Democracy: Effective and Economical, Can you adopt it?
By Dr. Adel Elsaie
Pathological Presidential Liar or Idiot-in-Chief?
In the dictionary definition, democracy "is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
USA is supposed to be the greatest democracy on Earth, yet, in USA Bush has about 30% approval rating, the Congress has between 5-15% approval rating depending upon which poll you believe.
In USA, there is two parties system, Democrats and Republicans. The average citizen does not see major differences between the two parties. This "democratic" system is actually controlled by big Multi national corporation, and strong lobbyist system following few interest groups. So really it does not matter much who wins and who looses.
Today, corporate giants get multi-billions in all kinds of handouts we pay for. They come in tax breaks, price supports, loan guarantees (many never repaid), bailouts, marketing services, export subsidies, R & D grants, free use of the public broadcasting spectrum, and huge subsidies and other government-directed benefits proving "big government" works great and business loves it. The system works by socializing costs and privatizing profits "in an enormous upward redistribution of income from the working populace to the corporate rich."
We, the people, have lost control. Corporations, these legal fictions that we ourselves created two centuries ago, now have more rights, freedoms and powers than we do. And we accept this as the normal state of affairs. We go to corporations on our knees. Please do the right thing, we plead. Please don't cut down any more ancient forests. Please don't pollute any more lakes and rivers (but please, please don't move your factories and jobs offshore either). Please don't use pornographic images to sell fashion to my kids. Please don't play governments off against each other to get a better deal. We've spent so much time bowed down in deference, we've forgotten how to stand up straight.
They're run by wealthy and powerful figures comprising, along with other elites, the top 1% of the nation's affluent. Today they own 40 - 50% of the country's wealth in the form of stocks, bonds, land, natural resources, business assets and other investments. In contrast, 90% of American families have little or no net worth after mortgage and other debt burdens are taken into account. America has the highest level of inequality of all developed nations, the country is rigidly structured by class, and most people die in the same class they were born into. It debunks the notion of "a land of opportunity" for everyone.
Just look at how much money presidential candidates collected. They collected tens and hundreds of million dollars. Now ask yourself, what does each candidate owe to his payee. This system favor the privileged and promotes corruption.
Who Governs USA? Who else? Those controlling society's wealth exercise trusteeship over educational institutions, foundations, think tanks, publications, (and) mass media" as well as having political and economic power over the nation's business. The ruling class is comprised mainly of wealthy white, Judeo-Christian corporate elites whose mission it is to secure the interests of the wealthy class. Not fixing the government makes our lives miserable and penalizes future generations. Has time run out for restoring American democracy? It has not.
Now, Do you think that the 40 million poor people and homeless are interested in elections?
For all of Bush blah_blah talk about bringing democracy to the world, the USA Administration has proved that it preaches democracy and liberty and supports Tyrants, and Dictators.
On the other hand, in a developing Country, results of the election usually show that the current president wins by 88-99.999% In one election, the president won by 99.999%, when about 200 people dared to vote NO. One of the president confidants and puppets wrote an article in a major Newspaper stating that those 200 people are wealthy corrupt traitors.!!! It is a system of only one party with, perhaps, few ineffective cosmetic opposition parties.
When there is a simple peaceful protest of 200 people, they are surrounded by 20,000 security forces ready for beating and humiliating the protestors, and in the same time blocking the streets to prevent others from joining the protestors. Some dictators claim that they brought stability in their country, but this at the expense of putting the whole country under one huge prison controlled by massive security forces. Constitutions are changed according to desire the dictator to ensure that after 30 years in Presidency, his son will govern for another 40 years.
A Picture of the dictator exists in every major corner in the country and every government and police office. As if the dictator tells the citizen "I am always watching you all"
Now, Do you think in a county where 4 million people live in the graves in the Capital are interested in voting? Do you think that millions of people that knows the result of the election BEFORE it is actually announced, are interested in voting? Do you think that millions of people who wants to vote for an opposition party do so knowingly that they will be beaten by police who are watching how these people vote?
President Nixon was impeached because of Water-gate scandal. Now Bush has Iraq-gate, Iran-gate, Deception-gate, Human-rights-gate, CIA-gate, and so many other gates, And the Congress is so weak to impeach Bush. Think about it, there is no real democracy in the majority of countries on Earth. The checks and balances system in USA and most countries on earth are not working. We need different rules that guaranties real democracy, and minimizes corruption and abuse of power:
1. Candidate should not accept money from any individual, company, lobbyist, political action group.
2. Devote one TV channel to candidates views. like CSPAN in USA, with a website that publish all candidates views. This should not cost any money, so candidates do not need to collect money.
3. Provide a None of the Above option on ballots. If non of the above wins, Election is repeated.
4. Make voting compulsory after other reforms. This is not democracy if only 20 - 40% of all citizens vote.
5. Income of any elected member should be equal to the average salary of the middle class in the corresponding country.
6. Wealth of any elected member should be known before and after election period as a safe guard against corruption.
7. Parliament or Congress members should not have fringe benefit (pension, medical insurance) because 40 millions American do not have health Insurance.
8. Any Election whether in USA or a third World country should be supervised by a group of United nation. This group should have the right to cancel election if there are fabricated or abused by existing governments.
9. If approval rating of any elected member goes below 50% for 3 consecutive months, this elected member should be impeached.
10. President should be subjected to medical and psychological evaluation each year to determine his/her fitness to lead his/her country.
Believe me, the above rules can be implemented if the majority in every country push these just requests in a peaceful ways. You have to have a voice in this world, Talk about these rules to your family, your friends. Can you imagine a world without corruption, or at least minimizing it??????
Thanks to American intellectuals such as Lou Dobbs in CNN, and Keith Olbermann in MSNBC for inspiring me to write this article.