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A time and place for everything

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by dong, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. dong

    dong New Member

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    A nebulous question:

    Do you think there is such thing as a single ideal government, or does this depend on context?

    From this, do you think that the principles and practice of democracy is on a decline in Australia and the US, and will there be a time when it is no longer suitable to call the systems of government in these countries a democratic one- i.e. one where the voice of the people are purportedly heard and accounted for?

    If yes, is there any recommendations or anything that people would like done about this?

    Take out your crystal balls ladies and gentlemen...
     
  2. Brandon

    Brandon New Member

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    In my opinion, the majority of the people of a democracy have more freedom at the beginning than any other point in time. Granted, blacks are freer now than 100 years ago but I am talking about the majority.

    As soon as the legislative part of government start imposing laws, it's the beginning of the end. They first start with "common sense" laws but as time passes the laws become more authoritarian in nature. Democracies can turn on a dime. Just look at Germany prior to the nazi's. The people "thought" they were free and then they werent.

    Democracies are only as good as the people want them to be. If citizens of a Democracy want to make it prosper, they have to watch it closely and make sure it doesn't turn on them.
     
  3. dong

    dong New Member

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    Ah yes, good points. Many people (well Australians anyway) have been noticing the recent changes in the face of Australian politics, the relavant points to this thread I guess can be summed up as follows:
    1. Australian's bi-partisan system had essentially become a kind of checks-and-balance system in that one major party controlled the federal parliament, and the senate majority belonged to the other major party, so that legislative progress was very slow, even though both parties were almost exactly the same.
    2. Also, in a general sense, I'm not sure whether it's just me or whether the practice of politics itself has been dropping further away from the ideal, or whether we are as a whole becoming more aware of the discrepancy between using socially oriented tactics (scandal and dirt digging) as leverage as opposed to actual policy debate. Isn't government meant to be about running a country?
    3. As of the last major elections, incumbent John Howard's coalition secured a majority in both the federal parliament and senate, which was an indication that they could steamroll legislation through. John Howard promised this would not be the case but common experience with his previous 2 terms in government is that he simply lies when it suits him. It was no surprise when he attempted to force draconian security measures and foreign policy through both houses. This in itself was noted as a shining example of the decline of democracy, so I suppose that my question is that is this indicative of a larger trend.
    4. More tellingly, I'm not sure just how much people care. On one hand, people as a whole only care about money in their pockets and because they do not keep a close eye on the bigger picture, it is usually strategic last-minute temporary fiscal plays that allow John Howard back into government despite the fact that the people have been played for fools multiple times (GST and the children-overboard to name two...) and on the other, the people that do appear to care form a scraggly group of ineffectual protesting voices whom I suspect are more in it for the sake of fulfilling some personal dream of activism i.e. it's an ineffectual state of democratic process.
    5. Add to this that the current climate is such that we must ask the question, as I believe applied in the US in 2004- whether we must stick with the evil we know, or the imcompetence we don't know. "We must choose between a turd sandwich and a douche-bag."
    The picture this gives me is one where while our freedoms are emphasised more than ever, we are approaching a self-perpetuating cycle of locking ourselves into an ever deepening rut. People being the way they are, I do not think that this century will pass without some kind of seriously major revolutionary social shift or collapse, but that's wild speculation.
     
  4. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Any one given government is only as good as the people running it. And for that matter the people conducting checks and measures on that government’s power. A government can work flawlessly for centuries, and then with one bad decision and/or tyrannical leader go to hell.
    I don’t think that one form of government is better than another per say, it just all depends on how the government is being run.
     
  5. dong

    dong New Member

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    With that comes the idea that all castles crumble with time- give a man a bit and he'll take a lot.

    That is to say that the idea of having an election term is so that the government doesn't become embedded and the people running it become arrogant and self-serving. Such are the circumstances that this is precisely what is happening today. However, I would also pose the question as to whether there is a certain half-life to any form of government not entirely dependent on circumstances. I take the current circumstances and interacting factors surrounding our current 'decline of democracy' as an example. Such is the way of people that no government can last for that long (the actual timeframe I'm not going to suggest).

    I'd also suggest that some forms of government are actually better than others in different contexts. When an economy goes to crap and a crisis situation emerges, one would probably endorse unilateral action and take the associated risks because otherwise there is little chance that the country will escape total insolvency.
     
  6. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    Hi Sarah....

    i tend to agree with you. I do think demorcratic governments do tend to be better but I think it is very easy for them to become corrupt and run by special interests and ignore the common good (as is the case in the US and Australia) I am not sure what the solution is except a more active and attentive population in order to provide cheaks and balences.

    peace

    -Todd

     
  7. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    When you boil it all down, a more attentive population would not allow government to run amuck.
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Any government system can become corrupt- if it is run by people.

    Sarah, that pretty much summarises the whole problem. I don't see people in general caring enough anymore, perhaps because we are so wrapped up in the "me" revolution (the perversion of individualism and libertarian freedom), and because the world seems so damn huge that one person doesn't seem to count anymore.
     
  9. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Therein lies the problem... so many people just don't feel that they have any power over government that they just choose to steer clear of all things political. We need to snap the public out of this way of thinking, or nothing will ever change. It really is a sorry state of affairs.
     
  10. dong

    dong New Member

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    I'm writing a satirical tragedy on this actually. The sad part re: the project is that I will probably finish it only after the smoke has settled in the real world. So much for pulling an Orwell :p
     
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