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The grassroots democracy that poemless refers to does not seem to exist in the actual electoral politics of the US. One has a choice between two candidates to "represent" you. If neither is to your taste, the answer is too bad; you should have fought harder in the selection of the candidates. The result is the left wing has been basically destroyed. The left wing is so far removed from American life that it looks like most people do not even know what left wing means. The electoral contest between David Duke and Edwin Edwards get to the heart of what American politics are about. There is no way being forced to choose between these two is in any way democratic.

The smaller the political arena the more power there is in the US system. So yes it may be possible to get, for example, greens elected to city council, but here too an effective take over of the political process is required. So some times it is one group that is frozen out of the political process, and some times it is another group that is frozen out. I don't think I would use Richard J. Daley and his 21 year reign, eventually followed by his son and his potentially longer reign as an example of Democracy in action. It reminds me more of Monarchy and the battles in trying to reign in the Monarchy.

That anyone can run to represent a party means that it is a popularity contest - a money contest - a corruption contest, but not a political contest. It would be easier for an individual to run for the Democratic nomination in the US over me running for party nomination in Canada. I can get a government much closer to my views with Canadian parities than US parties because there is the ability for like minded people to band together and put forward their ideas instead of being atomised and pitted against the majority. (And I haven't mentioned the effects of gerrymandering.)

Even though the Canadian system is basically broken as all first past the post systems are, it is still true that I have, on election night, a much greater chance of having a representative that actually shares some of my values than I would in the US.

The US system is not democratic, but rather it has elements of democracy. In particular it is a tyranny of the majority.


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 06:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So basically, the Canadian system is as broken as the US' system, but Canada's system is better. Got it.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 06:55:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No - not all first past the post systems are equal. The US has an extreme version of first past the post.

The ability of new political parties to form and to share power in all levels of government shows the difference between the two countries.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 07:08:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That I'll agree with. I still see the same sort of pro-business, anti-environmental decisions coming out the Canadian system, though. The medical system is an enormous plus.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 07:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My feeling is that in some ways the pro business policies of Canada are worse than in the US. Look at how we are selling our resources to the United States. Look at how deep the inroads US companies have made in Canada.

While the US is beholden to US multinationals, Canada is beholden to US multinationals too.


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 07:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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