18 January 2014
The fact that President Obama has to make (small) concessions in the turbocharged spying program run by his 'security' agencies is welcomed in Western Europe. But the really sad aspect is the fact that the privacy of the citizens in the affected countries is not properly defended by their own politicians. Neither governments of individual countries nor the bureaucrats in the EU are willing or able to put a decisive stop to the activities of US spies.
A system of Direct Democracy puts the ultimate power over all decisions into the hands of the citizens. There is not need for an ‘implicit deal between elites and the people’ (Martin Wolf, Financial Times). Today’s elites are mostly self-appointed and self-perpetuating under a thin veneer of pseudo-democratic rituals. But whichever party wins will pursue nearly identical policies and regularly ignore the wishes of the majority of the electorate.
13 January 2014
News that the French President may two-time his partner and so-called 'First Lady' throws light on a small detail in the way public money is wasted in our democracies. Apart from the fact that the role of the 'First Lady' is not written into any constitution it is a minor scandal that Madame Trierweiler is given an office and a staff of five in the Elysee Palace.
8 January 2014
Any referendum that is held at the pleasure of the government (such as this one in Egypt) - democratically elected or not - can easily be abused and manipulated. Only a referendum that is based on the right of the citizens to instigate one is legitimate. Arguments against this basic democratic instrument that are based on deficient procedures are invalid.