Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

How healthy is the government in your country?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25804 points ) August 21st, 2010

I live in the US but want answers from jellies all over the world.

Here in the US, there seems to be great turmoil over the fact that the current administration leans a certain way. I contend that the resulting public debate is a healthy thing. Some of it’s more extreme elements are unwarranted and wrong, but the fact that people are free to express their views is the sign of a nation rooted in fundamental rights of individuals. That’s a good thing.

How healthy is civil discourse in your country? Are you free to publicly express your views? What are your views of your form of government?

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22 Answers

mammal's avatar

well, you are a victim of fear, engendered by nefarious right wing elements… you need, desperately need, to re=evaluate your fundamental values.

Dewey420's avatar

I agree healthy discussion about our rights as a country and the limitations our government can impose on us should be discussed, which the internet allows us to do now. But they are trying to do away with free internet as we all know it because it’s also uncovering the mass media fear propaganda that is trying to keep people unaware of some other agendas.

downtide's avatar

I’m in the UK and at the moment it’s really not good at all. Our last general election turned up no clear winner so now we have a coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems, and it’s all kind of meh. No-one knows what’s going on.

talljasperman's avatar

In Canada My member of Parliament is hard to get a hold of… he lets his admin assistants read his confidential mail and answer it… So I would say bad…. and the last time I made a political comment I got locked up for 14 days… and put on pills against my will

Mephistopheles's avatar

@downtide is right. “Meh’ just about sums up the situation here in the UK. Nobody really likes what the current government is doing, but we have no opposition because the Labour Party is entirely wrapped up in its own rather uninspiring leadership contest.

That said, whilst I generally don’t support the current government at all, it is committed to reversing many of the previous administration’s excesses where civil liberties are concerned. No ID cards – yay!

Still, it won’t be too long before David Miliband saves us all.

TexasDude's avatar

My government is morbidly obese, diabetic, and uninsured.

lloydbird's avatar

Isn’t ” healthy government ” an oxymoron?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@lloydbird : It is only if you believe that government is inherently bad.

Mephistopheles's avatar

@hawaii_jake And that would just be silly, right?

Ron_C's avatar

Our government, in the United States has been lost to the oligarchs. Even the president kowtows to their whims. Not that the Supreme Court granted corporations full citizenship status we will sink further into a world of carefully crafted press releases and commercials. I know intelligent people that are swayed by the opinions of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and even Sarah Palin.

I am glad I am old so that I won’t be around to see the U.S. become a republic similar to Saudi Arabia with pseudo religion based laws and foreign corporations telling us how to think, what to buy, and how to live by the indulgence of our betters.

I expect in ten years or so, the middle class will be decimated, congress will blatantly bow to the wishes of foreign corporations (today they pretend to be independent), we may even have a return of debtors prisons, and indentured servitude. Back to Dickens’s merry old England. For all of this we might have well not bothered with the revolution and the civil war. Democracy has been purchased by Walmart, Target, BP, China, and Saudi Arabia.

Soon to open in your town, “The United States, Inc.”!

Mephistopheles's avatar

@Ron_C Y’know, I don’t want to be rude, but whenever people preach about the United States becoming some sort of corporatist police state they never present any…evidence to support their claims. Foreign corporations literally dictating government policy. Do you genuinely think that people are so disengaged with the system as to permit that?

Fine – we all accept that corporations hold far too much political power, but there’s no need to sensationalise things.

Indentured servitude? Give me a break.

Ron_C's avatar

@Mephistopheles no evidence?!!! What about the supreme court declairing that corporations have the same privileges and rights as a human being. They have complete freedom to spend as much money, in secret, as any citizen to influence elections! They don’t even have to be domestic corporations. What do you call that? I believe that the 5 justices that made that ruling are guilty of treason and should be impeached.

How about the fact that unions have been vilified and broken by legislative action since Reagan. Without unions, who has any power at your work site, your bosses, not you. Safety rules are ignored in mines because they are too expensive and executives move freely from industry to government regulators, back to industry.

Only a few corporations now own the news papers you read so they are free to tailor the news to meet their agenda. Corporations now own prisons and support stiffer sentences to keep them full. Are you seriously suggesting that we are not controlled by corporations?

What to you call keeping money tight and jobs low so that the people that have work don’t want to do anything to upset their employer that hasn’t given them a raise in 2 years? That is the first step to indentured servitude. Remember, no matter what your job, it can be outsourced, with tax breaks, and you may even have to train your replacement.

I can see people entering into contracts that insure employment at very low rates just so they have enough money to feed their family. I already know people that work so that they can have health insurance. Isn’t that turning your life over to a corporation?

Mephistopheles's avatar

@Ron_C You see evidence of a gigantic corporate conspiracy to take over the entire American way of life. I see a succession of bumbling politicians and justices exercising too little regulatory control over business and submitting too readily to the influence of lobbyists.

Guess what? Powerful corporations are nothing new. American labour unions were literally trodden into the dust throughout the so-called ‘gilded age’. Media magnates such as Hearst cynically distorted the news so as to maximise newspaper circulation. Robber barons like Carnegie, Morgan and Rockerfeller developed massive monopolies in order to exploit the consumer and accrue insane personal wealth.

So are we all now under the thumb of Big Business? No – we had the Trust Busters, the New Deal, the Great Society. Corporate power doesn’t always win the day. You give the public (and politicians) too little credit.

I’m not saying that a problem with corporate power doesn’t exist. It does, and it’s damn serious, and there are far too few men and women of real principle in Congress to counter it, but I see little indication that were are on an inexorable march to some kind of open corporate oligarchy. You fail to correctly identify the problem that the United States faces.

TexasDude's avatar

@Ron_C, don’t attribute to conspiracy or pure evil what can more realistically be attributed to incompetence or buffoonery.

Just a quote that I thought was relevant to @Mephistopheles ‘s counterpoint.

Mephistopheles's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Hanlon’s Razers. My guiding light in life :)

Dewey420's avatar

@Mephistopheles
“Fine – we all accept that corporations hold too much political power, but there’s no need to sensationalise things.”

I do believe we should start taking things a little more seriously, especially since people are dieing everyday.
“f you dont stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

TexasDude's avatar

@Mephistopheles, hah, I may have been a little off in my quoting, but the sentiment is the same!

NaturallyMe's avatar

SA government is incompetent (and probably a whole lot of other bad things that i’m not fully aware of).

Ron_C's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard @Mephistopheles I think we would be much better off if there was a corporate conspiracy. At least there would be some goal, some coordination, even a rational political agenda.

What we have is too many people with too much money and too many politicians willing to comply and collect the money. There too few people with power and money with a conscience. Even Andrew Carnegie developed a conscience and distributed a good bit of his money to help cure what he caused.

Today we have disseminated unions and people that make robber barons look virtuous. We have international business and even Japanese and Russian mafia controlling politics. I wish there was a conspiracy. Today’s politics is like terrorism. There is no central command, and independent groups do things that benefit themselves. The conservatives say that “greed is good” and the progressives can’t get their shit together. The only people suffering are the rest of us.

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