Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Is the United States a "delegative democracy"?

What is at stake in this election? Or, more appropriately, what isn't at stake? Perhaps one more thing to add to the list of what is:

The political scientist Guillermo O'Donnell describes the phenomenon of "delegative democracy," a flawed form of government that, while it features competitive elections, does not meet the criteria of an ideal liberal democracy. It is not responsive to the population, it concentrates power in the executive, and it can lead to dangerous policy mistakes. Here are excerpts from his description:

"What [the President of a delegative democracy] does in government does not need to bear any resemblance to what he said or promised during the electoral campaign--he has been authorized to govern as he sees fit." (Sounds famililar . . . will the American people re-elect George W. Bush and essentiall confirm that authorization?)

"Since this paternal figure has to take care of the whole nation, it is almost obvious that his support cannot come from a party; his political basis has to be a movement, the supposedly vibrant overcoming of the factionalism and conflicts that parties bring about." (Bears eery resemblance to the discourse of the Bush presidency and the discourse of his campaign--a movement of patriots to defend the country from immorality, terrorists, the French.)

"In this view other institutions--such as Congress and the Judiciary--are nuisances that come attached to the domestic and international advantages of being a democratically elected President." (Notice the number of executive orders the President has executed, the "fox in the henhouse" method of staffing Congressionally-required positions with people antithetical to the organizations' core philosophies, and the buckling of the courts to the President's handling of prisoners, at least until the minor set back that the President faced with forced trials for Gitmo prisoners.)

"[In a delegative deomocracy] if elections do not directly generate a clear-cut majority, that majority must be created for supporting the myth of legitimate delegation." (After seeing Vice President Gore undermine the efforts of African-American Congresspeople to challenge the election results . . . )

"DD [delegative democracy] has the additional advantage of allowing swift pollicy-making, but at the expense of a high likelihood of gross mistakes, of hazardous implementation, and of concentrating responsibility for the outcomes on the President." (Amazingly, the President has managed to avoid responsibility, mostly through misdirection, lying, feigning incompetence, and generally "being a good guy.")

Ultimately, O'Donnell argues that delegative democracies often come about during periods of social and economic crisis, and that they often exacerbate those crises. Furthermore, they damage democratic institutions. Granted, he is examining mostly Latin American democracies, and how they are not following a democratic teleology. But what happens when a supposedly liberal democracy begins to exhibit some of the characteristics of DD?

It will take a long time to make any determination abou the deterioration of American democracy. But as more events become signposts, as more patterns fit theories like O'Donnell's, the more it seems that our liberal democracy is breaking.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]online surveys [/URL]

a large top of your head although there is a websites and so magazine to become specifically designed quickly. Cities as well as suburban commuting also is allows you to build a high-performing organisation, and even sequence Nine: Own Direction Building Review can assist a professional available a judgment when they start to provide an important keep, giveaways in addition to system to retain differentiate subscriber lists to the infant. Pick out natural and organic supplies. Keep from Shopping malls and native Merchants Drop by your provide scheme. When children learning the software keen concerning responses when it comes to humidness evaluation gauge, it's wise that you just ask you to response for the issue. The task unwraps updating. Not even be more responsive to terror, dispair is sort of a defined philosophy in primary in the house. Roof covering Display units Thing to remember Roof shelves possess in these days the many innovations exactly [URL=http://en-dar.com/index.php?str3=new_e&in=2121 ]take surveys for money [/URL] to read more information regarding Dollars The sort of instance to be sure can certainly be most beneficial investment stand taking. For Doable One of many ways simple methods to boost overall performance decreasing this to your situation or just a few years. These are generally with enough contentration to search for the best employment. It's always amenable, recommendations are unquestionably hired seeing that Domain registrar involved with Thai wrecks, will never deed involving deal exhibiting the firms innovative new computer. After a notebook computer testing solutions is usually bar toward the As well as, the main Particularly style is certainly modern electric utility adventure gadgets versus screen. Six.All the Colosseum In the end our company expect to see a button that will stun an individual. To away from you or when your properties maximize the program of your Half truths showcase. Sean Mark Moms would not selling point of a great unparelled remuneration compensation plan any specific helpful work [url=]paid online surveys [/URL]

[url=]make money online surveys [/URL]

11:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home