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Democracy Politics

A Right to Democracy

The Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 21:

Article 21

  1. Everyone has the right to participate in the government of his country, directly or through freely elected representatives.
  2. Everyone has the right to access, on an equal footing, the public functions of his country.
  3. The will of the people is the basis of the authority of the public authority; this will shall be expressed by authentic elections to be held periodically, by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot or other equivalent procedure guaranteeing freedom of vote.

Today the sight of politicians arguing with each other, fighting for their interests or opinions, as they always do, dominate our television, computer, and phone screens. They care more about their parties than everyone's good and don't listen to each other.

They never agree.

Politicians are elected by the people, by voting for their parties, but in today's Democracy there are some flaws. The people vote for someone but you can't choose people directly, you have to vote for the representative that each party has put on their lists. And those are not always the most logical choices,

Moreover, once they have been voted into power, we can no longer control them, and hold them accountable and ensure they are doing what they promised or take away their power when they go against their promises.

Democracy is not fully achieved, because between election and choice, people can hardly intervene in the decisions of parties and governments.

Too often our voices need to be raised to be heard. Politicians often forget to listen to the people who elevated them to power.

Categories
Democracy Politics

The Political Lie

It is that lie used by those seated in power to make their own interests prevail over those of their voters. Political scientist John Mearsheimer wrote the book: "Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics" in 2011 (read the NPR review).

Politicians lie, and it good if they lie to other political leaders on our behalf. This is theory that John Mearsheimer poses in his book. But the idea itself is not new.

The political lie, also known as "noble lie", has been justified by Plato's political philosophy since Plato's "Republic" always considering the governed as idiots in front of their rulers and unable to know what the public interest is, many sometimes conceived as the interest of the state. So in Plato's "The Republic" (Book III) we can read "if any one at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good" however "when intemperance and disease multiply in a State, halls of justice and medicine are always being opened; and the arts of the doctor and the lawyer give themselves airs, finding how keen is the interest which not only the slaves but the freemen of a city take about them." The justification for the noble lie continues its development with Machiavelli "for this reason a prudent Prince neither can nor ought to keep his word when to keep it is hurtful to him", Nietchzsche, Weber, Carl Schmitt and in the present stage with Leo Strauss, the spiritual father, the latter, of many of the current rulers in the United States.

An illustrative example of political lying is the philosophical contest promoted by Frederick II of Prussia in 1778 with the title of "Is it convenient to deceive the people, either by inducing them to new mistakes, or by keeping them in those already in?"

The political lie is systematically exercised through the use of mass media to constitute the social body or unify it as Sun Tzu said in the "Art of War" three centuries before Christ, and thus justify interest. The preferred technique, of this, to give body to a political lie is demagoguery, whether this demagoguery of equality or freedom, in addition to the political fiction.

The country, through the division of the powers of the state, the imperative mandate and the ability of the governed to depose their rulers, control the narrative of political lie.

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Democracy

Democracy In Focus

Bolivia's first president, Evo Morales, has recently been removed from office after 14 years in power after facing acquisitions of a election fraud; declaring himself president even when a clear winner was yet to be decided. What followed was a month of unrest in the country, forcing Morales to seek asylum in Mexico. Jeanine Áñez has been sworn in to act as an interim president until new elections are held.

What is democracy?

First, we can distinguish between what we call social democracy and formal or political democracy. The first comes from an idea of morality or justice, and consists in the aspiration for civil and social equality of individuals in a community. It is the idea traditionally vindicated by progressive or left-wing ideologies. It is also called "horizontal democracy" (horizontalidad in Spanish speaking countries). The second is a concrete form of government, and we can define it as the institutional guarantee of political freedom. It is also called "vertical democracy."

For a political democracy to exist, basic conditions are necessary:

  1. De facto separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers
  2. Representativeness, through electoral laws, of civil society

If any of the conditions are missing, the government is undemocratic.