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.]

Friday, March 20, 2015

Harper stirs prejudice against Muslims, but workers stand tall

It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The Prime Minister of Canada is deliberately stirring up prejudice against one group of Canadians for one reason only: political advantage. The sad reality is that many Canadians and Quebecois seem to be vulnerable to embracing an anti-Muslim sentiment.
We are all appalled by the brutality of ISIS, with their voyeuristic killing of innocent victims. The tragic murder of two soldiers in Canada has added a sense of vulnerability inside our own country. Stephen Harper's response is to declare that Canada is under attack by "global Jihadists" and introduce sweeping legislation giving new powers to CSIS.

Heated clashes at York University picket line captured on video as classes resume despite labour dispute

Violence erupted Tuesday on picket lines between striking teaching assistants and students heeding York University’s invitation to return to class despite the continuation of a labour dispute.

With picket lines still in place, union organizers are concerned about the safety of those on strike after reports of heated confrontations and say the university’s decision will create a tumultuous environment for both picketers and students trying to get to class.

Print this item The Palestinian-Israelis’ Selma Moment?

Ayman Odah, leader of the Joint Arab List, the party representing Palestinian-Israelis and elements of the Israeli left, responded late Tuesday to the news that Israelis of Palestinian descent came out in droves to vote.  Their turnout in the last Israeli election had only been 56%.  Odah said from his home on Mt. Carmel in Haifa that he was sure his list would get 15 seats of the Israeli parliament’s 120.  Exit polls were showing the list with about 13, but final results won’t be presented to the president until Thursday.

Odah told reporters, “This is a historic day for the Arab masses.  We shall respond to racism and to those who want to expel us and kick us out.  Will will be the third force in the Knesset . . . we are going to defeat the Right and win 15 seats and affect political decision-making in Israel.”

After Netanyahu Wins Israel Vote with Racism & Vow of Permanent Occupation, How Will World Respond?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a surprise election victory, putting him on course for a fourth term in office. Netanyahu’s Likud Party is poised to control 29 or 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The Zionist Union opposition placed second with 24 seats. A united list of Arab parties came in third with 13 seats. Netanyahu closed out his campaign with a vow to oppose a Palestinian state, reneging on his nominal endorsement of a two-state solution in 2009. Netanyahu also vowed to expand the illegal West Bank settlements and issued a last-minute plea to supporters denouncing a high turnout of Arab voters. The Zionist Union, Netanyahu’s chief rival, also ran on a platform for Israel to keep the major Israeli settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, the home of any future Palestinian state. Likud says Netanyahu intends to form a new government in the coming weeks. Talks are already underway with a number of right-wing parties. To discuss the election, we are joined by two guests: Jamal Zahalka, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset and chair of Balad party, which is part of the Joint List of Arab parties; and Amira Hass, correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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Israel Election: Netanyahu Declares Victory 'Against All Odds'

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to fend off a strong challenge from the country's opposition leader in parliamentary elections Tuesday, emerging from an acrimonious campaign in a slightly better position to form Israel's next government.

But with the sides nearly evenly divided, a victory by Netanyahu's Likud Party still was not guaranteed. His chief rival, Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union, said he would make "every effort'' to form a government, and an upstart centrist party led by a former Netanyahu ally-turned-rival was set to be the kingmaker. The country now heads into what could be weeks of negotiations over the makeup of the next coalition.