11 August 2016

Think Tanks - Direct Democracy needed to dilute their influence

Like them or not, Think Tanks have sprouted all over the world and they have preferential access to policy makers in most states. Often they are actually sponsored by taxpayer-funded political parties as is the case in Germany and Austria. But making all legislation subject to the ultimate say-so of the electorate would go a long way to dilute the influence of unelected Think Tanks.

How Think Tanks Amplify Corporate America’s Influence (NY Times)

Political Debate off course - what's new?

Headline reads:Boundary Change must not hit the gender ratio in House of Commons.
Now that tells you that the political class is not really interested in solving major issues confronting the citizens. Instead an important change in the composition of constituencies is hijacked by a discussion about an aspect that appeals mostly to political correctness without solving problems such as national security, health care, education and house building - all subjects of real concern to the electorate.

5 August 2016

Facebook meddling with Media Content

It is about time that the dominating Internet Portals such as Facebook and Google are brought under democratic control. When providers have a dominant market share the Competition and Monopolies regulators should not be fobbed off with spurious arguments such as 'we must not interfere with new technologies, ie stand in the way of progress etc'. What applied to Rockefeller's Standard Oil in the early 1900s must apply to the Internet Barons today. When the providers start tinkering with the flow of news and information alarm bells should start ringing in the sleepy offices of the regulators and legislative assemblies. Naturally, the USA will not be too keen as most providers are based there but a confrontation with the lobby-infested corridors of power in Washington can not longer be avoided.

Facebook cracks down on clickbait

Olympic Games - beyond control of Citizens?

As another (expensive) Sportsfest starts in Rio de Janeiro the question of who benefits from this taxpayer funded largesse comes to the fore again. Taxpayers may think that their money is well spent but the Olympic 'Movement' (if you can call it that as it is dominated by a clique of insiders beyond democratic control, i.e. there is no influence from the wider public or at least those citizens involved in sports as amateurs or professionals) is resisting all efforts to be fully responsible for money spent to host the event. 
Rio 2016: Economists question wisdom of hosting Olympics
Opinion: Olympic denial: The benefits to hosting the Games are just hype 

Gold-plated Pensions the Politicians award themselves

Egregious abuse - this example from the USA

How Contress Retirement Pay Compares to the Overall Average