mollybh on 25 Nov 2000 05:09:11 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: Revocation of Independence

With regards to comments written below...

yes, the election debacle here is an inspiring rent in the political fabric which 
has somewhat refurbished meaning to the otherwise most banal of bi-party splits - 
the lesser of two evils - two-guys so similar that you basically vote for the one 
guy who is not the other guy - kind of tenor in the media ...most telling really 
in the public sentiments is Naders' 2% vote which bypasses the mediocre rhetoric 
of that guy vs. guy spectacle and launches the political possibility of 
there being more than just-two ways of looking at what it means to live in a 
republic at all. political diversity? 

a republic is only as good as it works. there are
real disgruntlements here, even the most progressive centers of activity
are being hit by an overabundant economy which serves them NOT... very basic 
things are at stake now in this post-vote recount..."the vote" and its attendant 
ideology of being the bedrock of American democracy has focused American 
attention around...the vote...the idea of the vote... Just what is a democracy
and is the aggressive and impatient George Bush going to support it? Then, you 
can't forget his followers...and the fact that the Mormons and other religious
groups are hot to see a conservative swing. The whole state of Florida smells...

But the defense of people's right to vote has separated the men from the boys
 Democracy does have a just face afterall. 

Australia may not be a republic yet but at least there are more than
2 parties contending.  if Bush is elected he can mess with the Supreme Court. 
That alone could send us backwards another few decades in terms
of public discourse, abortion laws, civil rights, corporate taxation. Apparently
he was overheard warning his brother, Governor of Florida, to "deliver him 
Florida, or it would be a chilly Thanksgiving." 

Meanwhile, a lot of hope in the count being wrong is riding on this recount. The 
fact that it was so close may reflect the fact that many more Republicans VOTE at 
all, than registered democrats. So the subject of popular vote, electorates, what 
voting means is probably good for apathetic democrats who haven't made it out to 
the polls in past elections. Curiously the weird part of American democracy is 
that freedom is SO taken for granted here that when it gets hemmed in in some way 
it seems SO bizarre and unfair and everyone gets upset a bit too late. While 
everyone is on the joyride, however, the idea of protecting one's civil liberties 
and human rights is often the furthest thing from anyone's mind. If you've got it 
good you've got it good, who cares about anyone else?  It's like Laurie Anderson 
once writing 
"that by the time she'd gotten to reading the back of the cereal box it was 
already too late."

But the Nader vote (and his campaign) mean that there is public visibility
left of center. That plus Gore could work to a lot of advantage for the 
underserved. And no one should have had to forfeit the power of his or her vote 
just to keep Bush out of office. that's just the two-guys mentality again.

We may have a Republic technically but its based  on property, class, and the 
status and ideology of both...if anything the recount points out that Al Gore
may be a bit more interested in power for the people than we suspected. 


Except that England is not a republic, and sadly, niether is Australia -

 Constitutional monarchies work in very different ways from republics.
 The Westminster Parliamentary system is not exactly famous for its
 inclusiveness, or fairness democratically, and it was this model the
 rounding fathers modelled the original post revolutionary consitution,
 bill of rights etc. They were landowners and powerful men with property to

 If anything, the vigour with which the Americans embrace the current 
 presidential standoff is evidence of the vitality of their republic if not
 of the efficiency of thier voting system. Arguably the US is still in
 'revolution' mode all these centuries later.


 On Wed, 22 Nov 2000, richard barbrook wrote:

 > Hiya,
 > I particularly liked the claim that the USA is the 'the longest running
 > democratic republic' which conveniently forgets that black people were
 > denied the vote until 1965 while we've had universal suffrage in England
 > since 1927!

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