Democracy: Better Red Than Dead?

The 2014 mid-term elections in the US are very close now and I have started thinking about the freedom/right that all adult Americans have…..the VOTE!

For a couple off weeks America was watching the protests, democracy protests, happening in Hong Kong…..in essence, students were protesting the lack of democracy in the choosing of the executive to run the region……there was NO popular vote, the Communist Party in Peking picked the leader and the people must live with their decision.

The leadership refusal to consider the possibility capped off weeks of protests that shut down parts of Hong Kong that have now calmed down a bit but the student leaders are in talks with the government……

I give this brief synopsis of the situation because of something the executive of Hong Kong, CY Lueng, said when asked about the possibility of a popular vote for Hong Kong……..

……….if the government met student demands and allowed candidates to be nominated by the public, Hong Kong’s poor and working class could dominate the elections. As the WSJ’s Ken Brown reports:

Speaking in an interview with foreign media, Mr. Leung reiterated that the student demand for direct input from the public on candidates for the city’s top post was impossible. He said using a nominating committee as required by Beijing gives representation to a wide range of groups.

He warned that if candidates were nominated by the public, the population that earns less than the median monthly salary of $1,800 could dominate the process.

“If it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you’d be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month,” Mr. Leung said.

Hong Kong has one of the world’s biggest wealth gaps and some of the world’s highest property prices, factors that have
increased the frustration of young people.

He also warned that regardless of the nomination process, Beijing has the right to decide whether to appoint the winner. “You could imagine the scale and the kind of constitutional crisis if Beijing said to the people of Hong Kong, ‘Sorry, this person who you just elected is not appointable and is not acceptable. Go back to the polling station and try again,’ ” he said.

His response to the demands brought some thoughts forward in my head.  Let me explain……

Recently here in the US states that have Republican controlled legislatures and the governorships have been pressing for what can be called a lot of things but voter suppression comes to my mind.

The measures pushed are such items as limit early voting, eliminate same day registration, close some polling stations, and a wealth of measures that basically would eliminate or lessen the amount of the poor votes.

In essence is not these people, the GOP,  saying basically the same thing as CY Leung in Hong Kong?  Poor people have too much power!.

Emma Goldman once said, “If elections changed anything then they would make them illegal”.

As Americans prepare to go to the polls to vote in the 2014 mid-terms they might better consider the direction that some of the states are traveling….if this effort is successful how long will it be before the whole country decides who votes and who does not?

In my mind this effort to limit who votes smacks like some of the measures we all heard about in the past that made us despise the Communist system……my question is….just how is what these Republican controlled states any different from what Communist states use to do?

Considering the mental make-up of the typical American voter………(I apologize if that statement insults someone….,but considering the choices made in the recent past it is a logical assumption)…….I encourage them to ask lots of questions……and demand answer!

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