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Is it a democracy if the rulers don't mind not being re-elected for imposing the demands of foreign powers?


feargach

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Dec 11, 2006
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Is it a democracy if the rulers don't mind not being re-elected for imposing the demands of foreign powers?

Whether it's Monti in Italy or Cowen in Ireland, the pattern is the same: foreigners, and mostly unelected foreigners at that, make demands and the elected officials force them through. For going directly against the will of the people, Monti and Cowen and Wilders et al get wiped out at election time, garnering pathetic shares of the vote.

They know this is what will happen, but they do it regardless.

What position does that leave democracy in? When the people state, in as clear a fashion as is possible, "you cannot do this thing" and the ruler does it anyway.

I'm reminded of Franco, after he took power in Spain. He recognised the debts taken on by the Republican government against his wishes. However, this had no tinge of hypocrisy to it, as Franco was a sworn enemy of democracy and had consistently held the position that the Caudillo had total personal power to decide on what debts were sovereign or not.

The whole case for representative democracy as an acceptable alternative to direct democracy is that fear of not winning re-election will act as a deterrent to going contrary to the popular will.

The problem with that theory is that we've just done a bunch of controlled experiments in the recent crisis, and the results did not match the theory's prediction. Ergo, the theory would appear to be wrong.

Certainly, brutal austerity, in the last century of capitalism has in most cases been carried out by fascist military junta governments who have a specific, openly anti-democratic agenda. This is the first time we have seen a wave of austerian attacks carried out by a bunch of governments who do not openly oppose democracy, and all of whom, in fact, claim to be democrats.

So what are the implications for democracy in the future, now that we know that, when push comes to shove, the will of the people is not a relevant factor in the decision-making process?
 


drummed

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Franco paid every last cent of Spainish debt regardless of who incurred it (he ran up most of it himself during the war).


When we elected the current goverment what do you think we expected? Tax breaks and wage increases? It was always going to be like this and will be unless we can live within our means. Until then we rely on the kindness of strangers. Democracy of the sort you seem to desire (which probably never existed anyway) costs. Are you as willing to pay for it as you are to start silly threads?

Cut a few billion off national spending and you can have all the democracy you want. Good luck with getting elected with that plan.
 

feargach

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Franco paid every last cent of Spanish debt regardless of who incurred it (he ran up most of it himself during the war).
Yes, that's what I said.
 

Analyzer

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Feb 14, 2011
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Democracy ended when the EU decided that the Danish No vote to the Maastricht Treaty was not satisfactory.

Shortly afterwards, the Irish got bribed, to vote yes. And we enjoyed the bribe.
 

feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
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4,995
Franco paid every last cent of Spainish debt regardless of who incurred it (he ran up most of it himself during the war).


When we elected the current goverment what do you think we expected? Tax breaks and wage increases? It was always going to be like this and will be unless we can live within our means. Until then we rely on the kindness of strangers. Democracy of the sort you seem to desire (which probably never existed anyway) costs. Are you as willing to pay for it as you are to start silly threads?

Cut a few billion off national spending and you can have all the democracy you want. Good luck with getting elected with that plan.
Broadly speaking, you're saying one must choose between having money or the vote. I choose the latter, because without the vote, your money will be gone soon anyway.

Even in China, which is the only significant non-democracy (apart from fossil fuel exporters like Russia and Saudi Arabia) where any kind of prosperity is slightly widespread, the vast majority of people are one missed paycheck away from being penniless and dependent on family for survival, and those families in their turn are dependent on every paycheck with no cushion in case of bad luck.

With few exceptions, non-democracy and poverty are one and the same, unless you happen to be sitting on a mountain of fossil oil wealth.
 
Last edited:

Aindriu

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8,702

feargach

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Dec 11, 2006
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Democracy ended when the EU decided that the Danish No vote to the Maastricht Treaty was not satisfactory.

Shortly afterwards, the Irish got bribed, to vote yes. And we enjoyed the bribe.
So are you suggesting we should re-institute democracy, or are you writing it off forever?
 

feargach

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Fixed that for ye Drummed.
There's never been a society where people don't get raped.

Should we quit trying to prevent rapes?
 

Plebian

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Feb 20, 2011
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9,342
Whether it's Monti in Italy or Cowen in Ireland, the pattern is the same: foreigners, and mostly unelected foreigners at that, make demands and the elected officials force them through. For going directly against the will of the people, Monti and Cowen and Wilders et al get wiped out at election time, garnering pathetic shares of the vote.

They know this is what will happen, but they do it regardless.

What position does that leave democracy in? When the people state, in as clear a fashion as is possible, "you cannot do this thing" and the ruler does it anyway.

I'm reminded of Franco, after he took power in Spain. He recognised the debts taken on by the Republican government against his wishes. However, this had no tinge of hypocrisy to it, as Franco was a sworn enemy of democracy and had consistently held the position that the Caudillo had total personal power to decide on what debts were sovereign or not.

The whole case for representative democracy as an acceptable alternative to direct democracy is that fear of not winning re-election will act as a deterrent to going contrary to the popular will.

The problem with that theory is that we've just done a bunch of controlled experiments in the recent crisis, and the results did not match the theory's prediction. Ergo, the theory would appear to be wrong.

Certainly, brutal austerity, in the last century of capitalism has in most cases been carried out by fascist military junta governments who have a specific, openly anti-democratic agenda. This is the first time we have seen a wave of austerian attacks carried out by a bunch of governments who do not openly oppose democracy, and all of whom, in fact, claim to be democrats.

So what are the implications for democracy in the future, now that we know that, when push comes to shove, the will of the people is not a relevant factor in the decision-making process?
There's a price to be paid for true democracy, that price is one of holding those you elect to account. If the majority of people are too scared or indifferent to tackle the people they've elected who've reneged on their promises, then the electorate have to shoulder some of the blame. We had it here with most people claiming that the majority didn't agree with the bailout, those people could have marched on Leinster House and demanded a referendum or election. They didn't, they complained and waited until the Govt threw itself out, then they elected another version of the same people that agreed to the deal and then moaned about it again, and then they had a referendum on the FST another bailout mechanism and they signed up for it. Either get the pitchforks out or stop complaining when the Europhiles you elect do what you knew they were always going to do in the first place.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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We "expected" what Fine Gael and Labour said they would do. Is that too much to "expect"?
Yes, it is.

Both are a part of the establishment status quo. Both parties are filled with dinosaurs with draconian ideas that have never had an independent thought in their entire careers. Prior to the last General Election, any individual that devoted ten minutes out of their day to research the history of the people that plague both parties would be fully aware of this.

The problem is that there is no alternative and to be quite honest with you, there is very limited desire for it among the political class. They are where they are precisely because of the current system. It's one thing to promise to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic but Enda and Eamon are not capable of grasping the concept of change on the level that the Irish people want.

The level of change that the Irish people desire would turn the stomach of every Parish-pumper from Duncormick to Dunfanaghy.
 

Rocky

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Joined
Dec 9, 2004
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8,550
There's a price to be paid for true democracy, that price is one of holding those you elect to account. If the majority of people are too scared or indifferent to tackle the people they've elected who've reneged on their promises, then the electorate have to shoulder some of the blame. We had it here with most people claiming that the majority didn't agree with the bailout, those people could have marched on Leinster House and demanded a referendum or election. They didn't, they complained and waited until the Govt threw itself out, then they elected another version of the same people that agreed to the deal and then moaned about it again, and then they had a referendum on the FST another bailout mechanism and they signed up for it. Either get the pitchforks out or stop complaining when the Europhiles you elect do what you knew they were always going to do in the first place.
The people had a very clear choice on the Bailout in the last Irish general:

1. Fine Gael/Labour - Support the Bailout, although try to improve the terms.
2. Sinn Fein/ULA - Reject the Bailout.

They voted overwhelming for the parties that supported the Bailout. As you said yourself they also voted for the Fiscal Reform Treaty and a big reason for that is it secrued a second Bailout if needed.

Therefore it's pretty reasonable to believe that the Irish people supported the Bailout and didn't vote Cowen out because he supported it, as their choice of FG and Labour doesn't make any sense on that basis.

In the last election in Greece, the people also voted for parties that supported their Bailout, once again showing their support for that.

Italy is an exception, but at that I imagine Morsi was dissapointed at how his party performed and I have no doubt that he believed he was doing right for Italy. 40% of the people also voted for parties that clearly supported tight fiscal polices and a vote Berluscani wasn't a vote for hard left spending either.
 

Rocky

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8,550
Yes, it is.

Both are a part of the establishment status quo. Both parties are filled with dinosaurs with draconian ideas that have never had an independent thought in their entire careers. Prior to the last General Election, any individual that devoted ten minutes out of their day to research the history of the people that plague both parties would be fully aware of this.

The problem is that there is no alternative and to be quite honest with you, there is very limited desire for it among the political class. They are where they are precisely because of the current system. It's one thing to promise to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic but Enda and Eamon are not capable of grasping the concept of change on the level that the Irish people want.

The level of change that the Irish people desire would turn the stomach of every Parish-pumper from Duncormick to Dunfanaghy.
The Irish people don't want to live in a Communist State or any other fundamental change.

If even more proof of that was needed, it shown by the fact that it is Fianna Fail that is gaining at the expense of the current government and not the left wing parties.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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The Irish people don't want to live in a Communist State or any other fundamental change.

If even more proof of that was needed, it shown by the fact that it is Fianna Fail that is gaining at the expense of the current government and not the left wing parties.
Why do you think anyone that desires change is automatically a Communist by default?
 

The Old Woman

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Aug 27, 2012
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1,505
We dont live in a democracy - we live in a party political state.

Until ardent party followers understand that the collective Dail who work for us, the government who work for us and are suspose to hold permanent goverment to account and permanent goverment who are paid by us are held accountable in a transparent manner - then we dont live in a democracy - we live in a state that is being run by permanent government who are unelected and by and large accountable to no one.
 
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Normal Lord

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Aug 3, 2011
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Democracy is just a bit word. The reality is disappointing and far from ideal.
Politics is all about saying what you feel gets you elected, and mostly back tracking on that when in power.

Vested interests rule politics.

We have technology now we should have a system where the people decide policy not some suit in a room. That is real democracy what we have now is pretend democracy
 

Astral Peaks

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Nov 9, 2010
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Whether it's Monti in Italy or Cowen in Ireland, the pattern is the same: foreigners, and mostly unelected foreigners at that, make demands and the elected officials force them through. For going directly against the will of the people, Monti and Cowen and Wilders et al get wiped out at election time, garnering pathetic shares of the vote.

?
The double negative in your title renders the OP and the thread utterly meaningless.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Whether intentionally or not, this thread has stumbled onto one of the things that makes Ireland resoundingly undemocratic - basically no one faces the consequences. Cowen and Bertie are probably among the most reviled individuals in the country yet get paid successful "CEO" salaries for life at the expense of those they led, despite being responsible for the worst economic calamity to ever befall this country. There was no accountability, nor adverse consequences to losing favour (albeit, sadly, temporarily) with the voters.

Where that situation is possible/prevails there is NO real democracy irrespective of who is calling the shots.
 

Normal Lord

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It's called "rewarding failure"
And it's pretty common in politics!

They are like vultures they feed only for themselves their only intent is to make their own lives better. Anyone who thinks a politician gives a damn about them is kidding themselves
 

feargach

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Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,995
Democracy is just a bit word. The reality is disappointing and far from ideal.
Politics is all about saying what you feel gets you elected, and mostly back tracking on that when in power.

Vested interests rule politics.

We have technology now we should have a system where the people decide policy not some suit in a room. That is real democracy what we have now is pretend democracy
Sure, but when the sham is quite as overt as it currently is, without any attempt to pretend that the popular will has a role to play, things get dangerous.

If the perception is that locally-elected people are powerless at the hands of foreign entities, the very practice of having elections to any form of executive power is endangered.

Have you noticed that for all of the 19th century Latin America was the plaything of European and North American business interests, with local leaders powerless to influence their behaviour?

Did you notice how this led to an appetite for home-grown, testicle-ripping, ballot-stuffing strongmen?

Not a safe game to be playing.
 

cottage_economist

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Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
527
Franco paid every last cent of Spainish debt regardless of who incurred it (he ran up most of it himself during the war).


When we elected the current goverment what do you think we expected? Tax breaks and wage increases? It was always going to be like this and will be unless we can live within our means. Until then we rely on the kindness of strangers. Democracy of the sort you seem to desire (which probably never existed anyway) costs. Are you as willing to pay for it as you are to start silly threads?

Cut a few billion off national spending and you can have all the democracy you want. Good luck with getting elected with that plan.
What I expected was that, "Not one red cent" would be paid to the bondholders. As per the FG election promise.
 

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