"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Friday, December 2, 2011

Free elections, but not in the USA

The New Zealand Parliament.
Conservatives just won the 2011 free elections in New Zealand.  Too bad we cannot have free elections in the United States.

A Conservative victory in truly free elections

Party breakdown
Unlike the United States the people of New
Zealand have free elections with eight
political parties in their Parliament. 

By Gary;

I admit it.  I am jealous of New Zealand.

New Zealand held their elections this last weekend and it saw the victory of the center-right National Party over the socialistic Labour Party.

A total of 3,053,705 people were registered to vote in the election, with over 2.2 million votes cast and a turnout of 73.23%.

Good news as this might be, it is not anything earth shattering to Americans.

I am jealous because New Zealand, unlike the United States, held truly free elections where a voter's vote actually mattered.  A free multi-party election where voters had real choices on their ballot.

The result of those free elections is a Parliament with eight different political parties representing just about every social and political group in the nation.   (New Zealand Elections)

While back in the USA . . . . .

The American peasants are revolting.

Americans are angry beyond words at the worthless Beltway political hacks that rule over their Serfs from their thrones in Washington D.C.  That is reflected in the polls showing Congress only a 12% approval rating.

People are angry that the "system" only allows them two choices:   Choice #1) The Republicans who fucked up the economy up to 2008, or  Choice #2)  The Democrats who fucked up the economy from 2009 on.

Unlike New Zealand the American voters almost never have any other real choices on their ballots.  It gets worse for those of us who believe in limited Constitutional government.  Lovers of freedom get a choice between a Socialist Party and a Socialist-lite Party.  Wow.

This is not the legislative government that our Federalist Founding Fathers envisioned for the U.S.  Two major changes in the early 20th Century basically ended the Republic created by the Founders.

Back when America had free elections.
People's Party candidate nominating convention held at Columbus, Nebraska, July 15, 1890.  In the past people unhappy with the government could easily form a brand new political party and even get elected to Congress.  Today Americans are ruled by a Beltway Oligarchy that is totally out of touch with real voters. 

1912 and 1913 and the end of the American Republic    

Two major changes to our Constitution took place in 1912 & 1913.

Every ten years since the Founding the House would increase its' membership to keep pace with population growth.  Districts were kept fairly small allowing truly free elections.  Then in 1912 the House increased its' members for the last time.  It has been 100 years since the House added seats.  District size had ballooned up from 30,000 people at the Founding to 700,000 people today.

Senator Marion Butler from North
Carolina of the Populist Party.

With the adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913 Senators would be chosen directly by the people instead of by the state legislatures.  Now candidates for the Senate need to campaign directly to the mass of voters.

The Law of Un-Intended Consequences  -  Candidates for Senator now had to cater to hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people instead of just a few hundred legislators.  Both Senators and Congressmen spend more and more of their time raising campaign money from Billionaire Cartel special interest groups of every type in order to fund their election efforts. 

A campaigning financing machine of special interests money has become centralized in Washington D.C.  Senators and Congressmen increasingly have no interest in the people back home.  They cater almost totally to the Special Interest Cartels of labor union and corporate money.

American "elections" have become bidding wars between puppet candidates financed by Cartels seeking one government favor, tax break or law after another.

U.S. Senate elections of 1896

We all know the real truth . . . 75% of politicians from all parties are either crooks, idiots or liars.

Though political parties did not exist at the time, our Constitution was set up to allow the people to make their wishes known in House elections every two years.

From the Founding of the Republic until the 1940s voters angry at politicians who ignored their wishes (a very regular event) formed brand new political parties to represent them.

Senator William Stewart of Nevada
representing the Silver Party.
The American Republic saw a huge variety of political movements and parties.  Parties would rapidly rise and fall based on the needs of the voters.  We have seen the Federalists, the Democrat-Republicans, the National Republicans, Whigs, Anti-Masonic, Free Soil, American Party, Republican Party, Union, Greenback, Silver, Populist, Socialist, Progressive and Prohibition.

America was a bottom up democracy and politicians were forced to listen or lose their jobs.

The 1890s  -  The 1890s saw huge economic upheaval not much different from that of today.

There was a massive Depression resulting in upwards of 18% unemployment, money flowing out of the Treasury, and calls for coining more money and inflation. 

As concern of the state of the economy worsened, people rushed to withdraw their money from banks and caused bank runs. The credit crunch rippled through the economy. A financial panic in the United Kingdom and a drop in trade in Europe caused foreign investors to sell American stocks to obtain American funds backed by gold.  People attempted to redeem silver notes for gold; ultimately the statutory limit for the minimum amount of gold in federal reserves was reached and US notes could no longer be successfully redeemed for gold.

A series of bank failures followed, and the Northern Pacific Railway, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad failed. This was followed by the bankruptcy of many other companies; in total over 15,000 companies and 500 banks failed (many in the west). According to high estimates, about 17%-19% of the workforce was unemployed at the Panic's peak. The huge spike in unemployment, combined with the loss of life savings kept in failed banks, meant that a once-secure middle-class could not meet their mortgage obligations. Many walked away from recently built homes as a result.

The 1896 Broadway melodrama The War of Wealth was
inspired by the Panic of 1893.
Many people were dissatisfied with the Democrats and Republicans and formed their own parties.  The Populist Party, the Silver Party and the Silver Republican Party were formed.  They elected Governors, Senators, Congressmen and state legislators seeking to force action in Washington D.C. to address their needs.

The 2012 Elections  -  Today we have almost the exact economic problems Americans faced in the 1890s.

Then and now many people have no faith in the two ruling political parties.  To millions of Americans the two parties caused the problems in the first place. 

There is a democratic problem today that did not exist before World War II.  Because of mega, monster-sized election districts it is financially almost impossible to run candidates from smaller political parties.  Add in the centralized Beltway Special Interest Money Machine that controls the political process. 

The people today do not have the option of forming new political parties to seek redress of grievances.

That lack of a free election process creates a political pressure cooker that will explode.  Be it the Arab Spring, Louis XVI or George III if the people cannot express they will peacefully through elections then the only option is violence. 

We need election reform today with small House districts so the will of the people can be heard.  Reform only takes a majority vote in the House to increase its' membership and restore American democracy.

With 18% unemployment and a huge Depression, Coxey's Army marched on Washington D.C. demanding jobs and food for the unemployed.  Federal troops were used against different groups to prevent them from coming to Washington.

1896 election  -  Change in Senate composition
Before the elections
In the next Congress
D= Democratic
P= Populist
R= Republican
r= Silver Republican
S= Silver
V= Vacant
Free elections . . . what a concept.   
Modern Americans have no idea that we used to live in a democratic nation with free elections and real choices on the ballot that really mattered.

The U.S. Senate that met in 1897 had five political parties representing the people including twelve Senators from smaller parties.

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