proportional in each state or
(b) to abolish the Electoral College altogether
is, to my mind, slim, nil, and none.

I would support option (a) above.

I would oppose (b), because it would replace one evil with another. Under (b) the voters of the less heavily populated portions of the country would be just as effectively disenfranchised as CarolC feels she is under the present provisions. The big states of New York, California, Michigan, Illinois and so forth would run away with things, and the residents of Wyoming, say, and South Dakota and Mississippi would have no effective voice in the choice of the president.


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:31 PM

You said it yourself, Carol. Don't buy stuff.


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

Our Constitution is very precious to us, McGrath. We don't like people tampering with it too much. We like for it to be very difficult to change, and I don't think there are very many of us who would like to see it become easier to change. But with that comes the flip side... it's also very difficult to make needed changes. There needs to be a certain majority in Congress who will vote for a change (an ammendment) in order for it to go through. I think it's two thirds, but I'm not sure.

If the people in Congress are owned by special interests (and most, if not all of them are), I don't see much chance that there will be enough support for a whole new Constitutional Convention to make it happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:09 PM

Two hundred years a hell of a long time for a conbstitution, and it's a very different world from back in the 18th century, which was the point I was trying to make earlier, Isn't it maybe time you had a new Constitutional Convention?


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

Overthrow the system.

That's what Timothy McVeigh was trying to do when he bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Can you describe a way to overthrow the system that doesn't involve getting a lot of civilians killed?


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

Overthrow the system.


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

Good question, The Stage Manager. I wish I had a good answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 03:44 PM

Ok so if you feel your democratic institutions have been hijacked by a faction with very very deep pockets that doesn't care a fig about 'the people' ot what the people think because the faction can 'deliver' any election result it wants, what do you do next?


SM


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

The big money interests like system we have now, GUEST,James. I think as long as that is the case, the system will not be changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:25 PM

Thank you Carol, I see where you are coming from but can the people not change the electoral system ? It would seem to me that citizens should be able to petition the government for fundamental changes in that process. I have doubts about the simplicity of majority rule..majorities can become awful tyrants to minorities, as we all know.
   I tend not to think of democracy as mere majority rule nor do I think that the method of electing a leader is beyond the scope of democartic change...if both parties   accept the contract between them. What do you think ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:19 PM

there are both virtues and problems with having a Federal system in the US. Being this large and diverse, it is convenient to have local government, i.e., 'states' to deal with local problems, but there has almost always been differences of opinion about how much power the Federal govt should have and how much should remain with individual states. This is especially awkward with modern transportation and communication making changing demographics a political minefield. (Look at all the places Carol C has lived recently, and how the relative power of her vote has changed!) In the District of Columbia, the Capitol, they get no vote for President at all!

Thus, when it comes to elections, we have the inane situation of have the candidates playing mostly to those few states which are percieved as borderline...Ohio, Florida...etc...Even the candidates were largely determined by those states who held primary contests earlier...Iowa, N. Hampshire, etc....

Every political party like rules that favor them in elections, but the Republican's recent attempts at Gerrymandering and purging voter rolls in Florida, etc., have broken new ground in making it more likely they will have the decks stacked in their favor in future 'elections'.

The idea of a true "Democracy" would scare the pants off Bush, Rove, Cheney, Ashcroft and their ilk....."what? accept a system where simple information and free, un-influenced elections determine who is in charge? Horrors!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:18 PM

Also in the case of this part:

1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority

It's hardly majority rule if a president can be elected with less than the majority of the popular vote, as GW Bush was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:10 PM

It is easier for the corporate powers that control our government to manipulate the presidential elections with the Electoral College than it would be to allow "one person = one vote."

Right now, all the polls seem to indicate the the popular vote in this country is very nearly a dead heat. Yet the Electoral Vote Predictions are enormously skewed toward the Republican Party. By concentrating their efforts in a few "key" states, they can essentially disenfranchise almost half the voters in those states.

Alaska is a bastion of Republican Conservatism. No matter which presidential candidate I have voted for up here over the past 20 years, my state's Electoral Votes have always gone to the Republican.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:09 PM

From Websters Online:

Main Entry: de·moc·ra·cy
Pronunciation: di-'mä-kr&-sE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
Etymology: Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dEmokratia, from dEmos + -kratia -cracy

1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

4 : the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority

(bolded emphasis mine)

These work pretty well for me. But in the US today, there are too many voters who are disenfranchised (don't really have a vote). I don't believe a government can be "by the people" unless all votes are counted. It is not possible, with the Electoral College system, for all votes to count. With this system, a fairly large percentage of votes will not be counted. And with this system, too much power is held by special interests rather than by the body of the electorate.

In this context, I wouldn't agree with your assessment that the system is this way because the voters have allowed it to get this way. This system was set up in the beginning by those who created the electoral processes in this country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:47 PM

Armed rebellion cannot succeed unless there is a foriegn power working with the rebels. I'd (pedantically) question whether that really applies in the case of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the English Revolution, or the Iranian Revolution. True enough you can always dig up some examples of outside support, but in those cases they aren't that crucial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:45 PM

I would be very interested to know how you define it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:39 PM

Am I naieve?

Canadians are never naive.

;-)

But I think maybe you and I define "democracy" somewhat differently.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:35 PM

No I am a Canadian. I have been to America but have never lived there. I much prefer the Canadian approach to democracy, less rhetoric and more social contract but I do accept the the US is one of the world's leading democracies. I think we are too inlcined to expect too much from our governments and not enough from ourselves. As citizens we must not allow our freedoms to be eroded and if they are it is probably because we have allowed it to happen. Am I naieve ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:31 PM

Or I can resign myself to the fact that in this country, I will be disenfranchised when it comes to presidential elections. Not only do I not have any desire to seek power, but I also know that the method you describe doesn't work. Those who try to use the party system as a springboard to power always become co-opted by the special interests that provide the money that is necessary for anyone to succeed in party politics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:20 PM

So, Carol, you do what revolutionaries have done for ages: you affliate with one of the major parties and use it as a springboard to power.

The alternative is armed rebellion, and has been repeatedly shown (e.g., Kent State, Tianeman Square, Hungary 1956), those in power are ready for that.

Armed rebellion cannot succeed unless there is a foriegn power working with the rebels. Examples are the American Revolution (France), the 1916 Irish Rising (the USA, Germany), Vietnam (China), the French Revolution (the US and others), Cuba (US), the Russian Revolution (Germany) are just examples. WHY these nations supported the rebels (sometimes to their detriment) is irrelevant to the fact that support was given.

This is also borne out by the failures: Hungary, 1956; Prague, 1968; China, 1989; Iraq, 1992 and others.

Note, please, that I have NOT included rebellions prior to about 1750. I'm not immediately conversant with them and so can't discuss them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is the USA really a democracy?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:15 PM

Are you a resident of the US yourself, GUEST,James?


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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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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 - 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: 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,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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 10:23 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: 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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