Author Topic: Whither, Democracy?  (Read 192 times)

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Offline Omni

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2019, 10:47:07 pm »
So do the heads of state/government of:

India
Pakistan
the UK
France
Russia
China
Israel
North Korea.

They've got their own footballs. How is the U.S. president so exceptional in that?

I don't see Canada on your list.

Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2019, 10:51:59 pm »
What of it? Sorry I thought we were talking about Heinlein and democracy?

And thanks for dodging the question lol.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 10:53:37 pm by SuperColinBlow »
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Offline Omni

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2019, 10:58:39 pm »
What of it? Sorry I thought we were talking about Heinlein and democracy?

And thanks for dodging the question lol.

But I thought you said Canada had more power in it's little finger.

Online wilber

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2019, 11:34:39 pm »
The POTUS has at his disposal the "football" which is carried around behind him by the secret service, and which contains the codes to launch wwIII which could destroy the planet. That's a lot of power. I suggest/hope that the current situation is the same as it was when Nixon was losing his marbles, the real "football" is nowheree near Donny boy.

Sounds like the Q Bomb from The Mouse that Roared.
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Offline Omni

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2019, 11:41:16 pm »
Sounds like the Q Bomb from The Mouse that Roared.

Or the "Wrath of Grapes."

Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2019, 10:37:38 am »
Sounds like the Q Bomb from The Mouse that Roared.


LOVE that movie! Peter Sellers is awesome!

I said that the Canadian Prime Minister has a lot of power compared to the US president. I was speaking of our respective heads of government.
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Offline ?Impact

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2019, 12:29:18 pm »
This isn't "having it both ways" as you put it. It's how it actually happens. If you really think that in any democratic country the voters can make a difference alone, and that a "real democracy" has little or no "elite", then please pass whatever you're smoking to me. It looks terribly pleasant.

That is a rather pessimistic view of things. I agree that special interests [spelt money] hold a lot of influence, but there is still a wide discrepancy between how things are implemented in various jurisdictions. Instead of California, maybe you should look to Switzerland. They also have plebiscites, but are implemented in a significantly different manner. I also believe that a more representative government, instead of a two party system makes it much harder for special interests to become so entrenched. You are right that true democracy is very hard to achieve, but I think there is much would could do to get closer to that ideal.

Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: Whither, Democracy?
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2019, 08:36:04 am »
California is, I admit, a more extreme case of direct democracy getting out of hand. Not all states are like that. Ours for example: there was a law passed by the General Assembly (state legislature) to legalize same-sex marriage. After the governor signed the law, there was a petition drive to repeal it, mostly by conservative republicans, who are vastly outnumbered and outvoted in this state (we've been "blue" since Andrew Jackson was president). Fortunately (in my view), the law was upheld by the voters. So I can see the benefits of referenda/plebiscites in a democratic society. But it can get out of hand. The legislature passed that law, and they're paid to do it for 90 days every year (pass laws, that is.)

Switzerland could be a special case. Quite often, leaders refer issues to the public via plebiscites like that. But only if they think it's going to pass in their favor. Very few leaders, however democratic, feel like "let's roll the dice and see which way the people want it." They want to know the outcome before it happens, otherwise they wouldn't bother to refer it to the people. Maybe in Switzerland there is more direct participation, and they're used to it. Switzerland is smaller, and perhaps its citizens feel closer and more involved? I'll have to look that up on Wikipedia, or some external source.

If that seems a little pessimistic, I accept that.

But Washington doesn't play the same part in our lives that national governments do in other countries. Despite any call for "states rights", and the growth of federal power over the last two centuries, there is still a certain "distance" between the people and the U.S. government in Washington. (Take into account that with the present national population, there are 750,000 residents to one congressman. That's pretty distant.) We feel "closer" to the state and local governments as how it affects our daily lives. perhaps that's why we have less direct "engagement" than Switzerland in the U.S.?

BTW, I apologize for the "what are you smoking" sentence. That was rude of me.
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength