Cornerstones of democracy
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18-06-2012, 06:28 AM
Cornerstones of democracy
Name your favourite cornerstone of e free and honest democracy. Explain why you think it is important to you.
In the end we should have an interesting overview.


mine:
Democracy depends on informed citizens. Without honest information, options given to citizens are only the living opinions of leaders.
I want more transparency.

Observer

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18-06-2012, 06:49 AM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
(18-06-2012 06:28 AM)Observer Wrote:  mine:
Democracy depends on informed citizens. Without honest information, options given to citizens are only the living opinions of leaders.
I want more transparency.
Observer -- One could argue that we've never had greater access to information in the history of our species!

People ARE informed, BUT, their opinions (in my opinion) are grossly misled. News is no longer news. Information is no longer information. It's all skewed based on personal prisms.

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This is funny, because there is a grain of truthiness to it. What isn't true is that the BBC is an "honest broker" for actual news. They've seen the Fox business model and have begun down that path - which is why al-Jazeera has become a better than average news station -- most BBC reporters jumped ship. Listen to AJ sometime and note the number of British accents reporting the news.

One thing I've learned over the last 3-5 years is that all facts are debatable. In fact, facts no longer matter (to the majority of people - as far as I can tell...)

Democracy, as much as we love it, can be a dangerous thing. We should never forget that Hitler was able to rise to power through a democratic process. The USA could easily have gone down the path of fascism in the 30s had FDR not been able to push through socialist programs to "save" democracy.

Back to your question, my favorite tenant would have to be the right to free speech - the uninhibited expression of ideas.

Through it all, ideas still matter. Unfortunately, it comes down to marketing and selling those ideas in order to gain traction Smile

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18-06-2012, 08:19 AM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
Good one Seasburry.
Btw: I never said we are informed citizens. I just said informed citizens are a cornerstone of a free and honest democracy. (By extention... I never said we live in a free and honest democacy either Consider )

I have by first hand experienced what it is to get media coverage. It was a real eye opener.

Do you think we have real free speech?
BTW: What's your take on the demand of more transparency?

Observer

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18-06-2012, 08:31 AM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
(18-06-2012 08:19 AM)Observer Wrote:  Do you think we have real free speech?
BTW: What's your take on the demand of more transparency?
We are in the Citizens United era of "free speech" which isn't necessarily free. Money is the driver. The more money you have, the more speech you have.

We have free speech here - but we do not really have reach beyond devotees of the forum. The guardians of speech require $$ before getting it out. Look at the advertisements Freedom From Religion Foundation purchased. Ruffled feathers, got some news coverage - but they were "free" to publish their ad. Of course, the monies FFRF has at their disposal pales in comparison to megachurch holdings, so their message will be drowned out.

Regarding transparency -- it's an ideal. Am I for it? Absolutely! Do I count on it? Not at all. In my opinion, Citizens United is the modern day Tammany Hall - with national reach.

I seriously question our ability to come out of this era of corruption intact.

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18-06-2012, 09:14 AM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
Having just spent the day teaching a "Governance" course, the cornerstones of good governance are Fairness, Accountability and Transparency.

But Governance is not to be confused with Democracy.

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18-06-2012, 10:32 AM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
Education is probably number one, for me.

You can't really have people being spoon-fed important information, that's vital to understanding the basis of how to make their decisions in regard to voting to elect representatives and/or voting on law/policies, when they can't understand the core of the concepts themselves.

It also plays a role in other things such as participation and activity in government and democratic, as well as an understanding of the effects of certain decisions that are made and policies that are implemented.

I don't know if that counts as an answer, but to me that is the most important thing in ensuring a good democracy.

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20-06-2012, 08:04 PM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
I'm a bit confused on the parameters; I would say the most important part of a democracy is what makes it free and honest which would be the general public having power.

Some would say this is overly simplistic or too supportive of 2nd amendment rights, and this is really the only reason I do stand in favor. If the general public has no actual power or ability to drive some type of fear via protest or weaponry, the votes cast can mean diddly squat. You can look at the situations in Iran and possible Russia (Although I'm not convinced those elections have been rigged in the ways some insist.) The people can vote but if the results are controlled by the dominant party, your democracy is far form free and honest; therefore, it is practically worthless.

If that doesn't count as an answer, the best part of a guaranteed free and honest democracy would be the ability to repeal and alter choices and political decisions. The ability to try and reverse some decisions that can be seen as bad moves can be a big issue and even if I don't agree with them, I'm glad that right can go both ways. Sadly it didn't pan out, but the legal attempts against Scott Walker were a great sign of what a state can do democratically.

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24-06-2012, 03:58 PM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
For me a corner stone for a free and honest democracy is something most democracies don't have: Direct democracy.
I'd say this is the second step of ClydeLee's power of the general public. I agree the potential to physically protest is a primary, but what better way is there to actually control and be the government than being able to act as the legislator yourself.
Representatives are being bought, but it costs way more to "buy" a whole country. (and doesn't normally work that great. Statistics show that the side with financial power doesn't win public votes if the request sucks)
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25-06-2012, 08:09 PM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
I'm not sure if this really answers the question but I think the most important thing in a democracy is to keep the general public as far away from decision making as possible. If you don't then you're pretty much doomed from the start.

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25-06-2012, 08:39 PM
RE: Cornerstones of democracy
(24-06-2012 03:58 PM)Vipa Wrote:  For me a corner stone for a free and honest democracy is something most democracies don't have: Direct democracy.
I'd say this is the second step of ClydeLee's power of the general public. I agree the potential to physically protest is a primary, but what better way is there to actually control and be the government than being able to act as the legislator yourself.
Representatives are being bought, but it costs way more to "buy" a whole country. (and doesn't normally work that great. Statistics show that the side with financial power doesn't win public votes if the request sucks)
Mob rule? No thank you. I bet if it was put to a vote, the US would vote to acknowledge our Christian heritage or some such nonsense.
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