Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Monday, September 05, 2011

Infographic: What Congress Would Look Like If It Really Represented America

America is getting more and more diverse—for instance, our Hispanic population grew by 43 percent in the past decade alone—but you'd never be able to tell it by looking at our Congress. Here's what the House and Senate look like today, and what they would look like if they were demographically representative of our nation.

One thing not noted on this infographic is that, besides being nothing like America in terms of race, sex, or religion, our senators and representatives are also wholly different from most Americans in terms of wealth. We've said this before, but it bears repeating: The average American's net worth is $96,000. But the average Senator's net worth? $13.4 million. For House members that sum drops to "just" $5 million.

Does this represent your community?

Correction: This post originally suggested that there were no atheists in Congress. There is! His name is Pete Stark. We regret the error

Source: Good Politics 

Conservative Complaint Over Sponsorship At NDP Event 'Groundless,' Union Head Says

OTTAWA — The Conservative Party launched a "groundless, strategic assault" against the labour movement, the head of Canada’s largest private sector union said Sunday after the Tories accused the NDP of accepting improper sponsorships from trade unions.

Wayne Hanley, the national president of UFCW Canada, issued a press release Sunday evening after The Huffington Post Canada first reported that the Conservative Party had asked Elections Canada to investigate whether the NDP had broken the law by accepting money from unions to advertise at its national convention in Vancouver last June.

The allegations, Hanley said, are "a groundless, strategic assault on the labour movement, and on ordinary Canadians who are fed up with the vicious, partisan politics the Harper Conservatives are so proud of."

Hanley said the Tories are well aware that ads at fair market value are allowed and there was no election law breach.

NDP solidarity cracks over role of unions in picking leader

The first clean split among federal New Democrats since Jack Layton passed away last month rests on an issue that strikes at the historical heart of the party: the role of union members in choosing the next leader.

The matter is the first in what promises to be a number of sharp policy debates among the various candidates and factions that Mr. Layton managed to hold together during his time as NDP leader.

The party set aside 25 per cent of the vote for organized labour at its last leadership convention in 2003, but NDP MP and House Leader Thomas Mulcair is calling for the abolition of union privileges this time around.

President Brian Topp – executive director of ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) – argues that the party's historic link with labour must be preserved, and that affiliated unions should get a set percentage of the vote at next year's leadership convention.

A final decision will be made by the NDP federal council on Friday.

Tories, New Democrats banned from Liberal events

All’s fair in love, war and an Ontario election campaign.

Breaking with a tradition of professional courtesy on the hustings that stretches back decades, the governing Liberals have banned Progressive Conservative and New Democratic MPPs, candidates and staffers from all electoral events featuring Dalton McGuinty.

“The Ontario Liberal campaign will strike a very serious tone and we’re only interested in presenting our positive plan to Ontarians,” Chris Morley, McGuinty’s chief of staff, told the Star on Sunday.

Concerned that opposition politicians or aides “would play political games” at the Liberal leader’s events, Morley last week called senior officials with Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to advise them they were not welcome to attend.