cj#601> Why elections fail democracy (a note)

1996-11-11

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

        We all know, don't we, that elections in the U.S., UK, and
elsewhere do not lead to governments which, in any substantial way,
represent the will of the people.  We also know, I assume, that the party
system operates to maximally undermine any possibility of popular
expression.

        Nonetheless, it sounds disturbingly convincing when an elected
official claims some kind of "mandate" for his policies, given that he or
she was elected in preference to some other candidate's agenda.  I've
always intuitively rejected such claims, but never had a clear argument to
offer on the matter.

        Consider that what campaigns are about are the _differences_
between the positions of the candidates.  In areas where candidates
_agree_, there is no debate, no issues are identified, and no opportunity
for voter-expression exists.

        The fact is that the most significant issues of the day, where
public policy most needs to be challenged and changed, are all buried in
the "bi-partisan" category -- agreed to by both major parties and never
debated.  This has been true in the U.S. for some time, and following Tony
Blair's successful infiltration and subversion of the Labour Party, it has
become true in the UK as well.

                                     -------

        Among the significant, submerged issues, I include the following
(random sample relevant to U.S.):
        (1) Should NAFTA be un-negotiated due to its adverse effects on
            all involved populations?

        (2) Should foreign-assistance programs be transformed to encourage
            social welfare and local self-sufficiency instead of to prop-up
            dictatorial regimes and promote megacorp investment opportunities?

        (3) Should arms-sales be prohibited (directly or indirectly) to
            non-democratic regimes with unsatisfactory human-rights policies?

        (4) Should the budget deficit be eliminated by restoring corporate
            and capital-gains taxes to reasonable rates, more in line with
            pre-Reagan days?

        (5) Should a single-payer health care system be implemented, as has
            been proven cost-effective and medically-effective in many parts of
            the world?

        (6) Should U.S. intelligence agencies cease running the world drug
            trade?

                                     -------

        It would seem to be axiomatic that any country which calls itself a
democracy should have _some_ mechanism for the most important issues of the
day to at least be _considered_ within the democratic process, even if the
outcome might be determined by influential special interests.

        What we actually have is a system where the most important issues
are never discussed, most certainly not in the campaigns nor on Capital
Hill.  This system, therefore, cannot be called merely an "imperfect"
democracy, but must be recognized as _essentially_ undemocratic -- it
includes no effective mechanism for primary national issues to be
considered by any even remotely democratic process.  Such a regime is
simply not a democracy.

        The two-party system is quite obviously a conspiracy to subvert
democracy by staging a mock debate every four years which never touches on
the question of who really controls America, and where they are taking us.

                                     -------

        Reader responses are invited.


Regards,
rkm



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    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib
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