Grammy Kudos
Sunday February 10th 2008, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Jazz Ears

Quite a few of my friends won Grammys today during the pre-telecast. Congratulations to:


Democracy?
Thursday February 07th 2008, 5:56 am
Filed under: Hmmm....

If you thought, as I did, that we live in a real democracy, think again.

Democracy is defined as “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” Also “a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.”

Well, we have elected officials but I wonder if the elections are fair and I have serious doubts as to whether most of the officials are representing the wishes and beliefs of their constituents. As for equity of rights and privileges, forget it. Have you heard of super delegates?

“Superdelegates were first appointed in the 1970s, after control of the nomination process in the Democratic Party effectively moved out of the hands of party officials into the primary and caucus process. The aim was to grant some say in the process to people who had been playing roles in the party before the election year.” — Wikipedia

Their ranks include Clinton, Carter, Mondale and Gore. Also Hillary and Obama (guess they’ll cancel each other out) with senators Daschle and Kennedy, Kerry, Feinstein and Schumer to name just a few, lots of House Representatives (wonder whether they will represent our houses or be beholden to their own backroom deals and debts) and DNC committee members too. Bottom line is that it’s not up to US.

Richard L. Hasen, in an article for Slate.com explains Whatever Happened to “One Person, One Vote”? Why the crazy caucus and primary rules are legal.

“The reason for the different treatment is the hybrid nature of our electoral system. Party primaries and caucuses have elements that are public (the state often pays to run them, and they lead to choices on the public general election ballot) and elements that are private (political parties are not government entities, they are private associations). Private associations have a First Amendment right to exclude those who disagree with them, and to structure their internal affairs as they see fit. Presidential primaries straddle this public-private divide because presidential nominations are ultimately made at party-run conventions.”

(Here are the Democratic National Committee’s Delegate Selection Rules)

I haven’t looked into the machinations of the other parties. In fact, I am basically against the party system as it seems to prevent our elected officials from voting on the merits of the individual issues at hand. I’m sure there was good reason for the party system way back when, but the benefits have been lost amidst the layers of wheeling, dealing, and debt.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t know of another country that does it any better, and many that do a lot worse. Still, our system seems to be seriously broken. What are YOU WE going to do about it?