Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
And BTW, I see and hear of and participate in a lot more grassroots democracy here in America than I ever even see reported on ET.  I was at an informal pot luck Monday night with a group of candidates who recently ran for Chicago city council as reformers and independents (a.k.a. democrats against Mayor Daley), some of whom won, some of whom were in run-offs, some of whom lost, all of whom helped give Daley his biggest defeat (losing a significant number of allies in city council) and all of whom did it with only the support of grassroots (DFA) and organized labor.  It was pure democracy in action.  And even with those who lost, everyone was excited and empowered and ready for the next election.  It was the kind of thing our founders envisioned.  

I just don't hear many such stories here on ET.  There was someone (Detlef?) who ran for a local seat and won.  There have been policy papers written, LTE's etc, but I don't see much participation in direct democracy, in the process itself.  Not like you see at MyDD or Daily Kos, where people are actively doing organizing, field work, running for things themselves.  In America the process is broken -campaign finance & media consolidation being the culprits- but people are actively trying to fix it, to improve it, to do something besides complain about it.  And while there is a long way to go, the tide is turning.  You can bitch about the end product being the same, that the new dems are no better than the old GOPers -we do too!- but the process is undergoing a change.  There are places in this country which have had no progressive political organization for 35 years or more.  That's going to take a long time to change, but it is being changed.  People all over are being educated on how to run campaign, new media outlets are popping up and gaining influence and attention, candidates are starting to pander to activists instead of just to millionaires, at the local level seats are being challenged for the 1st time in decades, and if they aren't won, they have the effect of making incumbents defend their records.  I'd invite you to come spend a week in my shoes and still tell me democracy is dead in America.  It's not dead in my America.  Yet.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 01:13:28 PM EST
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