Democracy/Voting

This page has been prepared by Matthew Foster. It will be regularly revised.

If you are knowledgeable on this topic or on any other please feel free to edit.

Democracy/Voting

Many years ago I found this entry credited to the Encyclopedia Britannica. The entry actually addresses two issues with this single entry — the British style electoral system and 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.”

This is one of many American quotes that state much the same thing.

“Legislatures should be an exact portrait, in miniature, of the people at large, as it should think, feel, reason, and act like them.”

— John Adams

These both are noble quotes and express what many believe to be true to British, Canadian, American, and many other, democracies, but the truth is quite removed from what we believe. Democracies which use our method of counting votes can never ever achieve a full diversity of opinion within our nations and that is just the way business motivated people want it to remain. Only by forming a movement which is actually powered by people will we overcome politicians and governments powered by elites and their moneyed cronies.

If you have ever wondered why some nations have universal health care, free college and university, subsidized childcare, maternity leave, shorter work weeks, longer vacations, better working conditions, longer life spans, less incarcerations, lower infant mortality, more gender equality in business and government, lower remuneration for corporate executives, better worker wages, better infrastructure, better education, better environmental laws, less pollution etc. etc., you need look no further than to the way votes are counted and the way some groups (including the Religious Right and Left) interfere with the process of voting; be prepared to act on these problems or be prepared to leave a bitter future as a legacy of our being here in these crucial times.

This is where some will jump in and assume I am a ‘Pinko Commie Socialist’; they regularly use a host of other words meant to demonize any contrary ideology, but to my way of thinking people are pretty much the same everywhere on the planet and those that have compassion for others are not all socialists.

There are a minimum of 18 ideology positions on my political chart. (which I will deal with separately)

There is the Left and Right which makes two (Remember that if you ask a radical Conservative who is a socialist he will tell you that is anyone with less than radical views even if they are also Conservative.)

There are the Centrists who move back and forth trying to find something that matches their aspirations but most of the time they stay home and don’t vote. This makes a minimum total of three.

If you look at the Right it again divides into two as they look for Conservative values or Free Market ideology. This makes 8 when one further divides them into Acceptable, Tolerable, Radical and Fanatical factions. This makes it a total of 8 on the Right.

If you look to the Left side we have the same Monistic and Pluralists subdivided into Acceptable, Tolerable, Radical, and Fanatical factions. This makes it a total of 8 on the Left.

If we then throw in the Environmentalists (Greens) we have 18.

Unfortunately there are people who will never see their views represented in the current voting system so – if we really want to see our governments reflect a cross section of society we need to change to a Proportional Representational system where almost all votes elect representation.

Before going further, let me explain what happened in Canada in the last two Federal elections. Whenever I mention to someone that we now have a Canadian Liberal government that received 39.5% of the vote and has 100% of the power they look at me somewhat skeptical. When I tell them that the last Conservative government received 39.6% of the popular vote and got 100% of the power, they generally ask “how is that possible?” The answer is all in how votes are counted and not in how people voted.

We in Canada and the US have what are known as WINNER TAKES ALL systems. (generally called FIRST PAST THE POST in Canada) Much of the world uses what is known as PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATIONAL systems. In a Proportional Representational System there are always more political parties – never just 2, 3 or 4. When the votes are counted, (Using the Canadian election as an example) if the Liberal Party received 39.5% of the vote it would get 39.5 % of the seats in the Parliament – not the 54% which they actually received. The Greens with 3.5% of the vote would have received 10 seats and not just one. If that isn’t enough to get you interested in PR consider the additional ways that the privileged screw us around.

Gerrymandering – by manipulating the boundaries of ridings it is possible to turn a 40% public support into a win of 60% of the seats.

Caging lists: This is sneaky way of disqualifying registered voters.

Robo calls: Used to direct people to the wrong polling station or telling them that the election is won and that it is not necessary to vote. see Canadian scandal.

Manipulate the media: Have so-called experts tell the people that their candidate will win easily to make them complacent.

Create line ups at polls: create delays at selected polling stations to frustrate voters into leaving and never voting

ID Requirements: A tactic used to challenge voters, to frustrate and embarrass voters, so they leave and do not come back the next time.

Intimidate aliens: Falsely informing aliens that it is illegal for them to vote and frighten them into staying home

Purge registered voter’s lists: If a voter has the same name as a criminal simply purge him or her from the list making them prove they are not the criminal if and when they come to vote. This is where the provisional ballot comes into play

Pulpit endorsement: Religious groups acting as agents of a political party should perhaps lose their tax status.

Financially support a fringe party: This works well if you want to take a vote from the left and give it to a Green, thereby reducing the vote count for the candidate who might otherwise have won.

.Provisional ballots: apparently don’t often get counted according to investigative reporter Greg Palast.

Other Tactics: include stuffing the ballot box, forging absentee ballots, falsifying tallies or conspiring to prevent people from voting by intimidation or other means. Yes – there are more. Sever candidate registration rules, bribery with alcohol , and drugs, orchestrated foreign influence,(possibly by operatives of opposing parties), Conservatives running as progressives when progressive parties are in favor,

Summary: One would think that democracy should be all about fair play but it is not. Only the force of people working together and determined to put things right can actually create legislations which can closely mirror a cross section of society so that it thinks, feels, and acts just as they would act. After achieving the ultimate goal of getting Proportional Representation, (or perhaps a Mixed Member Proportional system) citizens can expect to achieve the same policies as other nations using such systems.

Democracy and voting is one of the 26 categories for consideration in the long ranged plan. It is not for me to say what needs to be considered in the scheme of things, but here are some thoughts. Never forget that business interests will always favor anything that offers a profit and will fight against anything that hinders such opportunities for profit. In the minds of many, democracy is not sacred and is and will continue to be manipulated against the interests of people.

Before we condemn democracy we should do everything in our power to strengthen it as business interests will continue to do everything in their power to make it theirs. Someone said that the cure for democracy is more democracy, and that means that its weaknesses need to be exposed for what they are, and corrected through public action.

Another category in the proposed plan will be INFORMATION AND EDUCATION. It is mentioned here because business interests have a strangle hold on information so what you are highly influenced by their unrelenting efforts. You are in fact programed to be their servant from birth to death. If you support changes to Democracy, so that the resultant legislations closely resemble a cross section society, then support anything else that can help you in your efforts.

Consider the failings in everything and prepare a 25 year plan to correct them.

Recommended reading:

The Spirit Level

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

Fairvote Canada Video

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-palombo/why-oh-why-ohio_b_4873715.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10769041/The-US-is-an-oligarchy-study-concludes.html

Wikipedia article  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system

Center for Voting and Democracy http://www.fairvote.org/

Fairvote Canada http://www.fairvote.ca/

The World of Electoral Systems http://www.idea.int/publications/esd/upload/esd_chapter2.pdf

International IDEA http://www.idea.int/publications/esd/upload/esd_annexes.pdf

 

It would help if you supported some of these groups

RADICAL RIGHT WING IDEOLOGIES

RADICAL RIGHT WING IDEOLOGIES

“I know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class”
—Frederick Douglass

Preamble:
I am attempting to write up acceptable, tolerable, radical and fanatical ideologies from both the left and right sides of my political chart. This is my first try at capturing it all in a list form. I invite any readers to help me edit this paper.

The following Basic Radical right winged fascist Ideology, was gleaned, for the most part, from an article by Dr. Lawrence Britt – a political scientist. (Any errors in interpretation and misguided additions are mine alone)

  • There is/was an outward display of pride for anything military.
  • There are/were extreme expressions of nationalism.
  • Anything foreign is/was suspect – bordering on racial intolerance.
  • Opponents to the government are/were demonized.
  • Secrecy is/was a major tactic in hiding abuses to citizens.
  • Torture is/was used to gain information.
  • The government uses scapegoats to put fear into the minds of citizens.
  • Scapegoats are used to shift blame and hide mistakes.
  • There was great disdain of anything on the political LEFT. I.E. communism, socialism, and labor unions.
  • Racial minorities, mentally ill, and infirm were/are targeted.
  • Active opponents to government were/are intimidated or are classed as terrorists.
  • Ruler are often linked to the military as doing so is seen as an expression of nationalism and patriotism.
  • Rulers often like to wear military uniforms in public and like military parades.
  • Rulers are often linked to the military industrial complex.
  • A disproportionate share of resources was allocated to the military at the expense of domestic needs.
  • The military is used to intimidate other nations, and to assert national and corporate economic goals.
  • Foreign nations are forced into arms races to achieve a degree of security and defence. (now it is generally a quest for an atomic arsenal.)
  • Greater and more powerful weapons are constantly developed and deployed.
  • State religion generally supports the male dominated, homophobic, anti abortion attitudes.
  • Rulers portray themselves as protectors of the state’s dominant religion.
  • Most regimes attached themselves to the prominent religion of the country.
  • Ruler and propagandists like to portray other groups as “godless”.
  • Women are generally suppressed and viewed as second-class citizens.
  • Members of other religions are targeted.
  • The “Business Interest” media can be relied on to support the ruling party line.
  • Government abuses of power are seldom if ever reported to the public.
  • Population is subjected to constant propaganda and misinformation.
  • There is always an obsession with state security.
  • National security is used as a cover for secret state abuses of power.
  • Questioning of government activities is portrayed as unpatriotic.
  • Organized labor is suppressed, demonized, and made powerless or eliminated altogether.
  • The poor are viewed with suspicion, disapproval and contempt.
  • Labor is exploited everywhere and businesses have in the past used government provided slave labour in the past.
  • There is disdain for human rights.
  • There is disdain and suppression of intellectuals.
  • Intellectual and academic freedom are considered suppressive to national security.
  • Universities are tightly controlled. (in past regimes)
  • Faculty with ‘unorthodox’ ideas were harassed and eliminated.
  • Art and literature that served the national interest was all that was allowed in past regimes.
  • There is a phenomenally large prison population.
  • Police are glorified and are relatively unchecked.
  • There is/were a lot of trumped up charges against political opponents.
  • Fear is promoted as an excuse for more policing power.
  • There is/was rampant cronyism and corruption as corporate people, and plutocrats used their positions to enrich themselves.
  • Those who are/were in power also enriched themselves through the power elite.
  • Corruption was never exposed in the controlled media.
  • Elections are/were generally fraudulent. Gerrymandering, purging of voter lists, hacking of voting machine, robocall, making voters wait to long, etc)
  • Voters are/were often disenfranchised, intimidated, or their ballots were discarded.
  • As a last resort, regimes turned to the judiciary, which was beholden to the power elite.
  • Rulers are/were self-declared dictators and puppets of Theocratic, Aristocratic, Big Business, the Oil Industry, the Military Complex, and Oligarchic forces.
  • Rulers exempt (ed) themselves from all laws and treaties.
  • International treaties are abandoned or ignored.
  • Global warming and environmental protection is now considered irrelevant.
  • The pulpit has become a soapbox for preaching right wing dogma, creationism as fact and science as obscene.
  • Many adherents of the right accept as few as a  single idea as being all important while ignoring all the rest -Eg. abortion, gay marriage ((I prefer the word Pairage), birth control, euthanasia, etc..
  • Christianity itself has been systematically bastardised to incorporate greed and the possession of goods as noble.
  • The United Nations, as was the League of Nations, is treated with distain and hatred.

Conclusion.

Note the warning from Ike, who knew well the horror of war against Fascism and Totalitarianism.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
— Dwight David Eisenhower, 1961

Toxicants

This page has been prepared by Matthew Foster. It will be regularly revised.

If you are knowledgeable on this topic or on any other please feel free to edit.

Toxicants

“Toxins love to get you while you’re young. Lead, mercury, second-hand smoke and sundry other environmental nasties do a lot more damage when tissue is immature, vulnerable and growing than when it’s mature and comparatively fixed.” Jeffrey Kluger

One group of toxins that our bodies must contend with are called endocrine disrupters. They can lock into our hormone receptors and, unlike natural hormones, they may never decay. A person may suffer their whole life because of the mixed messages these toxins carry – Matt Foster – Verdensborger

Preamble Considerations

But first a question: Do you think that the time has passed for writing about it, reading about it and talking about it and time to collectively do something real and tangible? That is what this idea of Civis Mundi is all about!

There is grave concern growing about the rapid and unrestricted use of chemicals. The synthetic compounds are contaminating water, soil, wildlife, and even humans causing severe health problems.

Here are some of the problems with both toxins and toxicants

There is egg shell thinning, cancer, reproduction problems, neurobehavioral problems, immune system problems, die offs in wildlife, and a host of other concerns. The problems are especially pronounced in top-of-the-food-chain predatory species that eat other contaminated animals and concentrate the chemicals.

Within an organism, unseen electrical and chemical signals dominate. The pulses and molecules facilitate communication inside a cell, between cells, and among organs and body systems. In people and vertebrate animals, the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems use chemical messengers, such as hormones and enzymes, to regulate body function, control behavior, and integrate hormone, brain, immune and other body systems.

Our first global petition might look something like this: 

Directed To: The governments of all 196 countries of earth. 

 “We the citizens of this planet, request that those elected to represent the interests of the environment and the welfare of all citizens, immediately ban the use of tritium in any product.” – Of course it would be great if we could ban all of the toxins/toxicants with one worldwide treaty but it would be wiser to pick on something easier to start with.

 

The next 24 year petitions could draw from the following:

  • The list below will expand and be edited if you care to input.
  • Hormone mimicking chemicals
  • Oestradiol mimicking compounds
  • Dental amalgam pollution – Mercury and Minimoto disease
  • Lead pollution
  • Pesticide chemicals
  • Depleted uranium usage and contamination
  • Gasoline additive problems
  • Tritium filled lighting
  • Herbicides
  • Pressure treated wood
  • CFC, PAH, DDT
  • Thalidomide
  • Growth hormones
  • 80,000 synthetic chemicals,
  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
  • Methyl parathion in pesticide
  • Phthalates as found in plastic wrap, plastic bottles, and plastic food storage containers.
  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds) – such as formaldehyde; can be found in drinking water and sewage systems.
  • Dioxins chemical compounds Asbestos is found in the insulation of flows, ceilings, water pipes, and heating ducts.
  • Heavy metals include arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum, and cadmium,
  • Chloroform
  • Chlorine
  • Phosphates
  • Detergents
  • Hair dye
  • Drugs in birth control pills

 

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

It would help if you considered some of these ideas

Tulane University paper http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Information and Knowledge

Right to “unbiased” information and knowledge

“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” Thomas Jefferson

All of the solutions to all of our problems hinges on this one category. Knowledge is indeed power and there is an element of society that fears our gaining knowledge and correcting the flaws in information distribution and democracy.  Matt Foster – Civis Mundi Sum

Preamble Considerations

Public funded radio and TV, freedom of speech, right to full disclosure, artificial news, exposing “False Flag” operations, academic freedom, unattainable higher education, concentration of media in too few hands, net neutrality, Media oligopoly, freedom of the press and editorial independence, limit news diversity and reduce news quality, access to research, freedom from propaganda and dogma, the print-media, broadcasting & film industries, adequate coverage of the 26 relevant issues as identified on this site and others, education vs entertainment, appropriate funding, accountability and transparency,analyze and scrutinize the policy and politics of a nation, demonizing of by special interests, vehicle for public debate and opinion, freedom from foreign influence,

Issues that could be prioritized into a 25 year plan (would you like to take on this category?)

  • Introduce ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?

 The first global petition might look something like this:

Directed To: The governments of all 190 (plus) countries of earth.

“As concerned citizens of this planet, we urge you, our political representatives, to set up an independent body to administer public broadcasting and to ensure that such government has no direct control of policy, salaries or working conditions ” – Of course the first item for consideration need not be as shown. It is however important that we get a start.

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

None found yet

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership

Friends of CBC http://www.friends.ca/

Leadnow http://www.leadnow.ca/

 

It would help if you supported some of these groups

plastic

PLASTIC – a 25 year plan 

“The ocean is like a soup of plastic mostly composed of fragments invisible to the human eyes, killing life and affecting dangerously our health.” Pierre Fidenci,

The Montreal Protocol was an internationally ratified treaty to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion. We urgently need a similar international treaty to curb the devastating and deadly effects of plastic. –Matt Foster – Civis Mundi

Preamble Considerations

The banning of plastic products must go well beyond bottles and bags. We must seriously look at legislating against the use of plastic in manufacturing worldwide. It is a threat to our existence and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer.

Plastic is not benign. It is like a malignant cancer causing devastation to every organism and ecosystem it touches on the planet. Educating the public on the threat of this destructive substance must be a priority. Banning it worldwide, in all but a few situations, is crucial.

Here are some of the problems with plastic:

  • Excess packaging meant to deceive the consumer.
  • Leaching of toxins into food and environment
  • Ingestion by birds from floating plastic waste leading to death
  • Floating plastic waste as transport for invasive species
  • The ability to kill over and over again due to its longevity
  • Micro fragmentation in oceans used as food source by fish and birds
  • Waste of a petroleum resource
  • Fish and mammal entrapment from lost plastic fishing nets
  • Most plastic products could be manufactured with alternate materials
  • Clogged waterways and swirling mass of floating plastic in waterways and oceans
  • Reproduction abnormalities from ingestion and exposure to leachates
  • Teflon concerns
  • Clogging of sewers and drains

The first global petition might look something like this: 

Directed To: The governments of all 190 (plus) countries of earth. 

“As concerned citizens of this planet, we urge you, our political representatives, to immediately ban the food industry’s use of plastic identification stickers from fruit and vegetables grown, packaged, imported and distributed within our countries. Clear and effective action is needed immediately to reduce the flow of plastic waste into our collective landfills, water-ways and food chain and the subsequent harmful effects of such stickers” – Of course the first item proposed need not be fruit and vegetable stickers – it could be candy bar wrappers, coffee cup covers or drinking straws. The important thing is to get a start.

The following 24 year petitions could draw from the following:

The fast food industry

The snack and candy industry

The signage and labelling industry

The toy industry

The food packaging and container industry

The laundry and cleaning products industry

The appliance industry

The indoor and outdoor furniture industry

The beverage industry

The health care industry

The stationary industry

The apparel industry (manufacturing and packaging)

The shoe industry

The plumbing and electrical industry

The automotive industry

The eyewear industry

The waste collection and recycle industry

The throwaway products industry

The aviation industry

The building industry

All other industries using plastic.

 

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

Catalyst ABC TV – Plastic Oceans



MIDWAY – a film by Chris Jordan


Plastic and the Indian street cow

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

It would help if you supported some of these groups

http://www.plasticoceans.net/

http://www.seaturtle.org/plasticpollution/MTN129p1-4.pdf

The Times of India: Plastic bag threat more serious than atom bomb: Supreme Court http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/pollution/Plastic-bag-threat-more-serious-than-atom-bomb-Supreme-Court/articleshow/13044203.cms?referral=PM

Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering – a 25 year plan

“Millions of ordinary people are very worried about genetically modified foods and I am one of them….With genetically modified foods I believe we  have reached the thin edge of the wedge, we are messing with the building  blocks of life and it’s scary.”  Malcom Walker,

Trying to stop the spread of GE will create tremendous opposition but we must prevail. Matt Foster – Civis Mundi (use this after your name to show you want action)

Preamble Considerations

Labeling of product, unnatural vs natural, promotion of herbicide use, irreversible consequences, removes seeds from commons, unforeseen consequences, presides use with as added hazards, may create super weeds, nutrition claims, allergenic realities, toxicity, who pays cost of problems created, weak regulations, right to know what one is eating, violate dietary and religious restrictions, organic industry threat to, accidental contamination of neighboring fields, threat to human and animal genome,,

 

Issues that could be prioritized into a 25 year plan.

  • Introduce mandatory “right to know’ labelling legislation
  • Stop the licensing of GE grain
  • Stop the licensing of GE maize
  • Stop the licensing of GE fish
  • Stop the licensing of GE vegetables
  • Stop the licensing of GE Flowers

The first global petition might look something like this:

Directed To: The governments of all 190 (plus) countries of earth. 

“As concerned citizens of this planet, we urge you, our political representatives, to immediately create legislation that will require that any and all distributors to label any product containing Genetically Engineered material and to ban the importation of any such product regardless of its source of origin. Clear and effective action is needed immediately to protect society, for which you are responsible” – Of course the first item for consideration need not be as shown. It is however important that we get a start.

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

Just Label It

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

Just Label It Campaign http://justlabelit.org/

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network cban http://www.cban.ca/

Canadian Organic Growers COG http://www.cog.ca/

It would help if you supported some of these groups

 

 

Food

Food

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” Ann Wigmore

When a conglomerate adds something to our food they do it for one reason and that is to gain greater profits. Our wellbeing is seldom considered. In the future we must make the decisions for them if we want both people and planet to flourish and survive.  Matt Foster – Civis Mundi Sum

Preamble Considerations

Sodium nitrate, trans fats, Propyl Gallate, Butylated hydroxyanisole, monosodium glutamate, aspartame Potassium bromate, food colorings, Acesulfame-K, Chloropropanols, olestra, white sugar, white flour, world hunger/starvation, labeling of food, artificial sweeteners, other food additives, fair trade produce, pesticide residue in food, excess chemicals in food, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, palm oil, local produce, low cost producers, food banks,  quality, access to food, government subsidies, High Fructose Corn Syrup,

Issues (including those above) that could be prioritized into a 25 year plan (would you like to take on this category?)

  • Stop the use of harmful additives
  •  Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  •  Stop ?
  •  Stop ?

The first global petition might look something like this:

Directed To: The governments of all 190 (plus) countries of earth.

 “We concerned citizens of this planet, urge you, our political representatives, to introduce legislation that will stop the use of chemicals that are dangerous to the health of people and ultimately end up in the environment where they continue to poison our planet” – Of course some countries already have this. It is however that everyone everywhere should have it.

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

http://www.uctv.tv/shows/Sugar-The-Bitter-Truth-16717



TheTruth About Your Food with FOOD, INC. Filmmaker Robert Kenner


Food Inc F… This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by dogwoof.

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/the-top-12-harmful-food-additives-you-need-to-eliminate-from-your-diet/

 http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/top-12-dangerous-food-additives.htm

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/top-10-food-additives-to-avoid

It would help if you supported some of these groups