Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Revisiting Democracy - Real Democracy

I have received a few comments and not a few e-mails (I mailed my prayer for our country to a lot of non-blogging friends who don't realize that I would prefer their words in the comments) about this post.Most of the comments I have gotten tend towards "Well, that's a great idea but it will never happen." Or "You have your priorities wrong, we need to get the two parties to work together more."

I truly fear it will never happen. It won't happen because we the people won't make it happen. We won't demand it as we should. Understand that if it doesn't happen it is our faults. The republicrats won't make it happen, don't want it to happen. That would make them accountable to us. They do not want to be accountable to us. They want to make the money, live the life given them by the lobbyists who court them. If they were to actually clean up Washington and kick out the lobbyists they would lose out. The only way we will get change is to demand it. It may be possible to make our representatives represent us regardless of their party affiliation but in the end that will break down the party system. The party ceases to be relevant - eventually ceases to exist if the members don't follow the party line most of the time. The lobbyist cease to be relevant if we demand our politicians be accountable to us. That means that all the corporate donations to political races dry up - leveling the playing field.

We will not get the parties we have now to talk. The closest we get, the best we get is when we have a congress in opposition to the president. A lot of lefties I know talk about how much better the economy was, how we gained a surplus in budget under the democrats. This is because it was close - in congress the parties had to work together - if they didn't legislation didn't get to the oval office. But things weren't as good as they could be - if they were the neo-cons would never have gained power. Sure there are a lot of reasons aside from that that got them there but it never would have happened if the nation wasn't so polarized. Now I do not honestly believe that people in this country are truly that far apart - I know a lot of people who agree with me more than they disagree on various issues yet they still voted republican. I also know a few who just refused to vote for president because they didn't like any of the candidates. I voted for Kerry - I regret that, and not because he took the state I lived in at the time with a comfortable margin. I regret it because he had no stance, no policy, no bloody plan. He is a democrat and that is where his loyalty lies. I was voting against bush and that is not democracy.

Democracy is voting for someone who in most things believes what you believe, supports policies that you support. Voting for someone who's policies aren't as bad as the other guy will never get you the country you want to live in. Voting for the party that generally isn't quite as bad as the "other" choice still gets you a country that's hard to put yourself behind.

I love America, land of the free, home of the brave - the greatest nation in the world. I do not love bush's vision of America, I did not love Clinton's vision of America. This country needs to change with the times, I won't argue it doesn't - but what should those changes be? Should we leave those changes to a select few who decide what agenda the party will push? Should we continue to let corporations guide the helm of government? Or should we the people decide our own fates, as the founders intended?

Upcoming midterm congressional elections put us at a cross roads. Those elections are anyone's game - a lot of seats are going to shift. Who are we going to put into this power vacuum and are we going to demand their accountability? We have to tell the people we are voting for why we are. We need to tell the candidates what we want from them and make sure they give it to us - if they don't we need to tell them to leave and get someone who will. We need to stop voting for a party and vote for people. We need to take our nation back - and keep it.

If you would like to make a comment please click on "comments" and leave it there - I love e-mail but I prefer others see the comments and have an oppertunity to reply if they wish.

1 comment:

beth said...

I agree that ideally we would be voting for people and not political parties. As you pointed out, we are indeed a polarized nation. I'm not sure that it is only because of the two party system, though. The media controls the information we receive and how we perceive things, too.

Bottom line, when we vote, we are not voting for a person to vote based on what we want them to do on every issue. When they represent us, that doesn't mean they do exactly whatever we tell them to do. They should take our opinion into account, but truly they are privvy to much more information than we are, and so we need to have some blind trust that the person we sent to represent us will do the right thing, whether we see it as such from our not fully informed view.

I would like to see the lobbyist groups taken away. They are impeding true democracy, or at least tipping the balance to the extremes. On that point I will agree with you, something needs to be done to regulate that part of the process.