Author: canchin

many crow about democracy - let's see what it really means [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-3-15 20:27:38 |Display all floors

Two bits are better than a flame bait

FYI, I don't think USA is the best example of a democracy. In fact, the founding fathers of that republic did NOT want democracy, it just happened to evolve in such a way that democracy gradually won out. For instance, a democracy doesn't allow repression of minorities, and we all know the USA historically has been the tyranny of the majority (ask any native Indian, African-American or Mexican in the US). As these repressions were phased out, the USA got more and more democratic. Today, USA is a democracy, but it isn't the best example of it (the Patriot Act and other new elements have actually worsened the situation). The best examples of democracy are still to be found in Europe, for instance in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Hitler wasn't elected chancellor. NSDAP got a minority of the votes, and the party was represented in the very young and fragile German democracy's parliament. Hitler was made chancellor by a political coup. The fact that he could later wipe out the democratic foundations in place just shows that Germany wasn't in fact a democracy, since in a democracy there is power balancing by courts and other (you just can't make a law that goes against the constitution).

And FYI, I am not American (nor Australian, English, British, Irish, nor of any Anglo-Saxon origin).

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Post time 2005-3-15 21:58:00 |Display all floors

view correction

Mr Lixy

As there is nothing perfect on this world, would be except of me -but I smoke unfortunatelly :--)), there are no perfect democracies.
Democracy in itself containes as system of "free" vectors". How big are these " marks, depends on the general culture and prevailing traits in this or another nations.

The Indo-Pakistani war , was indeed between democracies. I bet the war would be also if these two countries were non-democratic. The atavism and pro-"fk-them-all" lobbies unfortunatelly prevailed over the common sense there. May be some politicians needed this war to distract public opinion away from the internal problems (many , if not a majority of wars began this way).

Your samples of democratically elected folks ( Hitler, Saddam,ayatollahs) are...well...good and bad.
Good, because realy ,propaganda opiumed masses in blind amock vowed them up. And that was about the end of democracy there. The same people are later "chosen again" ,with 99 and whatever comes after coma percentage figures.
It shows democracy is as strong as the strenght of the independent structures in a state and the strength of the freedom lovers, when it comes to dealing with different anti-democratic forces.

Comparison of the average frequency of wars coming from non-democratic vs democratic countries,in recent times (say within 70 years) suggests that the democratic ones are less prone to start a fire.

Aha, before you write the answer, America is only one of democratic countries. :--))

AndyDob

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Post time 2005-3-19 14:55:38 |Display all floors

...

Wow, what a long post. I haven't actually read everyone's comments, so apologies if I repeat stuff that has already been said.

I think when people hear the word "democracy" in the context of China's political development they immediately associate it as a comparison of China and the U.S.

Personally, I think there a many countries that are a lot more "democratic" than the U.S. seeing that only about half (or less) of their population actually votes, among other reasons which others have mentioned.

Hence, when I use the word "democracy" in the context of talking about China's political development it is by no means a comparison to the U.S.

What "democracy" means to me is not about which established system one should follow. It is basic things... like the rule of law, and seperation of power.

The U.S is not a good model of seperation of power, for example, their judicial system is politicised by the fact that their federal judges are appointed. China needs to move towards creating seperation of power in order to stifle corruption.

The government needs to be held responsible to the people. You mentioned that China is tough on cracking down corruption... but who is cracking down on this corruption? It's a top down thing... sure, we can check the corruption down there because they answer to the top, but who checks those at the top? I think the biggest problem in China's political system is the lack of indepedent institutions to deal with matters like these.

As you can see, my main concerns at the moment are not to do with universal suffrage or anything like that.

Another thing which concerns me though  is the fact that at the NPC, bills get passed with pretty much zero opposition. I can say that with an First Past the Post Government systems, it's pretty much the same thing - if the majority party presents a bill it's almost 100% guaranteed that it will be passed. So the argument is, what is the difference between a 100% pass and a 55%-45% pass when the end result is that the bill gets passed.

But this doesn't have to be. In New Zealand, we got rid of the FPP system and replaced it with an MMP system. It's like the Representative system you mentioned. Here, you do not have to vote for one of the two "main parties" because the number of seats they get in Parliament will be in proportion to the % of votes they get. Additionally, after MMP came in, it seems rare that any one party gets more than 50% of the votes, so you will have a situation where the big parties have to form coalitions with the smaller parties in order to create the government. Hence, the small parties are an important check on the big party's power - if they present a bill, the small party (although they help form the government), can say NO to a bill.

Opposition, I think, is an important feature of democracy. No matter how patriotic you are to your own country, people are bound to have differing views on what is best for their country - and I do NOT believe any ONE person (or party) has the best answer.

No way do I think China should be using the U.S by itself as an example to work from. Although I consider a country like New Zealand far more democratic, it is a very small country. Perhaps Australia can also be looked at, I think that is a better example, in general, than the U.S.

The bottom line is that "democracy", no matter what line you take, will probably not get very far if any reforms that are happening is done because they want MORE power. The aim should be political stability.

Often, I read of the Americans flaming China for its lack of freedom of speech etc. and the comeback from Chinese and others would often be something like "what is the point in freedom of speech when you have rappers Eminem polluting your youth's minds and a chunk of your population live in ghettos while you have your Donald Trumps living it out?"... well, all I have to say is the fact that people are not allowed to openly oppose the government does not actually mean opposition does not exist. People think opposition is such a bad thing, that it will cause chaos and probably topple the government etc. BUT all I am saying is that there are examples in which political opposition can be incorporated into the system peacefully. In fact, I am only concerned that the lack of political opposition may be an instability factor.

In saying that, I really can't guarantee that opening up the CCP to political opposition etc. will be a good thing (I am indecisive, aren't I?). China's never experienced full on "political participation" by the masses in its history. The fact that England developed a constitutional monarchy is kind of an historical accident (just so happens they had weak kings who couldn't control their people completely, lol).

"Democracy" for China is really more to do with internal political stability I think, nothing to do with the "democratic peace theory" (which, I don't really hold much credit to - China's one of the most peaceful countries in world history apparently). Anyway, I think I'm getting slightly off track so I shall end it here.

Btw, again to avoid any accusations of plagerisms, I'd like to credit much of the information or views above to textbooks, journals, and lecturers etc. etc... I was obviously not born with all these views pre-formulated in my mind :)

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Post time 2005-3-25 22:34:01 |Display all floors

Let the baby come out !

It gives me great honor to come to the assistance of "Canchin the Great". The subject Democracy....what a sweet change in subject.

I too had difficulty reading all the posts but I did my best being just a simple fisherman that I am. Canchin please do not berate me for a difference in opinion.

China is indeed moving towards Democracy I think we all agree. (well maybe not SWWINDS). What a very slow birth this has turned out to be.
Usually the baby is pulled out, smacked on the bottom; it cries a little and then gets on with life. This is a Chinese baby so this birth has to be somewhat different.

I copied this from lian:
"* The right of free speech (the right to express one's thoughts in any medium)
* The right of free assembly (the right to demonstrate, strike and so on)
* The right of minority protection (the majority may not bully the minorities)"

I could also add protection of rights for Gays, Religious leaders, and Women's rights.

Now what should be different for China? Correct me if I am wrong but China is basically an atheistic Nation so the religion part of this will probably take the back burner. Formites on this site have said how evil religions can be to humanity. I do realize there are some restricted freedoms in religion in China but I think it should be more open here.
Maybe not as open as the USA because we are a God fearing country.
I hope this did not come across as an insult as this was not my intention.

Free assembly will be the big change and I think this will be hard for the Chinese as they want order at all costs. If this is allowed all other rights will follow. Democracy has a way of growing on its own and trying to keep it in a box at all times does not work.

I really wanted to bring up Taiwan and their Democracy and why China had to bring this situation to a boil. It seems to me that the more China moves towards democracy the less friction will take place. Why does China want to push Taiwan before Democracy takes place in China?

Another example is Hong Kong. Since that leader stepped down, why did China put a road block up stopping Democracy progression until the year 2012? Why not let the people in Hong Kong vote in or at least have some say in their next leader? It is not mainland China and to me it should have been a perfect time for Democracy to take place. Why is China dragging her feet?

China is growing very fast economically and militarily yet the "Democratic Baby" is being pulled out ever so slowly. I guess what worries the pro-Democratic Chinese people and the Democratic Western countries is....
they are not quite sure there will not be a late-term abortion after China has moved into a position of strength.

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bchung has been deleted
Post time 2005-3-27 01:57:42 |Display all floors

China slow you kiddin?

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Post time 2005-3-27 03:01:13 |Display all floors

Control vs Freedoms

I know speaking to China about Freedoms is like offering an insult. That is not my intent. You can not watch the baby grow until the baby has the freedoms to do so.
Once the baby is born much happiness shows on everyone抯 face. Joy and fear is on everyone抯 mind. I can understand the fear China has.
Let the baby out by "the vote". Even keep it a one party vote but let the people a least have that much. Perception is reality.
Take care to keep an eye on the abortion doctor because some in China do not want to hear that first cry.

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Post time 2005-3-27 07:11:12 |Display all floors

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This post was edited by twu026 at 2012-10-10 17:44

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