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"In the wake of a terrorist attack, the public demands that laws be changed to make them safer" = false. The public never said that. You can watch any public rally condemning any terrorist attack and you will never see: "we want more laws and tighter filters and controls everywhere and higher and more taxes spent on security and defense". That's what the government says that "the public wants". In reality most of the public just asks themselves why the authorities are so lazy and or incompetent to use the tools and the powers they already have and why so many terrorists were already known to the special services which so often "fail to recognize the danger or act". And I bet a lot of people start to ask themselves why these terrorists blame the UK, French and US governments and armies for invading their lands but they keep attacking UK, French and US civilians which, is obvious by now, are incapable of controlling their governments and armies at all. It's the governments and the armies who try to "destroy ISIS" not the civilians, wouldn't make sense for ISIS to attack governments instead of civilians ?



> The public never said that.

The "public" is not the people at rallies, not even what people in the street and cafes are saying, but the tally of the vote at the next election, and politicians act accordingly.

As you can see from the first round of the regional elections, the French "public" overwhelmingly voted for more.


"they act accordingly" by doing exactly what suits the power structure and their campaign sponsors best and the public never really wants.. what a convenient response.


Typically the kind of things that makes me thing democracy as it is is broken. It's a self-sustaining low-hanging-fruit race. I wish I knew how to tweak it back into sense.


The Kurds in Rojava have adopted Murray Bookchin's decentralised and democratic system of ‚Äúlibertarian municipalism‚ÄĚ which prevents this kind of opportunistic authoritarianism. Hopefully Turkey's dictator doesn't destroy them and we can see what real democracy looks like.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/50102294-77fd-11e5-a95a-27d368e1dd...


How recent was this ? First time I hear that, I wish the medias weren't bubbling so hard in their bubble.



If your level of representation at national level is a single vote every few years, then the average adult is going to get perhaps 10-20 chances to express an opinion at that level in their entire lives. Western governments probably have more departments than that at any given time.

In any party political system, where your choices even when you do get to express an opinion are limited to perhaps half a dozen candidates and only 1-3 with any real chance of winning, the amount of real information you can convey to government about your preferences through voting in national elections is minuscule.

Consequently, as we see in practice, national elections are mostly dominated by a very small number of very high profile issues, and people vote for the candidate or party that most closely matches their views on their top priorities. One of these is almost always the economy. There might be another that is the political hot potato of the day, perhaps immigration or trade union relations or the fate of some popular public service.

On top of this, once a representative has been elected, in many cases they can then hold office for a full term regardless of their future actions, even if they deviate dramatically from what they said to get elected in the first place.

In this sense, our current forms of representative democracy typically are broken, because there is very little one can do as a citizen to express a nuanced view. Often you will get a choice of least-of-evils from your own perspective and that's it for another 4-6 years.

In order to overcome this, there are a few different things that I imagine would help, but they would all need fundamental changes to existing political systems.

Firstly, an elected representative could have reason to fear being unelected again if they lose the support of their electorate for too long. There is a balance to be found between protecting representatives who take decisions that are unpopular in the short term but genuinely in the long term interests of their electorate and forcing out a representative who says one thing before the election but then does another or takes an unexpected and unwelcome position on some particular issue after they've entered office. However, no politician would ever feel so safe in their position that they could do whatever they wanted without care for any consequences to their own career and influence for several more years.

Secondly, the electorate could have a mechanism to impose its will on specific issues in isolation. For example, if memory serves, a few places do have a binding referendum mechanism where the administration of the day cannot overrule the will of the people once confirmed by a referendum. Again this would presumably have to be used in moderation to be effective, but it would allow the people to express views on, say, environmental and energy policies, or the legalisation or otherwise of recreational drugs, or the legitimacy or otherwise of security measures that infringe on other freedoms. Perhaps the most valuable role of this kind of mechanism would be to highlight a subject that isn't quite a top priority in national elections, and thus to drive greater public awareness of the underlying issue and to promote associated debate.

Thirdly, a written constitution and a strong constitutional court could provide another way to mitigate opportunist or short-termist legislation that would other infringe on basic principles. Like the other two measures, this ultimately comes down to forcing an administration that wants to move the goalposts a long way to achieve and retain the positive support of a large proportion of the electorate on that specific issue for a significant period of time before the changes can become established in law. Of course, as we have seen in various countries, this can work well or not well depending on the effectiveness and independence of the constitutional court, so any such measures need adequate safeguards to ensure as much impartiality as possible.


The pyramidal structure annoy me very much. I don't want to align with someone on a big trendy issue. A nation is a system, with organs, I want problems to be assessed on each, fixes proposed, and then applied. And I fear that in reality, no amount of discussion may convey what they are thinking, what they will do and how it has a chance to solve problems.

It's all far too shallow and blurry. Hence the need to rally people on a fad argument, sad.

ps: on to reading the last half of your comment.


I'm gonna go on a limb here and say that ISIS is suspiciously the perfect enemy for our leaders. It just happens that ISIS attacks our enemy (Assad) and the more we "fight" it, the more powerful we get because we have reasons to increase the "defense" spending and the more they attack "us" (they never really attack the leaders personally), the longer we can stay in power (see Hollande's support ratings after attacks), we can pass sensible legislation, keep the internal dissent low and we never run the risk of a clear and complete defeat like it would happen with a real enemy like China or Russia. It's the best enemy you can get (so much better than USSR) no wonder the west supported it's creation and are quite annoyed when Russia wants to destroy them too. globalresearch.ca/newly-declassified-u-s-government-documents-the-west-supported-the-creation-of-isis/5451640


I'd say it really isn't. The region involved is already rife with conflict and IS is not without supporters who also happen to be our allies. If it were the 'perfect enemy' then no such conflicts of interest would exist.


> "In the wake of a terrorist attack, the public demands that laws be changed to make them safer" = false.

Well, that may be a subtle difference in interpretation but the general opinion is that we are 'unsafe' and that 'something should be done'.

Opposition parties in various countries have definitely used these attacks to create an impression that 'something could have been done' and that if they were in the driving seat 'something would have been done'. Incumbents are scared of losing voters due to being seen as 'doing nothing' and so will resort to doing 'something' just to stave off the inevitable (admitting that they don't know what to do, and neither does the opposition, mostly because there isn't a whole lot they can do to begin with that does not involve a change of course for the next 30 years and an admission that they royally messed up during the last 30 years).


The public don't ask for it, they don't know what tor is, they ask for it to never happen again, than the politics turn to the secret services and ask them what they want, no surprise here at their answer, the politics don't have to accept any of that, but the internet is quick to victimize itself.




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