Sri Sehkment’s Theme Music:
|Nader Sparks Debate about Direct Democracy|
“People are dropping out of democracy. That’s a very dangerous trend. The voting level is going down. But even more than that, you have people say, “I’m not turned on to politics.” Well, history shows that if you’re not turned on to politics, politics is going to turn on you. And the political system, under the corporate domination, is closing out the civil society. Citizen groups can’t get anything done anymore. It’s very hard to get a chance to have a chance in Congress before the regulatory agencies or the courts. It’s like a permanent government in Washington.” ?Ralph Nader http://www.ontheissues.org/Ralph_Nader.htm “I mean, first of all, if [the Democratic presidential candidates] wanted to [end the influence of special interests] they’d put front and center public funding of public campaigns. They put front and center cracking down on corporate crime fraud and abuse. They would put front and center empowering the American people in direct democracy format so they can move in when they’re so-called representatives cave in to the interests of big business.” ? Ralph Nader http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0802/25/ltm.03.html While Nader refers to our need for direct democracy in the US, some see it as an advancement of his personal political agenda. For example, the article “Democracy? Count Me Out” by Stephen Gowans argues that Nader and other politicians just want to change the rules when they are losing in order to slant the playing field in their favor. According to Gowans, this explains Nader’s attempt to give the people more power while he is actually hoping to give “enlightened” people more power. Citing Richard Swift’s work as an example, Gowans goes on to argue that people who advocate direct democracy might be surprised by the effects of expanding democracy’s scope, such as a majority that disagrees with their own political initiatives. Taking this perspective, both the ’non-authoritarian’ Left and the right-wing policy makers in Washington nowadays are equally “happy to exploit the rhetoric of democracy, as a useful way to distinguish themselves favourably from authoritarian regimes”. While equating these two extremes is a bit of an exaggeration, Gowans does have a point about the type of rhetoric being used in politics today.However, if we step back from the debate about presidential candidates to see what citizens are saying about direct democracy, a different thesis appears. In a recent online debate which included several particpants of the Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement (WDDM), it became apparent that in order to effectively advocate true direct democracy, we cannot be satisfied with mere stopgap participatory responses to problems that can only be addressed through a new system of comprehensive and total participation. Instead of altering the playing field slightly to make it more favorable for one team or the other, or even in favor of the referee, we should be pushing for a new field all together on which we are all players and referees. – Editor
So there’s that. More importantly:
Looky looky! It’s my favorite Law student’s favorite dormatory toxin! Dancin’ DDVP!
Oh, you’ll be seeing more of this carefree little feller! Just watch this space for ribald tales of animated symbolsets, sassy semantic trickery and tender coming-of-age-at-gunpoint-multiple-times-until-the-bloodloss-mercifully-allowed-repreive stories!