william clegg


This conversation is closed.

What does the term "democracy" mean to you?

How would you define a democracy ?

Is it simply voting? If so do you vote?

If yes I do vote, do you vote on the issues, or simply for a particular party or candidate?

If you do not vote, why not?

Do think the system of governance your country uses is a democracy? If so why?

If not, why not?

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    Jan 23 2014: .
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    Jan 21 2014: popularity over reason
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      Jan 21 2014: as in cults of personality? Please expand
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        Jan 21 2014: it does not need so much explanation. democracy means 51% wins. it does not matter what the truth is. it does not matter what logic says. the only thing that counts is which thoughts and beliefs spread better in the mind space of the populace. and for god's sake, they choose beverage based product placements.
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    Jan 21 2014: I like Winston Churchill's assessment of democracy:

    "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time"

    Although we supposedly live in a democracy, I'm not entirely sure we live in what I would consider a democracy. Inequality, lying politicians are a couple of too many things that is testament to that. I half wonder though whether we will ever live in a true democracy - a society of openness & equality with elected leaders who practice what they preach in their campaigns.
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      Jan 21 2014: Yes, an important quote to remember for sure. I think Desmond Tutu's " I am not optimistic. I am a prisoner of hope" also says it well.

      Do you have any responses to the other questions above?
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    Jan 21 2014: Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives.

    A republic is a form of government in which power is held by the people and the representatives they elect, and affairs of state are a "public matter"

    The United States is a Republic.

    I am an Independent and vote based on the issues ... having said that it should be noted that the elected are not held accountable for their promise versus their actions once in office. The Ethics committee is a joke and protects the incumbent .. the means of corrective action is either recall or to vote out in the next scheduled election.

    There are two schools of thought ... Install term limits to reduce the corruption in government. I cannot see this as a effective tool. ... or .... return to a Constitutional Government. This would restrict the elected officials to only the areas as stated in the Constitution (four) and would drastically reduce the impact of big donors, lobbies, and favor seekers.

    The USA currently has two parties Liberal socialists and Conservatives ... one of the major differences is the economic models used either Keynesian (Liberal Socialist) or Austrian (Conservative).

    People see the issues through these lens ... big government, social programs, redistribution of wealth, unrestricted spending (Keynesian) .. or Budgeted on GDP VS debit, less government, and lower taxes.

    The elected officials have been allowed to make decisions on their perks, pay, and means to manipulate. They have legislated themselves above the law and become the new elite equal to the Royals that caused colonists to leave England. Thus causing our government to be between Socialism and Republic ... and that is unacceptable.

    Just my opinion. Bob.
  • Jan 20 2014: Well except in the animal world, I have not seen a functional democracy. To say that the USA is a democracy is ludicrous.
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      Jan 20 2014: Agreed Keith, nor is Canada any better these days. Would you mind expanding upon why it is ludicrous? The major problem I see here in Canada a so-called representative system that only represents those who can buy, seduce, cajole, manipulate and otherwise influence the system for their own petty interests.
      • Jan 21 2014: I don't know about Canada but in the USA the corporations have litterly bought the government, land, water, air and all our resources and are in the process of dividing it up amoungst themselves and selling whatever they do not want to other countries. Basically the same thing we did to "the rightful owners (American Indians)".... what do you know about Karma?
  • Timo X

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    Jan 19 2014: Besides the obvious 'one man, one vote' component, a democracy has three other major requirements:
    1. The protection of civic liberties against the tyranny of the majority. For example, the prosecution of homosexuals in Russia enjoys huge public support. In the US, an example would be the death penalty. In my country, an example would be the existence of a monarch. But majority approval alone does not make a law democratic, all laws need to comply with the framework of the democracy, i.e. the civic liberties that are established outside of democratic rule.
    2. A thriving infrastructure of free press. An example of a country where this requirement is compromised was Italy under the rule of Berlusconi. While the Italian press was technically free to print whatever they want, the majority of it was controlled by Berlusconi and did not exercise the right to criticise him.
    3. A society where the influence of ethnic and/or religious voting is negligible. Democracy is about ideas, not about who has the 'superior' religion or ethnicity.
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      Jan 20 2014: Thanks Timo, all good points Timo.
  • Jan 18 2014: Depends do you mean direct democracy or democratic-republic democracy.
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      Jan 19 2014: any version is welcome since the first question is how doe you define democracy and the last question asks about one's current system.
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    Jan 17 2014: To me the word means exactly what it meant from the beginning.

    Demos = People and Kratos = Rule/Power. Which translates into "rule of the people" roughly...

    However this is not the way it works today, we don't rule a bit...
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      Jan 18 2014: agreed, and I believe you mentioned elsewhere that Sweden actually has a democracy component imbedded in the educational curriculum? Sadly it seems this is something that few other nations even contemplate never mind teach.