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Thread: Do we need a different kind of politics?

  1. #1

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    Do we need a different kind of politics?

    I can't help thinking that we likely need some new form of politics.

    Like in the USA we have grid lock and to be frank the political elections there go on for over a year meaning not much is done for the country during that time. Also there is a total lack of compromise between political parties.

    Then we do seem to have career politicians in that there are many that make a full time living from it. Many also have no practical knowledge of the departments they run.

    Then the media seem to be fixated on giving us the two opposing parties to comment on any situation and you know before they start talking that one side will always disagree with the other side.

    The other problem I see these days is that you need lots of money to run for political office. That means only the wealthy can run for office. I can't help but wonder if Abraham Lincoln could ever have been President of the USA in todays world.

    Then if you look at where the world is right now you can see that politicians are not doing their best for the constituency but rather always looking for where the votes will come from. Like we can now see that all countries should have been spending less and being more frugal with our money. That's our politicians to blame for this. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made but that normally means people will be displeased with them for doing that and so these decisions are not being made.

    Then of course the whole banking crisis is showing just how corrupt our banks have become. What were our politicians doing to allow that to happen. I might add that they didn't allow that to happen in Canada and that was a political decision so it shows how politicians could do the right thing but didn't.

    And now we find that the European countries are perfectly prepared to suffer high unemployment to try to fix the problem. There really doesn't seem to be any creative thinking from them to fix this issue. So what use are they?

    We find that many major companies are right now cash rich. So there they are sitting on a pile of cash just getting richer. We all are responsible for this as through our pension plans and investment plans we look for maximum returns and by doing that we encourage companies to make the maximum return for as little cost as possible. All that means is more unemployment.

    I can't help but think that we need to make our politicians more accountable. We elect them to represent us yet they spend most of their time in the Capital and so quickly get out of touch with their local constituency. Perhaps it's time we had an annual poll which asks if we are happy with our local politician and if more say no then they have to go into a re-election process. Why should we allow them to serve four or five years before we get a chance to vote them back in or out of office. And do we really need political parties? How about if all of them ran as independents and thus to get elected they have to show how they intend to support their constituents.

    Then I hit a situation locally here in Chatham where I admit to voting Conservative. However I don't like the local Conservative MP as I don't believe he is doing much at all for the local area. However I don't have a choice on my vote as if I still want to vote a Conservative agenda then I have to vote for him and I don't want to vote for him. So will that mean next time I'll vote Liberal just to get him out of office?

    I don't have any solutions right now but believe we need to seek a better way forward.

    Like in some respects I might be a communist. I keep seeing very high unemployment for young people... like in Spain it's over 50%. That's just terrible.

    I believe we are all too greedy and want things we really can't afford but run up huge credit card bills to get them anyway. So if we want to bring down unemployment there might be a case for actually reducing an individuals pay so that more people can be retained or employed by the company. Like with some companies making billions in profit why can't they instead make less billions but employ more people? The oil companies, banks, Internet companies are all making obscene amounts of money. Yet if you try to contact Google or Microsoft you simply can't. You can only go through their forums to talk to them. They simply don't make it easy to talk to them direct.

    And so why can't our local MP, Senator or Congressman have regular meetings with the major and minor players in their area to explore how they might all work together to reduce unemployment? The he or she might then talk to more people in the area to explore possibilities with them. How flexible might the local population be to thoughts and ideas on working towards full employment?

    Then look at our infrastructure which is failing all over the world and compare that to the many unemployed people. Is there some way to get the unemployed working on fixing these issues? I mean any infrastructure project needs all kinds of skill sets from admin to labour.

    The we might look afresh at China where they don't have democracy but by all accounts have done very well indeed and from what I see the people on the whole support them although there are certainly cases where they don't. However is there something we can learn from their political situation?

    Look where we've come over the past 100 years. Back then there really wasn't that much to spend your money on as we didn't have cars, computers, phones and even all these large houses to purchase. We didn't even get much in the way of holidays.

    Now both parents have to work to pay the mortgage.

    So I just think there needs to be a total rethink on how our political system is run and how we can get more involved in the process.

    Any thought on how we might change things for the better?

    Alastair

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  3. #2

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    Unfortunately I do not believe that a country with a two party system can ever be truly democratic. The Unites States in the past 30 years has appeared to function more like an oligarchy with two competing interest groups taking turns in power for varying periods of time. The regular citizen, peforming most of the work and paying the lion's share of the taxes has no one representing his or her interests.

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    So have you any thoughts on how we could improve the system?

    Alastair

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

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    Unfortunately after observing people for over a half century, I think we need to evolve more. When I was a young man I used to jump at the chance to read the newest article published on Jane Goodall observations of Chimpanzee group dynamics.

    Now in restropect, I sometimes supect that human beings, while externally very different from chimpanzees, aren't different enough, in terms of behavior. Taken as a whole, we appear to have all their vices without having all their virtues.

    In the United States politics has a lot in common with two competing bands of Chimpanzees. There is fighting, dishonesty, theft, physical and sexual misconduct of all kinds; no capability to look beyound each individual's immediate self interests, to address some long term greater good.

    The Unites States Treasury and worker earning potentials are looked upon as a pair of bottomless paps that can be nursed upon at will by some (but not the rest) and there does not appear to be any consequences for elected officials or corporate types who take too much for personal benefit.

    I see humans as having two natures, a physical/animal nature and a spiritual nature. Unfortunately, for too many, the animal nature in them is fat and sassy while the spiritual nature is stunted and starving.

    Politics it seems, is the realm of feeding the animal nature.
    Last edited by miolchu; 21st July 2012 at 03:37.

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    I was sure the SDA had a paper on this and while I still haven't found it I did find this which is quite thought provoking...

    Why is the electorate not voting?

    In a recent by-election, turnout was just over 30%. Why so low? How can we get more people to vote?

    * Has the parliamentary system adapted to society as it is today? Our system was built up in the industrial era, at a time of limited education and at a time of rigid traditional bonds of place, class, and institutional social structures. Today's better educated, more affluent. and socially flexible population expects greater control and choice over the many aspects of their lives than today's politics provide. The people have moved on, but the system has stagnated.

    * Has the Prime Minister become a President in all but title? Many people feel that the processes of our democracy do not offer them enough influence over political decisions -- this includes members of the main parties, who feel they have no say in policy-making, and are increasingly disaffected. Power has been removed from Parliament and from ministers. The Cabinet in London has been stripped of executive power. The Prime Minister has made himself into an unelected president. Anyone who steps out of line is either sacked or sent to the House of Lords and the Prime Minister hands power over to Brussels without Parliament or the people having any say in the matter.

    * Why are our elected representatives held in low esteem and widely distrusted? The main political parties are considered to be too similiar and lacking in principle. The electoral system is seen as leading to unequal and wasted votes. Voting procedures are regarded by some as inconveneint and unattractive.

    The present system of government is divided into five tiers. Four tiers, each with varying degrees of decision-making authority - represented by MEPs, MPs, MSPs and Local Councillors, and one tier with no decision-making authority - represented by Community Councillors. The system is cumbersome, excessively administrative, costly and therefore highly inefficient.

    Scottish parliamentry elections use a type of proportional representation called the Additional Member System (AMS). AMS is a hybrid system which combines "first past the post" (constituency seats) with an element of "proportional representation" (regional seats). This means that the number of seats allocated to parties and individuals in the Scottish Parliament seeks to reflect their share of the overall votes cast. The overall system is complicated, confusing to many, and could result in one party (such as Labour) having a majority of MSPs but a minority of the total votes cast.

    Scottish local government elections use a single transferable vote system (STV) of preferential voting, providing proportional representation within a multi-seat ward system. The STV system is designed to minimize "wasted" votes while ensuring that votes are expressed for individual candidates rather than for party lists. The combination of the different national and local voting systems has created much confusion, contributing to the disenfranchising of many voters.

    Some 72% of new regulations in 2009 were imposed on the Scottish people by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. The Lisbon Treaty effectively gives, undemocratically, sovereign authority of the United Kingdom over to Brussels. There is very little accountability within the present system, at any level.

    In Scotland, over 55% of the currently available workforce is directly or indirectly employed by the state, and generates no wealth. With an ageing population the wealth generating private sector is struggling to pay for the expanding public sector. This is an unsustainable situation. The remedy is to reduce the proportion of directly and indirectly employed civil servants in the working population. This would allow the private sector to grow sufficiently to provide the additional tax revenues required, to provide a well funded social support structure, and to grow the economic sphere and improve the availability of jobs and higher wages.

    We invite comments on these statements to assist us to formulate proposals for an improved quality of Democratic Government in Scotland.

    Alastair

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  10. #6

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    From what I have seen over the years, the party system is not working as it should. As a first step I would propose the formation of the "UNPARTY" which has the sole objective of representing their electorate only and not to respond to any chief. Different voting blocs can be formed on an ad hoc basis as needed, and if they can get support from any other group then so be it.

    Cheers,

    Hugh

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    Kind of like the idea of all Politicians being an Independent.

    Alastair

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    The Founding Fathers objected strongly to the possibility of parties and called them factions arguing the push to promote policy would be harmful to unity. In the Federalist Papers, James Madison stated, ' The public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties ..'.

    Independents would be the way to go but the first priority would be to remove the source of all evil - MONEY - and go with public financing.

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    Being a bit of a Sci-Fi guy I've often wondered in this interconnected world whether we should give everyone a basic pay package. That would let people have a roof over their heads, enough for a basic car, one TV, one computer with Internet access, enough to eat and to pay for the basic utilities. This would also include basic health care and prescriptions. In return everyone has to work and hence no unemployment and thus avoid huge costs of administrating social security, etc. I also think that all education should be free including University education. And I would also budget in a basic cash package where everyone would get a certain sum of money for a few luxuries.

    Then should you wish to run a large business or earn more then you have to pay something like 45% tax on all earnings with a very simple tax system and earnings over $1 million would be taxed at 75%.

    In actual fact I kind of liked the VAT concept as that way you pay tax on what you purchase. Food, books, children's clothes would be free of all taxes.

    But I would stress that everyone then needs to contribute to society so if they don't have employment then they would need to be given a job by the government along the lines of their experience and skill set. That would also ensure that everyone had a job and fix the youth unemployment issues. And surely if everyone then had work a lot of crime would go well down.

    Alastair

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    Re: Do we need a different kind of politics?

    I found the following online a little bit ago. I don't know anything about the original poster, but I suspect the poster to be a male, Caucasian citizen of the United States who votes for the elephant party rather than the donkey party. The politics are not mine, but I enjoyed the post anyway.


    Depressed


    Over five thousand years ago Moses said to the children of Israel, “pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you into the Promised Land.”

    Nearly 75 years ago (when welfare was introduced), Roosevelt said “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses and light up a camel, this is the Promised Land.”

    Today, Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of camels and mortgaged the Promised land.

    I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care, the economy, wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security and retirement funds that I called a suicide hotline. I had to press 1 for English. I was routed to a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal. They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck…


    Folks, we are screwed!
    Last edited by miolchu; 25th July 2012 at 20:27.

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