25 April 2014

Defective Constitutions support Oligarchies

A recent study from Princeton and Northwestern concluded that the United States is an “oligarchy” ruled by a small group of wealthy elites and interest groups. Is one of the 'fathers' of the US Constitution to blame for this? (Mises Institute).

23 April 2014

Politicians care little about voter's real concerns

When a US Senator gets involved in the current dispute between Russia and the Ukraine it just delivers another example about the disconnect between the political class and the ordinary citizens. The majority of Americans seem to have little idea where Ukraine is located on a map, and in all likelihood they could not care less what happens in this country. They will have little or no understanding of the intricate history of this region of the world - nor should they. So one has to wonder why a Senator with hardly any real life experience - most of his time so far was spent on the public payroll - who is supposed to represent the citizens of Connecticut - is warmongering in Kiev. Putting US troops right in front of the nose of Russia is akin to Russia trying to install missiles in Cuba in 1962. We all know what that led too. But I am sure the good Senator will get some cheap headlines from the fawning and compliant media back home.

22 April 2014

USA an Oligarchy - but so are many other Countries

An interesting study throws light on how small 'oligarchies' control the levers of power in the United States. Maybe the Oligarchies in other countries are not just the product of superior wealth, they may be based on ideologies, class loyalties or ingrained power structures ossified by badly designed constitutions and electoral systems. But most countries share this: the wish of the ordinary citizens is routinely neglected in favor of small constituencies that gain from favors dished out by those they help to control legislation.

20 April 2014

Dangerous games played by Washington

The growing dependence by the USA on the use of sanctions as a soft weapon throws up this crucial question: Is the use of sanctions not a form of warfare and can they be applied to a country such as Russia that only a few years ago had the status of a Superpower and is still a nuclear power with considerable conventional forces?
The historical background to the current events in the Ukraine cannot be painted in black and white as the simplistic storyline would have us believe. And the accusation of hypocrisy is a valid one when one considers the unilateral action taken by the USA and its vassals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That a revolt in Kiev that led to the ouster of the elected President is seen as legitimate while a simmering revolt in the East of the Ukraine is supposed to be illegal creates additional doubt in the honesty of the self-proclaimed speakers of the 'West'.
Supporting the use of sanctions could create a dangerous backlash by Russia that may not be limited to an exchange of angry words but could escalate to a military confrontation.
As usual the citizens of the countries involved are helpless bystanders - but was that not the case throughout history when the 'Elites' played their games on the World Stage?

16 April 2014

Politicians suffer sharp fall in trust

A new report claims that people trust local politicians more than those in central government but the majority still thinks that politicians at all levels are liars (IPPR North). The introduction of Direct Democracy would go a long way towards bridging the credibility gap.

14 April 2014

Let voters kick out MPs between elections

While the call for the introduction of the possibility of recalling MPs may be deserving of support it will not be a game changing measure. Only the introduction of a comprehensive form of Direct Democracy will lead to a much closer alignment of politics with the wishes of the ordinary citizens.