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ESSENTIAL READING TOPICS

 ↑  POLITICAL CHART (a quick lesson in ideology)

The Political Chart(http://www.civismundi.net/civismundi.php?p=06-Political+Chart) is the condensation of a much larger project on political ideology. The full paper includes the ideology of all parties (as I see it) and shows how they change as they move from being acceptable to being radical. The full paper is beyond the scope of this project.

 ↑  REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY

The case for Proportional Representation is fundamentally the same as that for representative democracy. Only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a nation can its decisions be regarded as the decisions of the nation itself.

(Encyclopedia Britannica)

I would prefer that most essential reading be sourced by the reader to remove my biases. I will offer a few hints to get you started but you read what you like and draw your own conclusions.

I used the following search words. You use what you like.

Representative + Democracy + Wikipedia

You might try searching with the words Democracy plus and any of the following

Naomi Klein or Amy Goodman or Alexis de Tocqueville or Aristotle or Chomsky, or Gore Vidal, or John Kennedy, or Plato or Jefferson or Voltaire or Howard Zinn

Searching Quotes + democracy will yield a wealth of condensed insight.

 ↑  THE FREEDOM FROM MEDIA MANIPULATION AND THE RIGHT TO BE TOLD THE TRUTH

Propaganda and Freedom of speech

Its greatest triumph is that we generally don't notice the influence of propaganda - or laugh at the notion it even existsNoam Chomsky

I am considerably concerned when I see the extent to which we are developing a one party press in a two-party systemAdlai Stevenson

Erosion of freedom is what happens when we take our freedoms for granted. Someone will surely take them and use them for their own gain. Again, I would prefer that most essential reading be sourced by the reader. I will offer a few hints to get you started but you read what you like and draw your own conclusions.

I used the following search words. You use what you like.

Here are a few findings:

 ↑  ELECTORAL SYSTEMS

(also called Voting_systems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_systems))

Voting systems are either Majority_rule(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority_rule), Proportional representation(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation) or Plurality voting(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurality_voting_system).

Given the simplicity of majority rule, those who are unfamiliar with voting theory are often surprised that another voting system exists, or that "majority rule" systems can produce results not supported by a majority. If every election had only two choices, the winner would be determined using majority rule alone. However, when there are three or more options, there may not be a single option that is preferred by a majority. Different voting systems may give very different results, particularly in cases where there is no clear majority preference.

(The above was taken directly from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system)

The Wikipedia article noted above will introduce you to all of the types of voting systems used around the world. It will also show you sample ballots.

To expand your knowledge of electoral systems and to see how they reflect voter choices I recommend the following search words:

Note regarding Voting System choice.

There is a factor in voting systems that I have never found documented but it is important. It truly needs an astute political scientist student to study "National aggression as it relates to the Voting system in the nation" and to add it to Wikipedia.

The connection is not immediately obvious but the logic is sound. If the voting system slowly (combined with the election system) erodes and eliminates all political ideology that includes compassion, sharing, fair wages for labor and social policies then it also eliminates their representatives from government. This leaves only the aggressive right winged business interest representatives to lead us. Aggressive people make aggressive foreign and domestic policy that we all have to live with and answer for.

It is uncomforting to note that many countries with crummy voting systems also have atomic bombs.

 ↑  ENGAGING IN POLITICS

(the 2% - Civis Mundi - solution)

The significance of participating in the political arena is far greater that you would imagine. Far less than 2% of all Canadian citizens are active in political parties so I assume it is much the same elsewhere. You should understand how significant that fact is. I have personally seen how a few thousand people working in concert from across the country can influence the results of a political convention.

The significance of being engaged in politics is not lost on newly immigrated citizens anywhere in North America or Europe. They fully understand the importance of engagement. Their influence far exceeds their numbers or their percentage of the population. This same phenomenon is seen in the influence of business engagement and evangelical engagement. Self-declared world citizens (Civis mundi), engaged in the political arena can and will also have an influence greater than their numbers - potentially greater that all the other factors combined.

Search words (for this topic it is a little harder to find sources of information) try Engage Public Politics

Here are a few quotes that show that others have recognized the importance of political engagement.

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.Plato

In politics, an organized minority is a political majorityJesse Jackson

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you"Pericles

Those who do not do politics will be done in by politics.French Proverb

All politics are based on the indifference of the majority.James Reston

If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snakeMahatma Gandhi

All politics is localTip O'Neill

 ↑  TWO PARTY SYSTEMS

In Canada, the UK, Jamaica, Lebanon, Pakistan and India, (plus some others) we have a multiple political party system coupled to a Plurality voting system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurality_voting_system). This is not a great idea.

In the US there is basically a Two-party system(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-party_system - also coupled with a plurality voting system. Also - not a great idea.

American Politics political chartThe US has two political parties but the ideology is much the same in both of them. Both parties sit on the right side of political charts after a century of marginalizing and demonizing all labor, social and compassionate ideology. The Republican Party fights for its Free Market Individualism ideology whereas the Democrats fight for its Free Market Collectivism ideology. This phenomenon is also predominant in Canada where the Conservatives and the Liberals close ranks against the New Democratic Party as they move to marginalize any left ideology.

For a short course in ideology please visit the Political Ideology Chart(http://www.civismundi.net/civismundi.php?p=06-Political+Chart).

Do your search starting with the search words Two Party System Wikipedia and spread out from there.

Here is an American authored article I stumbled upon: Anderson: Two-party politics lean toward facism(http://www.kansan.com/stories/2008/feb/22/anderson/)

Here are a few quotes of condensed wisdom:

Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts.Eugene McCarthy

It makes no difference who you vote for; the two parties are really one party representing 4 % of the populationGore Vidal