Posts Tagged ‘anti-democratic’
Britain and the US have contributed to instability in the Middle East by supporting autocratic regimes that suppress human rights, David Cameron has said. The Prime Minister said that popular uprisings now flaring across the Middle East showed the West had been wrong to support dictators and oppressive regimes.
Speaking to the Kuwaiti Parliament, Mr Cameron said Britain would back democracy campaigners seeking greater rights across the Middle East. “History is sweeping through your neighbourhood,” he said. “Not as a result of force and violence, but by people seeking their rights, and in the vast majority of cases doing so peacefully and bravely.”
Britain and other Western countries supported Hosni Mubarak, ousted by protests in Egypt. They have also backed authoritarian regimes in the Gulf region, making few efforts to push allies towards democratic reform.
That approach was wrong and counter-productive, Mr Cameron said…
He said that Britain’s economic and security interests would ultimately be advanced by a more democratic Middle East. “Our interests lie in upholding our values – in insisting on the right to peaceful protest, in freedom of speech and the internet, in freedom of assembly and the rule of law.”
Mr Cameron’s call for reform could be seen as heralding a new approach to countries like Saudi Arabia, where the Western-backed royal family firmly opposes democratic reform…
Anyone expect a new approach to the Saudi royal family from Congress or the White House?
“There is no single formula for success, and there are many ways to ensure greater, popular participation in Government,” he said. “We respect your right to take your own decisions, while offering our goodwill and support.”
“But we cannot remain silent in our belief that freedom and the rule of law are what best guarantee human progress and economic success, and that each country should find its own path to achieving peaceful change.”
This is the voice of an English conservative. Can you imagine, say, a Republican candidate for president saying this? How about Barack Obama? Sarah Whatshername?
It’s been about a century since American conservatives spoke out against imperialism. Western complicity in profit-taking has always overruled the essential benefits of commerce and communications.
Reminding you why the Republicans came up with the idea
Anti-establishment candidates are capitalizing on widespread anti-incumbent fervor and proposing term limits as a way to bring the power back to the people. As political hopefuls try to persuade voters to send them to Congress, they’re also promising they won’t be there long.
It’s a message that polls well and gets applause at campaign rallies, but David King, director of Harvard’s program for Newly Elected Members of the U.S. Congress, said term limits do more harm than good.
Advocates and opponents of term limits are after the same thing: keeping the power out of the hands of lobbyists and special interests.
King says term limits do the opposite by taking the business of lawmaking away from elected representatives and giving it to professional staff and lobbyists.
Instead, the elections process needs better campaign finance laws and a more engaged electorate, he said.
“That leads to a situation in which we reward politicians or statesmen or stateswoman who have been around for a long time and are terrific, while at the same time being able to get rid of the low-quality legislators at all levels,” King said.
Term limits are the perfect solution for lazy-ass whiners. Someone in office you disagree with – will be gone sooner rather than later. It’s about as undemocratic a solution as you might have. The voting electorate loses a choice.
Long favored by populists, it favors political machines over independent elected officials. The machines will be around forever, staffed by willing adherents to 2-party narrowness. An independent activist in office won’t have time enough to build a following, an interactive group of peers willing to fight beyond “safe” limits.