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Is American Democracy Working?(13 posts)

Is American Democracy Working?bboc
Nov 6, 2003 4:11 PM
If not, Is it salvagable?

Corporate money, propaganda, spin, an uninformed eloctorate, the 2 party system, Liberal Media, Right Wing Media, Corporate controlled Media, etc....
It's ugly out there. Will future generation look back and say that Democracy just doesn't work?
what's the alternative? nmDougSloan
Nov 6, 2003 4:12 PM
what's the alternativeTri_Rich
Nov 7, 2003 10:58 AM
Campaign finance reform; term limits, all the things the Newt led Republicans promised and never delivered.

Seriously we should look at ways to reduce the influence of campaign donors on politics, something along the lines of all candidates (who meet certain requirements getting equal time in media, campaign workers as volunteers, etc)
Yep. Perking along just fine. nmOldEdScott
Nov 6, 2003 4:20 PM
It ain't supposed to be pretty...........MR_GRUMPY
Nov 6, 2003 5:24 PM
It should be like Christmas at my redneck hillbilly brother-in-laws. Lots of shouting, but no shooting.
Barely workingFr Ted Crilly
Nov 6, 2003 6:19 PM
Democracy as it exists today in the U.S. (and other western nations), is so far from perfect that it is legitimate to at least raise this question. Democracy has created a society where money is the master of everything, where small cash rich lobby groups have political influence far beyond their numbers, where the gap between the rich and poor is widening every year, and where so many have lost interest in using their vote. Does this have to go hand in hand with the freedoms that we enjoy in this country?

Bush made a speech today pressing for democratic change throughout the Middle East. The BBC website has a discussion page with comments from all around the world on Bush's vision of democracy. I know there are some right wingers here who believe anything from the BBC must be anti-American, communist vile, but for all others it might be worth reading how others around the world view democracy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/3230269.stm
Hmmm! I'm somewhat confused by your ....Live Steam
Nov 6, 2003 7:35 PM
response. You claim that money is power and that it is used to further suppress the masses. Isn't that the same as a dictatorship that existed in Iraq under Saddam? He had all of the money and all of the power. That has since changed. I think you will find, if you choose to seek it out as many mass media sources have yet to report it, that 80% of those Iraqis polled believe they are better off now then prior to the war. They have more options and thus have more hope for a better future for themselves.

I read the info from the link and find that it is apparent that quite a few of the respondents are rather misinformed. I have never met a Russian that wishes they were still living under the rule of the Kremlin.
I'm not sure why you're confused.Fr Ted Crilly
Nov 7, 2003 9:45 AM
I'm not for one moment suggesting that dictatorships such as that in Iraq until a few months ago are a credible alternative. Whatever my misgivings about democracy as it is in the US, it is still a far better option than having one man rule a country under fear, oppression and torture. I was simply trying to bring up the point that democracy, as we know it, isn't a level playing field where all men/women are equal and all have the same chance of bettering themselves.
The comments on the BBC website highlight an important point, that what is good for us, (i.e. US style democracy), isn't necessarily the best option for other countries, whose people have different expectations, values and cultures. Whether you think these comments are misinformed or not, do you not concede that the people in these countries, (even represented by this small sample), are probably far better qualified to comment on the "democratisation" of their countries far better than you, I or the vast majority of persons on this board?

FWIW, the location of the Russian government hasn't changed, so actually all Russians are still living under the rule of the Kremlin. I get your point though :O)
I'm not sure why you're confused.Live Steam
Nov 7, 2003 10:11 AM
"Democracy, defined as a maximized popular participation in the decision making process, or governance, has, in the course of the last few decades become, a universal expectation. It is neither eastern or western anymore, and there is no such a thing as a western-style or an eastern-style, not to mention an Islamic or Christian or Jewish-style democracy, unless we are referring to institutional variations. The main point is to respect the basic rights of all citizens, and to accommodate all differences. This where democracy is posing a problem for certain parts of the world. That is, in its (in)ability to accommodate certain traditional cultural values. Now, this might be a problem related more to modernity per se rather than democracy, but it does indeed have quite a few implications for democratization.

So, which should be modified, or adjusted, to accommodate which - democracy or tradition? Bearing in mind the definition presented above, it should be clear that any attempt to limit democracy would lead to disenfranchising certain segments in the society concerned. As such, it is clear that the onus of change is on tradition. And traditions take time to change.
Ammar Abdulhamid ,Damascus, Syria"

I like this response. I also didn't read any response that posed an alternative and all but two came from posters living in a democratic society. So how would any of them be better qualified?

My confusion came from the your reference to money and corruption. Democracy provides for "some" protection against corruption and tyranny. It's not perfect, but the alternatives aren't viable as far as I am concerned.
Have you learned nothing from us?Leonnard
Nov 7, 2003 3:49 PM
Where's you get the 80 percent approval stat? Who's conducting the poll, a soldier with a clipboard in one hand and an M-16 in the other? I would hope that these stats are correct. It would be nice to be appreciated.

But I'm sure if I did a search, I could find polls claiming 80% of Iraqi's want to convert to Christianity, but I'm not about to put any faith in them.

Bottom line, you should know by now that posting data and making claims based on that date, without tell where you got the data is a classic waste of time. We need to see the source of the poll before we can expect a flood of Christmas cards from Iraqis.
Money is the master of all political systemsTJeanloz
Nov 7, 2003 6:33 AM
I can't think of a political system where money isn't the primary driving force (short of anarchy). And Western Democracy, for all of its faults, probably has the flattest distribution of wealth.
The fact is, only losers whine about money.OldEdScott
Nov 7, 2003 6:38 AM
If you're electable at all, you can raise enough money to get elected. It's a maxim. If you can't raise enough money to be competetive, you shouldn't be in the race.
Does it work any better in Canada?mohair_chair
Nov 6, 2003 6:42 PM
If a future generation is allowed to ask that question, the answer would have to be yes.

I don't know about anyone else, but it seems to be working fine for me. I don't know what your expectations are, but I don't think they are realistic. It's not all that different today than it was 100 years ago, except there are 100 million more people living here. That's my complaint--the government doesn't seem to scale well.

The sky is not falling.