Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Mechanics Of Democracy

I think I remember that the ancient Greeks invented democracy.

It was a form of government in which all of the citizens went to council and voted their interests and the winning amalgam of interests won and policy was promulgated implementing those interests.

Those promulgations might have been called laws.

The reason that that direct form of government was possible was because there weren’t many citizens in those ancient Greek days.  One needed to be a non-slave, male and rich; there might have been other criteria; I don’t know.

The Romans had way too many citizens to have the Greek method work.

But they were inventive: they came up with a thing they called “Res Publica”.

In English that means “thing of the people”.

The way it worked was that kluges of citizens, aligned together in some previously agreed manner, elected representatives to the assembly of representatives and those elected representatives represented their respective kluges.

The whole idea implicitly rejected another form of government, the dictatorship.

In that form there may or may not be elected representatives, but they just are there as a conduit of privilege to an already privileged class (the dictator chose them, after all – that’s pretty privileged) but the dictator calls all the shots; the privileged chosen representatives are there to cram the dictator’s dictates down the throats of the, disenfranchised, kluges; not a pretty sight, but a form that frequently is employed and often works well enough to last for a period of time.

Not surprisingly, the Romans may have invented dictatorship as a governmental form also.

The Republic (Res Publica) prospered for quite awhile.

It prospered to the point of becoming a glittering bauble of wealth and power that was irresistible to potential dictators.

One of them finally succeeded in taking over and that form of government commenced.

Nero and the fire were probably the high point of that form, from the viewpoint of the kluges; they got a major urban renewal project.

The United States is a Res Publica: kluges of Americans elect representatives to vote for them in the national assembly.

Each of those elections are almost always contested.

In America over history two major forms of opinion have developed and matured: Democrats and republicans.

Those two groups have always had different points of view and those differences have never been more stark than currently.

So, when the national assembly comes together these days one would expect there to be not only a wide range of viewpoints – hundreds of elected representatives representing kluges from all over a huge land mass must necessarily represent a variety of points of view, but also outcomes that sometimes represent one party’s point of view and sometimes the other’s point of view.

All of that occurs non respective to whatever point of the executive might hold.

For two hundred plus years that form of government has worked in America: the reps get picked by the kluges and the reps get together and argue and vote and count the votes and the prevailing vote get’s promulgated as a law to be endorsed by the – elected – executive.

One wild card is that the executive can not sign a proto law if he thinks it is detrimental to the well being of the republic.

A few days ago the assembly passed a budget funding the government.

donnie says that he is going to use the power of not signing that law as punishment to the democrats because they likely won’t vote in a manner that he has dictated on a different piece of legislation that needs to be passed by the second chamber of the assembly.

If the Democrats differ in opinion to that bill, and, as our form of government expects to happen in situations of that sort, they prevail, that bill won’t become law.

But donnie says they must vote the way he wants or else.

I hadn’t heard that democrats have to vote as if they were republicans.

I hadn’t heard about the plebiscite ushering donnie in as dictator.

Did I miss something?

Or is all of this just foreplay?

Sort of a trans governmental branch crotch grab?

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