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, March 18, 2016

Fairness of TPP Hearings Questioned by Activists

Groups concerned about the impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement say they're only hearing last minute when stakeholder consultations about the pact will be held, preventing them from meaningfully airing their opinions.

Sujata Dey of the Council of Canadians said she believes the federal government isn't interested in hearing the public's concerns about the 12-nation corporate rights pact, despite commitments to consult with Canadians.

"This idea of this open consultation seems to be a bit of a smoke screen," Dey said. "It doesn't seem like the Liberals are living up to their promises."

Lukewarm support for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, Forum poll shows

OTTAWA—Support for Thomas Mulcair appears tepid as the NDP leader heads toward a difficult vote on his leadership next month, according to a new Forum Research poll.

The March 15 poll found that 35 per cent of those surveyed approve of Mulcair’s job as NDP leader, essentially unchanged from a month before. But his support among the small group of NDP partisans interviewed by Forum fell to 67 per cent, down from 74 per cent in February.

No progress made on public sector bargaining as Liberals ape Conservatives' stance

Canada's largest public service union is warning of another era of emaciated civil service systems following a second round of unsuccessful contract negotiations under the Liberal government.

Five bargaining units from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), representing nearly 100,000 civil servants, met with teams from the Treasury Board in Ottawa last week to discuss new contracts.

David Cameron’s Plan To Use Navy Vessels Near Libyan Coast To Deter Migrants Labelled ‘Outrageous’

David Cameron wants to deploy Royal Navy vessels close to the coast of Libya to deter thousands of migrants from embarking on the perilous sea journey to Europe this summer in a plan that has been labelled “outrageous”.

The Prime Minister told European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels that he is extending the deployment of HMS Enterprise on anti-trafficking operations in the central Mediterranean at least until the summer. He also wants to see the mission expanded into Libyan territorial waters to enhance its deterrent effect.

Chelsea Manning: government anti-leak program a 'blank check for surveillance'

Thousands of US government employees under permanent surveillance are being investigated for signs of “greed”, “ego”, money worries, disgruntlement or other flaws in the hope of intercepting the next big official leak, according to a document obtained by Chelsea Manning.

The extent of the government’s internal surveillance system designed to prevent massive leaks of the sort linked to WikiLeaks and the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is revealed in the document, published here by the Guardian for the first time. The US soldier, who is serving 35 years in military prison as the source of the 2010 WikiLeaks disclosure of secret state documents, requested her own intelligence file under freedom of information laws.

Ted Cruz’s New Foreign Policy Team Makes Him as Extreme as Donald Trump

GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz has unveiled a foreign policy team full of conspiracy theorists and arch-neoconservatives who support policies just as belligerent as those of Donald Trump. While Cruz has been supported by some Republican figures (most recently Senator Lindsay Graham) who consider him a relatively moderate alternative to Trump, the foreign policy advisors he has assembled show him to be running as an extremist.

The Disturbing Reason Why Charter Schools May Have Higher Test Scores

Last September, Gene Demby, a writer with NPR's Code Switch team, penned an essay mourning the loss of public schools in his native Philadelphia. The elementary and middle schools he'd attended as a kid had closed in recent years and were eventually replaced by charters.

"Our schools are signposts in the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and our communities," Demby said.