Political Parties - Species on the Brink of Extinction
Recently, a news appeared in the Swedish TV, stating that 4 new local political parties have appeared on the political scene, apart from the 8 ones existing already. In Czech Republic, according to information available at the Ministry of Finance, there are 21 parliamentary parties, 16 non-parlamentary, and 12 dissolved. On the local level, there are 18 movements and parties. To the activities of these organizations, the State has recently contributed by more than half a billion crowns. How long shall this go on? At the time when the first political parties began to appear – late eighteenth centurz – western societies were much more simple than now – hereditary aristocracy, town dwellers, peasants. There were no big media, the public had only the source of information supplied by the elites. In spite of it, a revolutionary idea prevailed – equality of citizens and their representation in elected bodies. This was the principle on which there emerged poliical paries, institutions as close to democracy as technicalz possible at that time. However, representation by political parties was not, is not, and cannot be real democracy. Each party tries to promote the interests of a particular citizen category, even to the detriment of other categories. The representation process takes place on the basis of shady structures inviting to corruption. At present, the information revolution taking place thanks to the internet and other electronic channels makes it possible for anybody to get the same information as his/her representative in Parliament.At the same time, society disintegrates into a multitude of minor groups generating interests which coincide only partially. In such a milieu, representation by parties is increasingly obsolete and dysfunctional. People begin to demand representation in single-mandate election districts and the possibility to dismiss any representative if a majority of voters participating in a local referendum demand it. Increasingly, in various countries, groups and individuals emerge putting forward such demands and claiming a change of Constitution. As far as I know, so far, demands to adopt a new, Citizens´ Constitution has been raised only in three proposals put forward in Czech Republic. However, inevitably, this demand will spread into other countries as well. The members of established structures, however, still depend on the traditional structures for maintaining a luxury life style. Inevitably, they will do their utmost to preserve these structures. At first, they will keep silent about the problems of party representation. They have an almost unlimited access to the media and therefore, to begin with, we have to expect years of silence. However, growing problems will enforce a growing attention. Then comes distortion and depreciation, lies.... However, if humanity is not doomed to become extinct, real democracy will prevail at the end. States must be administered for the benefit of the vast majority of citizens, not to the detriment of this majority and for the benefit of small minorities as now. We should be grateful that destiny permits us to take part at least in the beginning of this upheaval, perhaps the greatest in history. INTERNATIONALCzech RepublicA new website, to be placed permanently on the web: Citizens for Constitutional ReformThe Hard Core:Eng. Zdenek Trinkewitz, former high level executive in the management of a big international corporation; an important theorist and DD organizer; author of the principal Draft of a Citizen´s Constitution. Mgr. Miluš Kotišová, translator from English and Spanish, expert on the political system of Costa Rica, important theorist in the field of the social function of moneyPh.D. Jiri Polak, politologist, organizer of the first international conference on Direct Democracy (Czech Republic 1998); editor of the bulletin Direct Democratic Euro-Vision Newsletter and many other activists........The political thinking of the West is dominated by the unshakeable (?) belief that western political systems, based on the reign by political parties, are the only possible form of democracy, i.e. rule by the people. According to this ideology, nothing better can exist. This is one of the greatest deceptions in history, similar to the medieval doctrine declaring that the rulers leading the states had received a mandate from God. Rule by parties can never be democracy. Each party defends the interests of a certain category of citizens, inevitably to the detriment of other categories. This system is a competition of various categories and especially of politicians who use this system to climb to power and fat benefits.Real democracy must be based on election of persons, not organizations. Each citizen must have the same opportunity to participate in political processes, be it by election of representatives, by referendums, or by participation in public debates. And above all: Each citizen must have the right and possibility to participate in voting on Constitution drafts. In the current mock-democratic system, Constitution is foisted upon citizens without their participation and assent. Obviously, such a Constitution lays power into the hands of politicians, not citizens!At least one serious, well thought-out draft of a Citizens´ Constitution exists already. Citizens, demand that this draft be presented for referendum! Three principles on which a truly democratic Constitution could and should be based:!. Parliamentary elections must take place in single-mandate election districts. The candidate elected in such a district must not represent any party, only the citizens resident in that district.Any unimpeachable adult person should have the right to stand as parliamentary candidate without the support of any organization. The support of a few grass-root citizens should be sufficient.It should be possible to recall anybody any time from the office of MP if a more than 50% majority in the district in question demand it. The chief principles of a systemic development towards a DD Constitution During all these years, Czech Republic has staggered without any statehood and economic concept, without a vision of further development in the rapidly changig world and its alternating (“democratically” elected) political leaderships focus mostly on the struggle for preserving their power positions and the benefits they produce. The established, in Parliament represented political parties, who need to gain electors in elections for representative bodies, do not put forward their election programs so as to produce radical systemic changes with the view of solving the problem of long-lasting and deepening lagging of Czech Republic behind comparable European states, but mainly building on populist promises concerning non-systemic partial problems. We believe that measures which aim at solving partial problems belong to the programs of representative bodies in regions and communities; Systemic and international political problems helong to the agenda of the Parliament – House of Commons and Senate.The program of the way leading towards a Constitution based on Direct Democracy is a synoptic list of the most important systemic changes which the citizens will have to push through: To demand preparation of a new Constitution of Czech Republic based on the chief principles of direct democracy, namely -Direct election of members of representative bodies in single- mandate election districts of residents and chairmen or the highest state institutions and officesRecall of elected representatives and state officiaos by referendum at any timePassive eligibility of all qualified citizens for all functionsThe Subsidiarity Principle -decision-makinf at the lowest possible level of community, region and stateThe Referenda System – Obligatory (e.e. About the Constitution and its amendments, about international contracts etc, according to the Article 2 (2) of the ConstitutionProclaimed by State organs, needing authorization by the citizensProclaimed owing to the public, supported by a prescribed number of votersThe results of referenda are not subject to any further approval - all decisions by elected representative bodies and organs are subject to public control.After a nation-wide discussion, the Constitution draft is subject to a nation-wide referendum. For this purpose it is necessary to approve, as soon as possible, a law concerning realizeable referenda without any unrealistic participation and quota and demand that the result be approved by any “higher” authority.abolition of the law of political parties and their inclusion in other citizen associations. At the same time, their financing from the State budget will be abolished.Prohibition of any further changes of the valid Constitution of Czech Republic according to shifting ideas emerging in Parliament. Above all, it should be inadmissible to transfer sending Czech army to foreign missions from the Parliament to the Government of Czech Republic Requirement that the current state of the European Union, caused by the dysfunction of the Lisbon Agreement, be transformed, since it threatens the Union by dissolution. The way to do that should be an adoption of a Constitution transforming the Union into a federation of equal member states on the principle of subsidiarityIntroduction to a New Draft
By Eng Trinkewitz
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Reportáže z atraktivních míst San Franciska, Los Angeles, San Diega, Orange County a dalších střídají příběhy českých osobností. Najdeme tu jména novináře Jožky Pejskara, spisovatele Jana Beneše, skladatele, fotografa a dobrodruha Eduarda Ingriše, prof. Ivo Feierabenda a jeho otce, politika z první republiky Ladislava, který se zasloužil o zemědělské družstevnictví, profesorky, klavíristky a výrazné vlastenky Marie Dolanské, příběh rodiny Georginy Teyrovské, která se musela se svým manželem Eduardem v roce 1949 proplazit přes hranici, když jim komunisté zabavili nejznámější pražskou barvírnu a šlo jim o život.
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Samozřejmě je zde také putování po stopách Jacka Londona, který zde v mládí kradl ze sádek ústřice, ale v pozdějším věku své úspěšné spisovatelské kariéry si postavil pěkný dům, který je dnes jeho muzeem a nedaleko je i jeho hrob. V přístavu Oakland má své náměstí, sochu Bílého tesáka, chatu dovezenou až z Aljašky a hospůdku, do které chodil.
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