Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Friday, May 01, 2015

GOP House Leaders Create ‘Action Group’ To Seize And Sell America’s Public Lands

A group of Republican congressmen this week took an aggressive step in a campaign to seize and sell off America’s national forests and other public lands.

In launching what they are calling the “Federal Land Action Group,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) plan to develop a legislative framework for giving states control of America’s public lands. Calling the federal government a “lousy landlord for western states,” Rep. Stewart said “we simply think the states can do it better.”

In Defense of Hillary Clinton, Democrats Embrace Citizens United Decision

Less than three weeks into her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has already accomplished a stunning feat: She appears to have unified large swaths of the Democratic Party and its activist base to support the core tenets of the Citizens United decision—the one that effectively allowed unlimited money into politics.

That 2010 Supreme Court ruling declared that, unless there is an explicit quid pro quo, the fact that major campaign donors “may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that these officials are corrupt.” The theory is that as long as a donor and a politician do not agree to an overt bribe, everything is A-OK.

Church Of England Divests Oilsands, Coal Investments

Oilsands companies shouldn't expect a blessing from the Church of England.

Concerns over climate change have prompted the church to divest itself of approximately $22 million (£12 million) in oilsands and thermal coal investments, it said in a Thursday news release.

It will also no longer invest in companies that obtain more than 10 per cent of their revenue from these industries.

The Duffy trial isn’t about ‘common sense’ — it’s about the law

The prosecution of suspended senator Mike Duffy should by now have everyone choking on their coffee.

One of the prosecutors, Mark Holmes, said that he didn’t want Duffy judged on a legalistic interpretation of opaque Senate rules and policies, but rather on the basis of “common sense”.

I wonder if the RCMP investigation would have been acceptable to the Crown had it been based on “common sense” rather than, say, the letter of the law? Who knows? Perhaps it was.

Opposition mounts against ‘wasteful’ Conservative government ads

OTTAWA — Happy-looking families, soccer-playing children and friendly neighbours are a staple of prime time television these days as the Conservative government churns out post-budget advertising spots with the use of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it’s needed to make the public aware of Ottawa’s programs. But the government ad blitzes, which have cost an estimated $750 million since Harper took power, are fuelling an increasingly fierce pushback from those who see the messaging as too pro-Conservative.