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.]

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Merkel Calls For A More Open World: ‘We Won’t Get Anywhere’ With Populism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the populist hope to “return to a small world” would not benefit society, instead calling for openness and acceptance during a speech to church leaders in Würzburg, Germany.

The address was one of the first Merkel gave this year. While it didn’t specifically address the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, it was a pointed remark about the spread of nationalism in America, Britain and across Europe that’s already begun to undermine international accords and threaten efforts to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis.

“We won’t get anywhere by trying to solve problems with polarization and populism,” she said during the speech, according to Reuters. “We’ve got to show that we’re committed to the basic principles of our nation.”

Merkel spoke about Germany’s role in shepherding nearly a million refugees from the Middle East into the country, saying society was put to “a hard test” last year, the Münchner Merkur reported.

She continued to call on citizens and immigrants to work toward integration, while she acknowledged concerns over the amount and integration of migrants and refugees by saying that those who don’t have the right to stay in the country would have to leave.

While Merkel has yet to meet Trump, the president already criticized the U.S. ally this month, saying that Merkel made an “utterly catastrophic mistake” by having an open-door policy on refugees.

But despite the jab, Merkel said she’d look forward to exchanging “ideas with respect” with Trump following his darkly worded inaugural address on Friday, Reuters reported.

“I say two things with regards to this [speech]: First, I believe firmly that it is best for all of us if we work together based on rules, common values and joint action in the international economic system, in the international trade system, and make our contributions to the military alliances,” she said Saturday.

Since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the success of the far right Front National party in France, the chancellor has faced a growing call for Germany to be one of the last bastions of global democracy following Trump’s election. The New York Times said Merkel may be “the liberal west’s last defender,” while Politico said she may have to take up the mantle of “global savior.”

“She’s the last one standing, and that makes her both strong and weak at the same time,” Stefan Kornelius, one of her biographers, told The New York Times in November. “She’s a pillar of stability, the last wall, and people want to lean against it.”

Original Article
Author: Nick Visser

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