Another lesson in democracy

by Volker Weber

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Hint: The Bush camp is at, not at

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That's democracy in the United States of America, the country with the oldest democracy in the world. As US citizen i would be very shamed and angry, as European i am scared about the development in the last 4 years...

Christian Tennigkeit, 2004-10-27

Stefan Rubner, 2004-10-27

...Damit muss eine Demokratie unabdingbar die Menschenrechte gewährleisten. Insbesondere sind in diesem Zusammenhang das bereits erwähnte Wahlrecht, das Diskriminierungsverbot, das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung und eine unabhängig funktionierende Judikative als konstituierende Grundbausteine einer Demokratie zu nennen...

no comment

Christian Tennigkeit, 2004-10-27

Both campaigns have already been accused of stuff like this. The Democrats in Colorado.

I would suggest that much of this stuff happening is due to the legal industry wanting to make a crapload of $$$ off the impending lawsuits. After all, how many lawsuits in how many states can be filed if "due process" or "civil rights" are somehow violated. Don't doubt it'll happen.

Not due to some sort of conspiracy, just sheer greed... well, unless you would consider it a conspiracy by the legal industry to make themselves more wealthy than they already are.

Jon Johnston, 2004-10-27

And will the Republican lawyers be wearing brown shirts?

Bob Balaban, 2004-10-28

Just to clarify something. America is NOT the world's 'oldest democracy'. Ancient Athens is. The argument that Americans then give is that athenain slaves (and of course women) could not vote. So how do they account for the fact that American slaves could not vote back in 1790, or whenever, and US women could not vote until 1920!? It was only after the civil rights movement in the 60s that blacks could freely vote without fear. Even in Florida in this latest farce, blacks were being 'discourgaed' from voting. It is a lie and blatant US proganda; you hear this mantra all the time these days, even from Clinton. It is dangerous and I'm sure most Americans believe it. Democracy did NOT start in the US.

Bill Hissman, 2005-05-03

Stop splitting hairs, and assuming that everything pro-American is "propaganda". When people refer to the United States as the "oldest democracy" they mean oldest continuous democracy ... which it is. Athens ceased to exist as a democracy several times. Examples are it's defeat by Sparta in 404 BC, or at the hands of the Byzantine Empire in 87 BC. There are many other examples where it ceased to be a democratic state. The Althing was dissolved when Iceland transferred sovereignty to Norway in the 1400's. Additionally, the vast majority of land in Iceland was owned by only four families. Even post Magna Charta England was not a democracy. As late as 1628 the King could tax his subjects WITH OUT Parliament's consent. And freedom of speech was not granted until 1689. Further, calling a country a democracy because of one chamber of the legislature is generous at best. Many scholars point to the Reform Bill of 1832 as when England became a democracy (and this is a stretch as it only granted the right to vote to male land owners whose proprety was valued at ¢10 or greater, AND the unelected House of Lords could refuse to pass a bill ... thus blocking it, a power they didn't relinquish until 1911). Though the US Senate was not elected directly until 1913, they were still chosen by people who were elected. So as I said, stop splitting hairs, you should know what people mean by comments like that, you either choose to ignore it, or you are far too literal.

Ben Pelkey, 2005-12-27

> So as I said, stop splitting hairs, you should know what people mean by comments like that, you either choose to ignore it, or you are far too literal.

... or you realize that the US of A isn't a democracy at all. Never was and for sure isn't today. Breast pounding doesn't help there either. Actually, you have to split hairs to make the system in the US pass as a democracy. Even then only Americans would agree, I'm afraid. Which doesn't bother me a bit, by the way. As long as the american voters are happy with the system why should I care?

Stefan Rubner, 2005-12-27

the oldest democracy in the world

olivia okafor, 2006-05-09

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