Where’s The Party ?

Today I’ll look at the mechanics of the American presidential election but also elections, in general, from the global perspective.

From OneWorld.Net: Amnesty Int’l Focuses on Americans’ Voting Rights
“Under Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to participate in government and open elections…”
“Amnesty and other groups taking part in the voter registration drive fear that millions of Americans may not be able to cast their ballots in the presidential polls if certain shortcomings in the current electoral system are not addressed before the presidential polls in November.”

From The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

From About.com-US Government Info: The Electoral College System
“When you vote for a presidential candidate you are really voting to instruct the electors from your state to cast their votes for the same candidate.”
“Each elector gets one vote.”
“While the state electors are ‘pledged’ to vote for the candidate of the party that chose them, nothing in the Constitution requires them to do so.”
“Critics of the Electoral College system, of which there are more than a few, point out that the system allows the possibility of a candidate actually losing the nationwide popular vote, but being elected president by the electoral vote. Can that happen? Yes, and it has.”

Hmmm… Government of, by, and for the People? The U.S. population is a bit over 301 million people; the Electoral College system has 538 people . . .

It could be argued that the United States election process is the best possible system. It could also be argued that the moon is made of green cheese.

My Faith counsels us to “…obey the government under which [we] live…”, it also counsels that people should “under no circumstances suffer their inner religious beliefs and convictions to be violated and transgressed by any authority whatever.”

Tough call, eh? No matter what I think about the government and its procedures, I should obey it, yet never abandon my inner convictions.

It may sound totally ridiculous yet, in my opinion, it’s based on the principle that not resisting the wrong will make it stand out all the more. If we argue and contend, we muddy the issues. If the issues are muddy, how can we clearly decide what will actually work. If we obey a wrong decision we can aid a process that will make it utterly, clearly wrong. Then, clear corrections can happen.

Some may say, “Who me suffer, just to aid some distant, just decision?”

Well… What if the distant, just decision aids your children or grandchildren?

Unbelievably, that’s a tough call for some folk . . .

“…we are concerned at the lack of leadership over a wide spectrum of human affairs. At national, regional, and international levels, within communities and in international organizations, in governments and in non-governmental bodies, the world needs credible and sustained leadership.
‘It needs leadership that is proactive, not simply reactive, that is inspired, not simply functional, that looks to the longer term and future generations for whom the present is held in trust. It needs leaders made strong by vision, sustained by ethics, and revealed by political courage that looks beyond the next election.’
“This cannot be leadership confined within domestic walls. It must reach beyond country, race, religion, culture, language, life-style. It must embrace a wider human constituency, be infused with a sense of caring for others, a sense of responsibility to the global neighborhood.”

Report of the Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighborhood. (New York: Oxford University Press. 1995.) p.353.
Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Oct, Turning Point For All Nations

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Blue Sky Thinking for a Green Future

Just a simple little post today…

Simply Shocking!

It appears that no matter what the world governments’ policies are (or, will be) we face some dire adaptations if we want the human race to remain on earth.

There were three different scenarios created and run through a complex climate model by the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office, Hadley Centre.

It didn’t matter which model was run. Bottom-line, we’re in for a rough ride:

Climate researcher and author Mark Lynas, who was a participant in the production of the recent report, Carbon Scenarios: Blue Sky Thinking for a Green Future, said:

“This means that all scenarios see the total disappearance of Arctic sea ice; spreading deserts and water stress in the sub-tropics; extreme weather and floods; and melting glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas. Hence the need to focus far more on adaptation: these are impacts that humanity is going to have to deal with, whatever now happens at the policy level.”

If the governments get their collective act together and the corporations allow them to institute binding laws; and, if the corporations abide by those laws { If humanity ever needed Faith, this is THE time… }, there seems to be a dim bit of light . . .

From the press release on Monday 9 June, 2008:

“When the panel of experts set out to develop a set of scenarios about climate change, the general public thought there was a trade-off between economic growth and carbon reduction. In fact, the scenario that delivers the most carbon reduction, also, delivers long-term economic growth by replacing a pick ‘n’ mix of complicated, confusing and opaque policies with a clear, long-term carbon price”, concludes report author Paul Domjan.”



We’re Killing Our Future . . .

image credit

Just a few quotes gleaned from a web search (all linked to their source sites):

“Nayef Abu Snaima says his 14-year-old cousin Jihad had been sitting on the edge of an olive grove talking animatedly to him about what he would do when he grew up when he was killed instantly by an Israeli shell.”

“After all, who among us is not moved by endless images of dead babies sheathed in blood, body parts hanging by a shred of gristle, with the blank stare of eternity glazing their eyes? What ‘civilized”‘ person secure in their happy world of languid summer days, mall festivals brimming with second-rate food and third rate crafts, concerts on the lawn with wine and traveling minstrels, could not want this distant tribal slaughter to stop, stop, stop this very instant?”

“…the critical element remains the very low value put upon Afghan civilian lives by U.S. military planners and the political elite, as clearly revealed by U.S. willingness to bomb heavily populated regions.”

“…the number of dead … caused by the U.N sanctions that started with Bush I, and continued under President Bill Clinton, whose Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, once described the effects of the sanctions on Iraq’s children as ‘worth it.'”

And, from a site that helps doctors make better decisions:

“All societies attach a different range of meanings to war than to natural disasters, and questions of societal recognition, reparation, and justice are generally central. Most modern conflict has been grounded in the use of terror to control and silence whole populations. Those abusing power typically refuse to acknowledge their dead victims, as if they had never existed and were mere wraiths in the memories of those left behind. This denial, and the impunity of those who maintain it, must be challenged if survivors are to make sense of their losses and the social fabric is to mend. For the names and fate of the dead to be properly lodged in the public record of their times also illuminates the costs that may flow from the philosophies and practices of the Western led world order, ones which health workers should be in a position to influence.”