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Old July 3rd, 2018, 09:38 AM   #11
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Election for public office and delegation of power through voting is the hallmark of the Republic. People can vote on who is to rule them but have themselves no say in government.
You can use any definition you like for your own purposes. However there is a standard definition recognized by international organizations for the purposes of aid, trade and other international relations.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 10:42 AM   #12
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You can use any definition you like for your own purposes. However there is a standard definition recognized by international organizations for the purposes of aid, trade and other international relations.

It was you who pulled a tangent from classical Athenian democracy to the present western "representative" one. I just explained why they are very different forms of government.
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 11:04 AM   #13
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It was you who pulled a tangent from classical Athenian democracy to the present western "representative" one. I just explained why they are very different forms of government.
Since I said that democracy is not one thing, I fail to understand your argument. The Athenian democracy was a direct "democracy" for the minority adult male citizens. Modern democracies are representative democracies with broad adult citizen franchises (and some allow public initiatives and referenda.)
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 12:50 PM   #14
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Since I said that democracy is not one thing, I fail to understand your argument. The Athenian democracy was a direct "democracy" for the minority adult male citizens. Modern democracies are representative democracies with broad adult citizen franchises (and some allow public initiatives and referenda.)
For the majority of the citizens. Women children and slaves were not citizen.
So technically speaking, the voting rights of the citizens were not curbed in Athens , but the citizenship was limited in the population ))
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Old July 4th, 2018, 05:33 AM   #15

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If you want to read a very well written "what-if" novel about the collapse and restructuring of our dysfunctional system of government, purchase a copy of "The Jefferson Project" by Thor Duffin (2010). It will really make you think about what's actually happening today! I really enjoyed it.


I'm sure if you just Google the title and/or author it shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old July 4th, 2018, 06:44 AM   #16
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Since I said that democracy is not one thing, I fail to understand your argument. The Athenian democracy was a direct "democracy" for the minority adult male citizens. Modern democracies are representative democracies with broad adult citizen franchises (and some allow public initiatives and referenda.)
The argument is that calling republican rule democratic dilutes both terms. The OP talks about democracy as if that is what the founding fathers envisioned. Yet at the time democracy still had it's original meaning and those who wrote the American constitution were highly skeptical of it. Nowhere in any of their writing will they refer to the USA or it's constitution as democratic.
The purpose of a constitution and separately elected bodies is to limit the power of the people if the elite disagrees. Only slowly and indirectly can a determined majority of voters shift the system. What you call representative democracy, the founding father thought of as Republican government.

Or to put it in another way; Oligarchic diarchial Sparta have more in common with representative democracy then Athens did.
Sparta had a constitution with different elective bodies dividing power. Power was delegated, as in citizens vote wielded more power through elected individuals then issues. The strongest democratic element were the ephors which was the most powerful body of government but limited to one year of service. Their two hereditary kings was another body in check, mostly in their role's as commanders in chief, yet the citizen body could chose which king should wield the command etc.
In short the Spartan voters could influence government through voting but they were excluded from participating in it and often their choice were to chose the lesser evil which is such a familiar concept of modern "democracy".

Last edited by Yezdigerd; July 4th, 2018 at 06:47 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2018, 11:24 AM   #17

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Wrong. Such a direct corporation/company rule does not exist in most EU countries, where the political parties are enough rich, that they don't care much about the external financial support, because mostly the states finance the budget of political parties. It is the only way to preserve democracy and avoid the company-ocracy and firm-ocracy of the USA.
The real difference between US and Europe (and what that would be actually: Netherlands or Hungary, Spain or Sweden ??) it's mainly visibility: the private support in US is mostly visible, not hidden, like in Europe.

Although theoretically the European financing model is "cleaner", in fact often isn't. You can go from the illicit relationships between Szarkozy and big French fortunes trough the troubling relationships of Orban and Hungarian magnates to the Romanian or Belgian politician-business men.

We might be proud of our model, but honestly, as much I don't appreciate aspects of the American model, we aren't in any way in the position to lecture them.
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Old July 4th, 2018, 11:36 AM   #18
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The real difference between US and Europe (and what that would be actually: Netherlands or Hungary, Spain or Sweden ??) it's mainly visibility: the private support in US is mostly visible, not hidden, like in Europe.

Although theoretically the European financing model is "cleaner", in fact often isn't. You can go from the illicit relationships between Szarkozy and big French fortunes trough the troubling relationships of Orban and Hungarian magnates to the Romanian or Belgian politician-business men.

We might be proud of our model, but honestly, as much I don't appreciate aspects of the American model, we aren't in any way in the position to lecture them.
But even theoretically, there is no other way for cleaner politics to avoid the corporatio-cracy, just the state support for parties, where the parties are enough rich to make self-financed nation-wide campaigns for themselves and for their candidates during the election campaign.

Last edited by janossyjanos; July 4th, 2018 at 12:32 PM.
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Old July 4th, 2018, 12:44 PM   #19

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But even theoretically, there is no other way for cleaner politics to avoid the corporatio-cracy, just the state support for parties, where the parties are enough rich to make self-financed nation-wide campaigns for themselves and for their candidates during the election campaign.
Be it theoretically or practically, it's easier to fight back a dangerous oligarchy that is visible than one that it's hidden.
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Old July 4th, 2018, 02:45 PM   #20
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Be it theoretically or practically, it's easier to fight back a dangerous oligarchy that is visible than one that it's hidden.
The US has a long history of powerful interests influencing US elections at all levels. It comes in at least two forms: moneyed business interests and political bosses and machines. A third might be well funded special interests outside of business and machine politics (Right to Life for example). As you mention, there's nothing secret about these influences. They have waxed and wained since the slavery debates. The worst were the machines because they controlled voters and voting directly. Cities with large immigrant populations were most likely to be controlled by machines. Their influence has declined. The last major instance was in 1960 when Kennedy carried Illinois with the help of dead people in Chicago.

You could argue that political parties themselves are the negative outgrowths of the US and other political systems. The Constitution makes no mention of them and the founders opposed them. They have been ruled private organizations by the courts. I will say that they are open in the US. You simply register to vote by declaring your affiliation. This allows voting in party primary elections where candidates are chosen. One can also register as an independent and still vote in the general elections without party affiliation. But you will usually have to choose one of the two major party candidates if your vote is to count for much.

Perhaps we should not call these democracies. Maybe we should just call them political systems. Absolute monarchies and dictatorships don't really have political systems. Political systems seem inevitable in so called democracies. I have to agree with Churchill and paraphrase: Political systems are a lousy way to run a country, but better than then the realistic alternatives. Ultimately the voter has a secret ballot and a choice. Banker JP Morgan and his powerful friends did everything they could to prevent Theodor Roosevelt from winning the 1904 election. Roosevelt won by a landslide.

Last edited by stevev; July 4th, 2018 at 02:51 PM.
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