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Democracy

Another Successful Round Of Elections In Nicaragua

Sunday, November 6, saw the latest municipal elections in Nicaragua, with mayors and councilors elected for every city hall in the country, from the smallest to the largest (the capital, Managua). In the last general election, a year ago, 66% of voters took part. This time, not surprisingly, the percentage was smaller (57%), but still very respectable in international terms. Neighboring Costa Rica’s last local elections brought only a 25% turnout. Across the U.S., only 15 to 27% of eligible voters cast a ballot in their last local election. In the UK, turnout is usually about 30%, and only in Scotland have a few small districts seen turnout exceed 57%. Here are some provisional results. On the day, 2.03 million valid votes were cast (some 80,000, or 3.79%, were judged to be invalid or spoiled).

The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us To Vote For Them To Save It

The bipartisan project of dismantling our democracy, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost. The wreckage of this neoliberal project is appalling: endless and futile wars to enrich a military-industrial-complex that bleeds the U.S. Treasury of half of all discretionary spending; deindustrialization that has turned U.S. cities into decayed ruins; the slashing and privatization of social programs, including education, utility services and health care.

Lula Da Silva: Victory Of An Immense Democratic Movement

This is the inaugural episode of host Teri Mattson's weekly program, WTF is Going On in Latin America and the Caribbean, at its new home on Popular Resistance. You can watch the program live every Thursday on Popular Resistance's Facebook Page and YouTube Channel at 7:30 pm Eastern/4:30 Pacific. This week, Teri interviewed Michael Fox, an independent journalist and the host of Brazil on Fire, which is a Real News and NACLA production, about the recent presidential election in Brazil. Michael was in Brazil to cover the election. On Sunday, October 30, Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva was elected to be the next president of Brazil in a stunning comeback following a tight runoff race against President Jair Bolsonaro. His victory is one of an immense movement returning democracy to Latin America's largest country after four years of Bolsonaro's far-right administration.

Guinea’s Plight Lays Bare The Greed Of Foreign Mining Companies

On October 20, 2022, in Guinea, a protest organized by the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) took place. The protesters demanded the ruling military government (the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development, or CNRD) release political detainees and sought to establish a framework for a return to civilian rule. They were met with violent security forces, and in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, at least five people were injured and three died from gunshot wounds. The main violence was in Conakry’s commune of Ratoma, one of the poorest areas in the city. In September 2021, the CNRD, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, overthrew the government of Alpha Condé, which had been in power for more than a decade and was steeped in corruption.

UFCW Reformers Look To 2023

Next April, 1,200 delegates from the Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) will gather in Las Vegas for the union’s international convention. A new reform group, Essential Workers for a Democratic UFCW, is gearing up for a fight. The group describes itself as a coalition of rank and filers, local leaders, and not-yet-union workers. Drawing inspiration from the caucuses that have recently won landmark reforms in the Teamsters and Auto Workers, it is pushing for change in three areas: union democracy, new organizing, and coordinated bargaining. The reform group is encouraging rank-and-file supporters to run for convention delegate on its platform. The effort has its strongest public backing from the union’s largest local: Local 3000, formed this year by merging Locals 21 and 1439.

The Most Important Election In Brazil’s History

On Sunday, up to 156 million Brazilian voters will go to the polls to choose a new president in a run-off election. The stakes could not be higher. The far-right incumbent is Jair Bolsonaro, whose term (2019-2022) has been marked by endless controversy, accusations of corruption, and the death of more than 600,000 Brazilians in a woefully mismanaged pandemic. He will face the center-left former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose eight years in power (2003-2010) witnessed major reductions in poverty and inequality, sustained efforts to expand rights for marginalized groups, and unprecedented prestige for Brazil on the international stage. Although Lula defeated Bolsonaro by 5.2 percentage points in the October 2 first-round vote, he did not achieve the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. The most recent polls show Lula leading by margins of 2-6 points.

The Rise Of India’s Dystopian Surveillance State

A few months after Narendra Modi was re-elected in 2019, India’s Parliament passed a discriminatory bill extending citizenship to refugees from six religious minority communities, except for Muslims from the neighboring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Following the controversy, a series of protests erupted across the country. The capital city of Delhi witnessed ghastly communal riots, as members of the minority Muslim community were targeted by far-right groups that rallied in support of the bill. To identify the alleged “rabble rousers and miscreants,” including the protesters, law enforcement officials acknowledged using what they called the Automated Facial Recognition System.

Two Sixties’ Radicals Recall Fighting Times In US Labor

The University of Wisconsin at Madison was a hotbed of student radicalism in the 1960s. Unlike some other centers of campus opposition to the Vietnam War, left-wing activists there were among the first of their generation to organize around issues related to their own mistreatment as workers. In 1963, undergraduates employed in campus jobs formed a Wisconsin Student Employees Union to force the administration to raise their wages to the federal minimum (a 50 cent per hour increase). Seven years later, the UW Teaching Assistants Association organized the first TA strike in U.S. history, a 24-day walk-out that won union recognition. UW graduates shaped by that experience went on to play key roles in the labor movement, locally, state-wide, and in others states.

The DNC Secretly Changed Its Rules To Help The Elite Establishment

It’s not a presidential election year — which explains my lack of gastrointestinal issues — so when better for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to quietly, behind closed doors, change their rules to make it even harder for regular people to have any impact on our completely unhinged government? That’s exactly what they did! But in their defense, they did send out invitations to all DNC voting members with one of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s inner thigh scabs in each envelope. The DNC is best known for being the most hated organization in the United States for 26 years running! You’ll never catch up, Child Molesters of Cincinnati Club!

Democratic Rebellion Throughout Latin America And Caribbean

Evo Morales, former President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and President of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, was a special guest of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) during festivities marking the 212th anniversary of Mexico’s independence. The other international guests included John and Gabriel Shipton, father and brother of journalist Julian Assange; family of the late farmworker and activist César Chávez; Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara; and former Uruguayan President “Pepe” Mujica. On September 15 Morales witnessed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador calling out the cry for independence. In addition to the traditional “¡Viva México!” of the heroes of independence, AMLO yelled, “Death to corruption! Death to racism! Death to classism!”

Failing To Count The Arabs: The Myth Of The ‘Democratic’ Jewish State

Israel wants the world to believe that it is a majority Jewish state with a 20% Arab minority and that the Arab population enjoys a good standard of living and full equal rights. And while this is easy to disprove, it is still part of the mainstream discourse on Israel. It is true that at around two million people, the Palestinian citizens of Israel represent about twenty-one percent of Israeli citizens. However, Israel counts its Jewish citizens regardless of where they reside throughout the country – including the West Bank and East Jerusalem – and all Jewish Israelis are citizens. In contrast, Palestinians are only counted as citizens in certain parts of the country so that the government can present the numbers in a way that looks good.

Democracy Scholars Call On Congress To Adopt Proportional Representation

Washington, DC - More than 200 political scientists, legal scholars, and historians from academic institutions across the United States released an open letter calling on Congress to reject the United States’ winner-take-all system of elections in the wake of a failed 2020 redistricting process and adopt multi-member districts with proportional representation for the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter’s 200+ signatories include experts in fields ranging from comparative electoral politics to constitutional law. They include nine Johan Skytte Prize winners, often considered the ‘Nobel Prize of political science’: Robert Axelrod, Francis Fukuyama, Peter Katzenstein, Robert Keohane, David Laitin, Margaret Levi, Arend Lijphart, Philippe Schmitter, and Rein Taagepera.

US Is Becoming A ‘Developing Country’ On Global Rankings

The United States may regard itself as a “leader of the free world,” but an index of development released in July 2022 places the country much farther down the list. In its global rankings, the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development dropped the U.S. to 41st worldwide, down from its previous ranking of 32nd. Under this methodology – an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity – the U.S. ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries. The U.S. is also now considered a “flawed democracy,” according to The Economist’s democracy index. As a political historian who studies U.S. institutional development, I recognize these dismal ratings as the inevitable result of two problems.

The US is a serial human rights abuser

The latest report from the China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS), entitled “U.S. commits serious crimes of violating human rights in the Middle East and beyond,” provides a detailed assessment of the United States’ human rights record, particularly in relation to its wars and regime change operations in the Middle East. Noting that U.S. imperialism has caused “permanent damage and irreparable losses to countries and people in the region,” the report highlights a valuable lesson to be learned by the peoples of the world: that the pervasive Western narrative of democracy and human rights is nothing but a façade, behind which lies hegemony, inequality, cruelty and violence.

Let’s Stop Pretending America Is A Functioning Democracy

There is a fatal disconnect between a political system that promises democratic equality and freedom while carrying out socioeconomic injustices that result in grotesque income inequality and political stagnation. Decades in the making, this disconnect has extinguished American democracy. The steady stripping away of economic and political power was ignored by a hyperventilating press that thundered against the barbarians at the gate — Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, ISIS, Vladimir Putin — while ignoring the barbarians in our midst. The slow-motion coup is over. Corporations and the billionaire class have won.
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