The Only Direct (True) Democracy in the World

Discussion in 'General Life Conversations' started by Dr. Cha~zay, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Dr. Cha~zay

    Dr. Cha~zay Metaphysician, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Mentor Forum Creator

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    I am about the least political person you'll ever meet and this post is truly unusual for me. Somehow, however, I feel compelled to share it with the world, because of what people are going through throughout the world.

    People's freedoms are taken away right under their noses. What used to be called a 'free country' or at least where 'freedom of speech' reigned, has become a military regulated government. People aren't free to plant the seeds they want, they get sued and put out of business if they refuse to buy seeds modified in a chemical lab. What happened to people's freedom and independence? Why are people not sticking up for their rights? There are a handful of control hungry lunatics sitting in office and millions of citizens that are just watching, perhaps moaning and complaining about it (but doing very little to cause change).

    What is a democracy? Doesn't democracy mean that the public has a right to vote? Then why does the public not get to vote about what matters? If the public is not able to vote and votes are cast for them, this sounds me to more like a dictatorship. Wouldn't you agree?

    Now that I live in Europe I hear things from a different angle and with different interests. The other day I heard the term "direct democracy" and I interjected: "Come again, what is a direct democracy versus an indirect democracy?" After digging into this topic just a tad bit and doing some research, here is my lesson in politics, I hope someone will take this and run with it...

    This article explains it so well, "Modern representative democracy has, in most countries across the globe, just recently become an essential part of political life. Only a few places, such as Britain, the United States and New Zealand have enjoyed an unbroken parliamentary system of government for more than a century. However, there is one country that does more than any other to embody popular sovereignty within a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-confessional society: Switzerland."
    swiss mountains.jpg
    While the federal system can be found in many other countries like the U.S.A., Germany, Austria etc., no other nation does delegate so many competences to federal states and communes than Switzerland does. Undoubtedly, consequent delegation of competences to the lowest level possible creates a widespread sense of responsibility and self-reliance among the population.

    Why does politics work so well in Switzerland (and always has since its inception in 1291)? And why is there no offensive army? Did you know that all of the Vatican's guards are from the Swiss military? Why? Because they are trained in defense, never offense (this means they will never start a war, ever, but they know how to get the country ready and defended in 2 hours in case of a world war). Did you know there are no landfills in Switzerland? Each city has their own burn facility with clean air technology.
    switzerland lake-thun-berner-oberland-.jpg
    Switzerland has 7 million people and 7 presidents to run the show. Yep you heard right.

    7 Presidents for 7 Million People - No Wonder It Works:

    Here are the departments each president is responsible for:

    1. Internal Affairs
    2. Foreign Affairs
    3. Justice
    4. Energy, Traffic and Environment
    5. Economy and Education
    6. Finance
    7. Defense and Sports

    So does this mean that each of these president gets to run the show? Nope. S/he works for the public, the public runs the show. Switzerland is know to be the only direct democracy in the world. Here is how the definition of a 'Direct Democracy:'

    Direct Democracy can be defined as a form or system of democracy giving citizens an extraordinary amount of participation in the legislation process and granting them a maximum of political self-determination.
    switzerland7.jpg
    What About the U.S.?

    According to Wikipedia, a direct democracy was very much opposed by the framers of the United States Constitution and some signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Side note: Were these framers by chance the same people who put together the Federal Reserve Bank? I don't know...They rejected the direct democracy because they saw a danger in majorities forcing their will on minorities. As a result, they advocated a representative democracyin the form of a constitutional republic over a direct democracy. In other words, now the puppets at the Federal levels are pretending to make the decision on behalf of millions of people....And everyone knows that it's the Federal Reserve Bank that runs the show along with some major corporations.

    New Zealand Attempted The Direct Democracy

    According to Wikepedia the Direct Democracy system was attempted to be implemented in New Zealand. But guess what? The people weren't interested! I'm mind boggled that a political party in New Zealand promoted greater participation by the people in the decision-making of government (2005-2009) and they didn't even vote!!

    The party's leader was Kelvyn Alp. It was one of the few partiesin New Zealand that openly challenged the current monetary system and actively promoted solutions to irredeemable debt.It aimed to establish a system of binding referendums (similar to the Landsgemeinde used in parts of Switzerland) for all major decisions.The Party also advocated for a New Zealand Constitution to protect and enshrine the rights and freedoms of the people.In 2005 the Direct Democracy Party gained official registration as a political party.The official results for the party vote in that year's election recorded no votes for the DDP.The party's registration was cancelled at its own request on 30 June 2009. This is truly, truly sad (and so reflective of how little people care).

    This is a world that is given over to a handful of mostly dishonest people who are hungry for power, status and money. And the people say: "Here, you have the most money, rule over us. We don't know how to make decisions for ourselves, you do it, we'll just trust you."
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    It's time to wake up folks. If we truly looked at a democracy then we would not have any monetary system in place, not even in Switzerland. The moment you have a means of exchange it is no longer a democracy - wouldn't you agree? And yet since the world at the moment is not functioning without money, the next best thing is for the public to take PRIDE in their country and demand to vote on everything, all things, not just who gets picked of the lesser of two evils in the next presidency.

    The Swiss people vote all the time, several times a year, for the seemingly smallest things. Why? Because they take pride in their country, and it shows. In just a week the population gets to vote whether or not they should make it mandatory for employers to increase the current vacation of 4 weeks to 6 weeks per year. It may be small potatoes but the people take pride in being able to have a say. It is also the people who have been voting against Switzerland becoming a part of the EU. The moment this happens, the Direct Democracy goes out the window as all decisions will be made from EU headquarters in Brussels. With Switzerland average tax rate around 7.5 to 15%, why would they be so nuts and give up on something that works so well?

    Even if you live in a non-direct democracy or even in a dictatorship, you can start taking pride in your own country by doing your part. Start with recycling, preserving water, buy organic and support your local farmer, read the ingredients on the food you buy; only buy products that are made in the country where you live, support your local economy, support your local mom and pops shops instead of the big chains, whenever you can - do whatever it takes to take pride in where you live. If you can't do that because your government is just too criminal (for lack of better word) then step up to the plate and make a difference.

    Wishing you love on your journey!
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  2. Ladyroses

    Ladyroses Golden Sun (LT)

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    Fascinating! I walked out from politics but this article is very informative.

    Can I say that Swiss people do not roll a big energy ball like other countries. And yes they show love the loving ways. In many countries, people show loves to their country by attending public protest (for example). Not that I'm saying public protest is bad but how many people actually pray for their country, their land?

    Thank you Cha~zay for the information on direct democracy.
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  3. Mariter

    Mariter Golden Sun (mo)

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    - This should be done by every citizen who loves their country.

    I used to buy imported goods before, because although expensive, the quality is markedly different from the local products, but now that there are several Filipino entrepreneurs who have upped the quality of their products to be competitive worldwide, I buy local products to support my countrymen who are trying to create work for our fellow Filipinos. If only everyone will have the same mindset, I'm sure our economy will flourish.
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  4. Nilanjana

    Nilanjana Golden Sun (mo)

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    I agree with Martier that we as citizens should do their bit to support the local economy and reduce the carbon footprint and food miles. In India, there has been opening up of markets though there is strict opposition from the Left and Right parties to prevent the opening up of markets. Recently a bill to raise foreign investment in the retail market was stalled in the Indian parliament by the opposition and this has prevented the entry of the giant Walmart into our country. Whereas the retail segment pressed for it that entry of giants like Walmart will give job opportunities to local people and food will be available at cheaper rates, however the farmers and the local shops have a concern that their businesses will suffer. The bill is on hold now.
  5. Nilanjana

    Nilanjana Golden Sun (mo)

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    Thought i would share this short article i had written a few years ago for my course in Sustainable Development. It was to analyze of the food i consumed (in India and UK). Hope you would like it.


    Reflections on the Food Dairy
    Food habits not only reflect the economic, social, psychological and cultural status of a person, but also the sustainability aspects of food system. A review of my food diary over a period of five days would highlight the globalization and corporatisation of self-reliant traditional food systems and their associated environmental, social and economic implications.
    The first two days of food dairy pertains to my food consumption in Delhi, comprising mainly of fresh food and vegetables, which are locally produced, processed and packed. Though Delhi is floated with supermarkets, I prefer to buy food items from the local groceries, located at every neighbourhood. Buying foods from local shops also saves the fuel consumed in reaching supermarkets, often located at central areas. These groceries, besides selling all food items, also serve as a community place, where people meet other neighbours and catch up with the news of the locality – a sign of social bonding.

    Vegetables and fish consumed have been bought from the local ‘mandi’ (market), where farmers and fishermen from surrounding villages sell their self grown produces. The case of mango pickle and Dehradun rice (bought from Dilli Haat), produced, processed and packed by women cooperative in Uttarakhand, emphasizes the importance of women in traditional agriculture, especially in rural areas, and reflects women empowerment through modern day market opportunities.
    Interestingly, most of the products, which I consumed in Delhi do not have labels, as they are locally produced and processed. However, it symbolizes the trust on the local groceries in a way that Dr. Vandana Shiva quoted in the IFG book, ’Views from the South’ “Less than 1 percent of flour carries a brand name because Indian consumers trust their own supervision of quality at the local mill better than a brand name attached to stale, packaged flour.” (Shiva,2000)

    The next three days of the food diary are the foods consumed by me in Stoke, UK, marks a transition from local, decentralized food system to a centralized and globalized system. However, it is interesting to note that geographical differences did not bring about major variation in the type of food consumed. Owing to globalization, I relished the flavour of Basmati rice, vegetables, sweetmeats, mango chutney, fish etc. which are not even produced in this part of the world.

    Due to mandatory labelling regulations in the UK, all the food items had labels on them, a contrast to Delhi. Most of the labels mentioned the place of production i.e. basmati rice produced in India or the salmon caught from the wild waters of Pacific. However, information on processing and packaging were rather vague or missing. Though the place of production of the final product was mentioned, the place of origin of raw materials, which seemed to be produced in the third world countries and transported across the continents to reach the shelves of the supermarkets, were mostly missing. The globalization of food, provides economic benefits to all those involved in the entire food cycle. The import of Red Salmon creates employment opportunities in the fisheries sector and its dependent industries in the USA. However, multinationals dominating the fishing industry benefit, leading to marginalization of local fishing communities. The environmental implications of farm fishing i.e. depletion of fish stock, spread of diseases, competition between the farmed and endemic species, outweigh the economic benefits.

    The food which I consumed was bought from food retail supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury, etc. which replaced the local groceries of a third world city. The corporatisation reflect the dominance of industrial agriculture with heavy use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, energy and fuel intensive machinery involved in the food production for export markets. For example, a cauliflower package mentions of “responsible use of pesticide”, thereby not denying the use of pesticide in production of the vegetable. The increased pesticide usage not only imperils the health of the farmers and consumers, but also results in diminished soil fertility and ground water pollution. Other environmental impacts associated with such food consumption include high fuel and energy usage for long distance transportation of foods and maintaining the controlled conditions for enhancing their shelf lives. Dependency on export driven food require huge transport infrastructure in terms of roads, ports, airports, energy grids etc., often constructed at the expense of nature and in defiance of global energy shortages (Barker, Debbie, 2007).

    The export of food especially vegetables and fruits enhances the transmission of bacteria, viruses and pests and thereby the spread of diseases across borders. The health risks of processed and canned food (i.e. tinned salmon, instant soup) include obesity, cancer, diabetes heart diseases etc. due to excessive salt, trans fatty acids, refined carbohydrates and sugar content and excessive additives (www.sixWise.com).

    However, the ‘fair trade’ bananas consumed by me, though available at a premium, benefit the small family run farmers in getting a better price for their products and the premium associated promote community development projects (http://www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/kidsweb/banana/farmers.htm). Though, there are other sustainable organic food options available in the supermarkets, my economic status in the UK, restricted me from buying those foods, which are costlier than those produced for bulk consumption.

    Environmental responsibility on part of some of the corporates is evident by their declaration of environmental management and use of recyclable materials for packaging. However, most of the packaging is done in plastics, and no information of their recyclability is provided indicating that these plastics most probably end up in landfill sites.

    The analysis of my food diary has components of sustainable and unsustainable food practices. In India the food consumed are associated with lesser environmental impacts and echo social aspects of locally grown food. However, the food consumed in Stoke, reflects the commodification of food, resulting in loss of livelihood of farmers, disruption of social systems and erosion of traditional knowledge of local self reliant economies along with environmental and health impacts. It is ironical that none of the foods I consumed were produced in Stoke. My food consumption, being mainly vegetarian, contributed less to the ecological footprint. With options available, shifting to organic foods might have made my food consumption more sustainable.
  6. Dr. Cha~zay

    Dr. Cha~zay Metaphysician, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Mentor Forum Creator

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    I love this article, Nilanjana. I'm wondering if it should have it's own post and title. What do you think?

    I'm glad that Walmart is not coming to India. Walmart is under fire in the U.S. because they will be carrying genetically modified foods. And I'm sure you've read the post here somewhere, with the new sweetener by Monsanto that is replacing Aspartame? There have been no testing done on the sweetener and India will be literally the testing market. They go straight from the lab to testing it on Indians. It's just beyond disturbing.
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  7. Myself

    Myself Golden Sun (LT)

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    If Walmart would be set up in India they could take the same approach as in Vietnam. Vietnam has opened up for foreign investors in the past years but every foreign company is owned for 51% by the government in order that most of the income produced, will be available for the country rather then a bank account oversees.

    With the Tourism market opening up (though still mainly build for Vietnamese families) the government in Vietnam brings in a lot of foreign money to boost their own economy. Most of the food that is used in resorts are bought either from local villages or nearby cities supporting the local farmers.

    In a way it does not matter what form of ruling there is in a country, as long as the leaders have the people in first place and show that they genuinily care about their people, the people will flourish and not the leaders.
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  8. Nilanjana

    Nilanjana Golden Sun (mo)

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    It would be good another topic of discussion..sustainability of the food we consume..

    Well Monsanto have already done much damage to the world. In India, there have been many suicide deaths of farmers who were forced to farm the Monsanto's transgenic Bt. Cotton and these crops failed miserably in the country, leading to farmers putting an end to their lives as they did not have money to sustain their life and their family.
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  9. Dr. Cha~zay

    Dr. Cha~zay Metaphysician, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Mentor Forum Creator

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    Oh that is just so, so sad. If you have articles that are published in India, hopefully in English, will you send them to me? I would gladly start a collection of these to honor these farmers' livelihoods and their attempt to provide for their families. These things need to be heard in the Western world, and they are not. Monsanto and every other chemical conglomerate wanting to stomp out small farmers has to be stopped, humanity depends on it.
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  10. Dr. Cha~zay

    Dr. Cha~zay Metaphysician, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Mentor Forum Creator

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    Nilanjana, I found the article. So Monsanto has been linked to at least 200,000 suicides in India alone, and those are just estimates. And now worse, Bill Gates has bought 23 million dollars worth of stock in Montsanto (in 2010) and this article talks about Bill Gates being out to control the population. Sadly, India has such a huge population that the Western world doesn't think about the individual soul, the individual life. India to them is a testing ground. It also makes me wonder how much the elite in India have to do with allowing this to happen to their citizens. How sad indeed.
  11. Myself

    Myself Golden Sun (LT)

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    Lawsuits against Monsanto are starting in both the USA and France. In France there are many signs of farmers having a decreased health after they started using Monsanto products. I have read that a couple of weeks ago that farmers in the USA are grouping up against Monsanto and their policies of seeds.
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  12. Dr. Cha~zay

    Dr. Cha~zay Metaphysician, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Mentor Forum Creator

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    Yes, indeed. And I just read that India is also suing Pepsi and Coke because their testing showed that Pepsi and Coke contained 24 times the acceptable amount of pesticides. What in the world do pesticides have to do with soda? Unbelievable. Anyway, the U.S. public and rest of the world doesn't seem to know or want to know about this. But India has had it (good for them!). Here is that article.
  13. Nilanjana

    Nilanjana Golden Sun (mo)

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    It is a very common issue and cokes and pepsi have high levels of pesticides since a long time. In India, from time to time, these cokes and pepsi samples are tested in labs and they fail the standards and it becomes a news..but as everything it dies, with these companies denying and giving lab reports which contradict. Have you read this article that cokes and pepsis are used as pesticides by Indian farmers..:)

    http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000590_Coke_Pepsi_pesticides.html

    Cha-zay, i might be having articles on these issues by environmental conservationists, have to search in my computer, will post them soon..
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  14. Nilanjana

    Nilanjana Golden Sun (mo)

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    I dont know if you had a look at these websites. These are the websites of Dr. Vandana Shiva, a world renowned environmental activist from India and she writes for farmers issues and concern. You will have nice articles in her site.

    http://www.navdanya.org/
    http://www.vandanashiva.org/
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  15. Dr. Cha~zay

    Dr. Cha~zay Metaphysician, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Mentor Forum Creator

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    These are great resources, thank you, Nilanjana. I have a rusty exhaust pipe on my moped, I better get a bottle of coke and try to get it off. I'll report back. :p

    That's just insane! My parents wouldn't allow us to drink coke at all. I had my first coke for my 12th birthday. It was such a privilege to get a coke, and I didn't even like it! I don't like anything with acid bubbles, it's so unnatural going down, yikes.
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