Sunday, May 8, 2016

US Democracy and Electoral Integrity : U.S. elections scored lower than Argentina, South Africa, Tunisia, and Rwanda — and strikingly lower than even Brazil.

Democracy and Class Struggle believe that it is important to explain what Democracy means at the beginning of the 21st Century as it has been mistakenly seen as synonymous with Elections.

We should remember that the idea of democracy in its first Athenian slave based incarnation was not about elections but principally about participation in the governance of the City State.

Selection by lottery was the standard means as it was regarded as the more democratic: 

Elections would favour those who were rich, noble, eloquent and well-known, while allotment spread the work of administration throughout the whole citizen body, engaging them in the crucial democratic experience of, to use Aristotle's words, "ruling and being ruled in turn" (Politics 1317b28–30).

The allotment of an individual was based on citizenship rather than merit or any form of personal popularity which could be bought. 

Allotment therefore was seen as a means to prevent the corrupt purchase of votes and it gave citizens a unique form of political equality as all had an equal chance of obtaining government office within the limits of Greek slave Society.

Democracy and Class Struggle suggests that the jury system which selects people to judge their peers could be extended to other spheres of social life to energise the new concept of mass democracy for public service.

The random selection by computer or other means of individuals for public service would be one such mechanism for developing mass democracy in the 21st Century.

We should learn from the past to give democracy in the 21st century new real content to aid our principal task the overthrow of class based corporate power and the finance capitalists which have subverted the limited democratic process in Britain and USA

The current capitalist political monopoly in Britain and USA ensures that no systemic solutions to capitalism's problems in the economy or the environment are put onto the political agenda.

 Electoral politics itself lacks integrity.

The USA - Land of the Unfree Elections

As if further proof could possibly be needed of the sorry state of the American electoral process, a new study just ranked the United States dead last in electoral integrity among established Western democracies.

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP)’s 2015 Year in Elections report is an independent research project by 2,000 elections experts from Harvard University and the University of Sydney in Australia assembled to examine the world’s elections.

The EIP states that “the core notion of ‘electoral integrity’ refers to agreed international principles and standards of elections, applying universally to all countries worldwide throughout the electoral cycle, including during the pre-electoral period, the campaign, and on polling day and its aftermath. Conversely, ‘electoral malpractice’ refers to violations of electoral integrity.”

“The report gathers assessments from over 2,000 experts to evaluate the perceived integrity of all 180 national parliamentary and presidential contests held between July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015 in 139 countries worldwide. These include 54 national elections held last year.

“Forty experts were asked to assess each election by answering 49 questions. The overall 100-point Perceptions of Electoral Integrity (PEI) index is constructed by summing up the responses,” Salon explained.

According to the EIP, U.S. elections scored lower than Argentina, South Africa, Tunisia, and Rwanda — and strikingly lower than even Brazil. Specifically compared to Western democracies, U.S. elections scored the lowest, slightly worse than the U.K., while Denmark and Finland topped the list.

But, while certainly revealing, the U.S.’ low ranking — which places the nation in the second, or “good,” tier and perilously close to the “moderate” third tier of five possible — could hardly come as a shock to Americans.

Indeed, the 2016 elections have proven the system so rigged, even those who’d previously still harbored illusions our democracy is fair, have begun to come to terms with the truth: the political establishment’s corporatist plutocrats choose their own to install in the White House every four years.


The Sad State of Freedom by Nazim-Hikmet

you waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others-
you are free to make the rich richer.

The moment you're born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.

You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.

Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you're free
with the freedom of being unemployed.

You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.

But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom-
you have the freedom to become an air-base.

You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being-
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.

There's neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there's no need to choose freedom:
you are free.

But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars

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