Thursday, March 3, 2011


Not the political party, but the democratic governmental process. Democracy has been around since ancient times. It evolves as societies become more sophisticated. Equality of access is the main principle. All citizens, regardless of gender, religion, social/financial status or any other factor, must participate in the political process. That ranges from being elected, appointed, assisting persons in political office, donating money, and volunteering time for campaigns or specific issues. The most important aspect is one person one vote without interference from anyone (being told how to cast a vote), also known as a free and fair election. Corruption cannot be tolerated at any level. Also, corporations should not be permitted to donate to campaigns.

Women must be a part of the process. They are generally about half the population and should hold half the elected and appointed positions. Unfortunately, few governments have attained parity. Women are not perfect, they will make mistakes but at least gender balance will help all the citizens of the country. It is imperative to have a representation of the population, based on the demographics. When one group of people consider themselves to be superior for any reason it will result in harm. The civil unrest in the Middle East is a current example. America had the Civil War because some people thought that they had the right to own other humans. No one is superior. Humans are flawed, every single person. Period. End of discussion.

I prefer the Parliamentary style of democracy. Coalition building is preferable to a two-party system. Plus, if confidence is lost in the Prime Minister/President a new election will be held within a few months. However, the House of Lords/Senate should be elected not appointed or inherited by heredity. Ability to lead is not a genetic trait. I am surprised that monarchies still exist in the 21st century.

Tolerance of all people is essential. Democracies must not be based on religion. The political process must be secular. Even if every single citizen practices the same faith, there are different interpretations and no one should be forced to follow what they don’t believe. America is moving towards pluralism, though the struggle has been unpleasent. It would have been beter if we started with pluralism.

Equality of access regardless of one’s religion (or non-religion) is essential. If you think that one religion is better than another, you are making the foolish mistake of superiority. Remember, no religious doctrine/practice is superior. Every religion has a right to exist, but not crowd out alternatives. Religion must not be used as an excuse for causing harm to others. Period. End of discussion.

Democracy isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than many other types of governance or anarchy. Every citizen must participate to make it work. I wish for true democracy in the countries undergoing transition right now … Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc … best wishes to them all!
© 2011

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