Democracy Reform

Sir Winston Churchill once said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest. He is right. Its the best form of government but it also has its flaws. I think that its flaws endanger democracy and needs to be fixed. This blog is for like minded people who want to see democracy improved. I invite people to sumbit essays. I will publish even those I do not agree with so long as I find them interesting.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sick and Sicker

That is the name of a documentary that Logan Darrow Clements is trying to make to rebut Michael Moore's upcoming "Sicko" which touts Socialized Medicine.

In an interview with Frontpage Magazine, Logan explains why.

He said, " I simply don't want the government to force me and everyone else into
socialized medicine. I don't like being forced around when I haven't done anything wrong and I can see that nearly everything that government does is a complete and utter failure, often with deadly consequences."

This is one part of what my blog is trying to say. In a democracy, votrepreneurs (politicians) are slowly taking away more and more of our freedom as the state grows more powerful. Votrepreneurs gain and retain power by distributing other people's money to benefit his group of voters. He dreams up new ways to spend that money through mainly ineffective government programs. In so doing, the government grows in size and intrudes into lives. As a result, we end up with less liberty.

As stated in my earlier article, "Did America's Founders want Democracy", I argued that they wanted to give the people liberty and not democracy. Loss of freedom has happened in the case of Canada's Socialized Health system, according to Clements.

He said, "People are not aware how close we are to having socialized medicine or single payer foisted upon us. Everyone will be forced into this system rich and poor, old and young. If it is designed like Canada's system it will be illegal for you to pay for faster treatment even if you want to. If you have a life threatening condition or you are in pain you'll simply have to wait in line for your turn to be treated through the government system.

Socialized Medicine:
Why are we waiting?

Government bureaucrats will decide if and when you get treatment. But the affluent pro-liberty people who could fund this movie just don't realize how close we are to disaster. Perhaps they won't realize what a disaster it is until they need medical care a few years from now and it resembles a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles."

I don't want a faceless government bureaucrat deciding for me when I can have treatment and what kind of treatment I am allowed to have. The best way for us to receive our health care is through the free market. The free market gives us, well, more freedom. We are free to choose what kind of treatment we can have and when.

Besides, government intervention have usually been costly failures. Clements explained why.

He said, "The reason that nearly everything that government does is a failure is because everything that government does is an act of force. You are forced to do X. You are forced to not do Y. It takes money by force from its rightful owner and gives it to another person. As humans our primary tool of survival is our mind. However, when the government forces us around we are unable to use our mind. Instead of each person using their own mind and acting in their own best self interest we are forced to act in a way that suits the political interests of the people that made the law."

The basic problem with Socialized Medicine is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody - be it government (ie other taxpayers) or insurance companies (ie the shareholders) or yourself pay for your health care. If you are not paying for your own health care, you are passing it to government or the insurance companies. Trouble is that when you don't pay for it, you demand more and the best health care. If the government passes a law that says all lunches are now free then you eat steaks instead of hamburgers. It works the same for health care which the Europeans are finding out. As a result, health care costs have ballooned.

Those on the left who tout Socialized Medicine should study the effects it has on places that tried it - Canada, UK, Sweden etc. In the run-up to the elections next year, we can expect votrepreneurs to come up with their Socialized Medicine schemes.

Barack Obama has unveiled his Health Care plan. As usual, it involves buying votes with other people's money - the time honored way for votrepreneurs to gain and retain power. He proposed that the scheme be funded by eliminating Bush's tax cuts which has propelled the US economy the past few years. Obama estimates that his scheme will cost taxpayers $65 million. His scheme is not as expensive as that of John Edwards who estimates would cost $120 billion. So far Clinton has not come up with details of her own plans. I guess she wants to see which way the wind is blowing.

But you can be sure of this. Whatever, they come up with, it will be a combination of tax increases and a degree of coercion of employers, insurers and individuals. With coercion comes a loss of liberty to all of us.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Obama & Hillary votes for defeat

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has voted against the troops funding bill to court the anti-war vote.

These two votrepreneurs (politicians) are between a rock and a hard place. They have to please the anti-war crowd but cannot be seen by the average American as been unpatriotic by not supporting US troops at a time when they are facing danger.

Voting against the bill because it does not have a time-table for withdrawal has its risk. If in the next few months, the situation improves, the anti-war sentiments will decline and they will be left high and dry. Their public demand for a time-table for US withdrawal will look foolish at best or unpatriotic at worse and they cannot claim any credit for an American victory.

On the other hand, if the situation continues to be sour and anti-war sentiments incease, then they stand to reap more votes for appearing to be wise and farsighted. They stand to gain from an American defeat.

The two must have made the calculations and decided that the US will fail or at least be perceived to have failed. Things will go badly and anti-war sentiments will increase thereby allowing them to win more votes.
That is why politics is like business. The politician is an entrepreneur who has to anticipate public trends just like a retailer has to predict fashion trends. Get it right and you win. Get it wrong and you lose money or votes. That is why I call politicians votrepreneurs. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have betted on and are now hoping for an American defeat.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why is Iraq so hard?

This was a question, Ralph Peters answered in an op-ed published in the New York Post. Peters cited the "strategic errors of the administration, the pernicious effects of the media and factional hatred within Iraq". Also corruption, poor leadership and bloodlust of Al Qaeda all made matters worse.

His solution is that the US should adopt more ruthless methods including torture if lives can be saved. Peters thinks that the US troops should go on more frequent patrols which of course require more troops than what the US has in Iraq now. His solutions are all military in nature.

They are not wrong but cannot work because of the constraints the US army labors under. I will attempt to answer Peter's question, "Why Iraq's so hard?" by looking at things from another angle.

The reason, why Iraq is so hard is not because the US lacks military power or brave soldiers but because American is a democracy. That is the short answer. Now allow me to elaborate.

Peters mentioned the pernicious effects of the media. Well that is true and its part of democracy to have a free press. Why is the press so negative and unsupportive of the war effort?

Firstly, its the nature of the press to report bad news. All attempts to start a good news newspaper have failed. People love to read bad news. A story about a mother and child safely walking down the road in Baghdad does not make it to the front page or the evening news.

But if they were blown apart by suicide bombers, then it makes the news. As Bernard Lewis has pointed out (1), "Most of Iraq are functioning rather well." But the news media is only interested in reporting on those parts that are not functioning well.
Secondly, newspapers sensationalize the news in order to boost circulation and hence profits . Thus calling the Iraqi situation a 'civil war' helps grab the attention of the reader. I think it is closer to Tombstone or Dodge City in the Old West than a Civil War. Calling it a civil war would be news to the Iraqis as I pointed out in an earlier article (2).

Only 27% of Iraqis think that a Civil War is going on, compared to 61% who do not. So the news media thinks they know better than the Iraqis who live there. Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. We need to boost our ratings or our circulation.

Compounding the problem are the votrepreneurs (politicians) who feed on the drum beat of bad news like sharks - in this case, the Democrats. As stated in earlier articles, the way the system work is that opposing votrepreneurs must undermine each other by portraying each other as failures. In so doing, you pursuade voters to switch sides.

Success and failure is to a large extent a matter of perception. It pays for the Democrats to create in the minds of the public high expectations of what success means. So if everything is not hunky dory by next Thursday in Iraq, then the whole war is a failure. Any success is ignored. Never mind that a dangerous dictator, Saddam Hussein is gone. Never mind that Iraq has its first elections and taking its first fragile steps to democracy.

Better get out now. Never mind if Iraq ends up under the control of Radical Islamists and becomes a terrorist Disneyland in the words of a terrorist expert, Rohan Gunaratna. (3) This is his prediction if US troops were to leave. After losing Afghanistan, Radical Islamists would have gained a better, richer country - oil rich Iraq. This is the same kind of people as those who attacked the US on 911. While they may not belong to the same formal organisation, they are united by the same ideology.

The problem is that votrepreneurs cannot see beyond the next elections. The Presidential election is coming up next year and the Democrats are anxious for the US to lose the war or at least perceived to be losing the war. This would boost their chances of winning. This is not so far fetch. During the Cold War, Ted Kennedy went to Moscow to encourage the Soviets to be tougher to Reagan instead of making concessions! (4)Perhaps he genuinely believed that the Cold War tensions were Reagan's fault. But as a sceptic of human nature, I think it is safe to assume that people are easily pursuaded to adopt a belief that is advantageous to themselves.

Fortunately, he failed and President Reagan went on to win the Cold War. His success in dealing with the Soviets enhanced the popularity of the Republicans - something I am sure an old hand like Kennedy knew would happen and not in the interests of the Democratic Party.

One of them would probably be the
next President
if America loses the War.

It was not in their interests then for a Republican President to win the Cold War against Communism. Similarly, it is not in the interest of Democrats for Bush to win this war against Radical Islamism.

Thus we see that democracies are inherently unsuited for waging war. While it makes democracies more peaceful, it also makes them vulnerable when danger threatens. Democracies have checks and balances like a free press and oppostion parties. Each group fights for his own interests and in so doing prevent a dictator from emerging. But it should also be recognised that the press in fighting to boost its circulation sensationalize and distort the news and opposition votrepreneurs fighting to get elected hampers the war effort against a dangerous enemy who is out to destroy you.

(1)Bernard Lewis
(2)What Civil War?
(3) Expert: Iraq terrorist Disneyland if US troops leave

(4)See page 254 of the book, 'The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister.
Ted's overture to the Soviets

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Does democracy erode property rights?

Here is the latest article by the incomparable Scandinavian writer,

The Gates of Vienna

Of relevance to this blog are his comments that supports my thesis that modern democracy is not working well and may be heading for collapse:

"As Alexander Boot writes in his book, 'How the West Was Lost', "a freely voting French citizen or British subject of today has every aspect of his life controlled, or at least monitored, by a central government in whose actions he has little say. He meekly hands over half his income knowing the only result of this transfer will be an increase in the state’s power to extort even more.

[...] He opens his paper to find yet again that the ‘democratic’ state has dealt him a blow, be that of destroying his children’s education, raising his taxes, devastating the army that protects him, closing his local hospital or letting murderers go free. In short, if one defines liberty as a condition that best enables the individual to exercise his freedom of choice, then democracy of universal suffrage is remiss on that score."

Friedrich A. Hayek warned in 'The Road to Serfdom: against all collectivist ideologies', and feared that the social democratic welfare state would eventually propel society in a totalitarian direction. He has been dismissed as wrong, but was he? In Western Europe, it is difficult to imagine that we would have accepted the massively bureaucratic European Union if we hadn’t already been conditioned to accept
state intrusion on all levels of our lives in our nation states.

The EU became just another layer of bureaucracy. We now have a situation where a massive, inflated national and transnational bureaucracy runs our lives, and even writes our laws. We have become serfs, just as Hayek warned against.It is possible to
argue that this is a built-in flaw in the democratic system. As blogger Ohmyrus (ahem - that's me) has shown, democracies will tend to expand into high-taxation welfare states because, simply put, there are more low-income people than rich people, and it is possible for politicians to stay in power by giving people access to other people’s money. But if individual liberty diminishes with high taxation and intrusive bureaucracy, and if democracies have a built-in tendency to gradually increase taxes and create more state jobs, does that mean that democracy will, over time, diminish individual liberty? Is democracy bound to go through cycles of bureaucratic inflation and collapse?

This could well be a basic flaw in democracy, but I still believe we need a
system where the majority population have a genuine say in politics."

So as you can see, as democracy matures, there is less and less liberty for all of us. As I said in my earlier article, "Did America's Founders wanted Democracy," what America's Founders wanted was liberty and not democracy.

Today, we find that the state is taking more and more of our money to buy votes so that votrepreneurs (politicians) can win or stay in power, intrude more and more in our private lives, telling us what we can and cannot do and how we should think. In one European country, the government even tells you how to pee! (1)

I used to think that democracy and liberty comes together, but now I am rethinking my old ideas.

The more taxes the state collects, the more powerful it becomes and the less liberty we all have. The Reagan-Gingrich revolution has failed though they both tried to trim down the role of the government. But as I have shown in my article, "Democracy and the Welfare state", the size of the government grew under Republican governments. In spite of their free market philosophy, they cannot defeat the iron law of the one-man-one-vote system:

For votreprenuers to stay in office, they must redistribute wealth.

A certain amount is beneficial. Money raised to provide education, the police force, the construction of roads and infrastructure benefits all. But the problem is that the public will always demand for more. They will demand what is beneficial to themselves even though it is harmful to everybody else.

The votrepreneurs are happy to oblige their customers - the voters। Most of the welfare and entitlement systems found in western democracies are actually harmful to the long term interests of society. Welfare to unmarried mothers led to breakdown of families is one example perpetuating poverty instead of alleviating it.

Protection of favored industries led to higher prices for consumers is another. In each case, the benefits to the small group of beneficiaries is great and the cost to the majority is small. So there was no outcry or strong opposition. But the cumulative effect of all such programs harms society.

Property rights is also a basic human right. This is often forgotten. One of our government's job is to protect the fruits of our labor. We work hard for our money and we want it protected from robbers. But with the one-man-one vote system, other people can have access to your property by using their votes. The more the government taxes us, the more our property rights are eroded.

Besides taxation, government intervention also erodes our property rights in other ways। There are laws in some western countries that tells you who you can hire and who you cannot fire and even how many hours your workers can work in your factory or office. In the case of landlords, governments have been known to pass rent control laws and laws making it difficult to evict your tenants.

These laws are passed so as to help votrepreneurs remain in office because they know that standing for your property rights is a net-vote loser. The long term prosperity of the nation is the last thing on their minds. America's Founders realised this and what they wanted ultimately was liberty:

'Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.'- James Madison

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
- Benjamin Franklin (2)

(1) Big Brother teaches you the correct way to pee.
(2)Article on Ben Franklin

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A great actor

He was a great actor!

That was the picture Dina McGreevey painted of her estranged husband and former New Jersey (D) Governor, Jim McGreevey.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she said, "I think it was all a charade for him."
She also explained that on the day her husband announced, "I am a gay American", she was made to smile in spite of the internal turmoil.

Dina said, "As his world was falling apart, he was still choreographing the entire day." Jim asked her to play the role of Jackie Kennedy, stoic and courageous in the face of adversity.

Jim leaves hot Dina for a man. msn smileys

This snapshot of the life of a votrepreneur (politician) is exactly as I imagined. The votrepreneur is a salesman who must sell himself to his voters. He must present an image of himself that is designed to appeal to his potential voters.

If his voters are religious, he must present a religious image even if he is not। If his voters are secular, then he must be secular even if he is not. It must put a strain on an honest man who has to pretend to be what he is not.

That is why there is an element of the con-artist in most votrepreneurs. A very honest person is probably unelectable. In Jim's case he must present to the public the picture of a straight guy who is happily married. That image appeals to the middle American voters. A gay living with another man does not.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Dina said, "You know he had the entire day scripted. His entire life had been choreographed, and even as his world was falling apart, he was still trying to script everything and making sure that day went as he wanted it."

Choreographing scenes for the TV cameras is standard behavior and as a political wife, Dina should have known better. Even though Jim's political career was over, I guess he was still choreographing out of habit. A picture of a tearful wife suggests weakness which does inspire confidence with the public.

So Jim asked her to play 'Jackie Kennedy'. It was all an act. How do we keep our elected leaders to really mean what they say? How do we get them to say what they mean? How do we stop them from behaving like salesmen and instad behave like statesmen? The only way is to take away the fear of re-elections from their minds. In earlier essays for example, I suggested that Senators be elected for life or at least for a long time. That way they can be themselves and be honest with the public.

In the case of Jim McGreevey, the strain of public life is finally over. Now he can be himself. His political career is over but he is probably happier now - and feeling gay.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mr Spog's reply

Mr. Spog said...
If a senate consisting of members with life tenure were considered too undemocratic (as seems likely), one possibility would be to qualify its veto power, much as the U.S. President's veto power is already qualified. For example, the lower house might be given the right to override a Senate veto by a 2/3 vote. (Presumably the lower house would then need, e.g., a 3/4 supermajority to override combined vetoes by the Senate and President...)

This approach to limiting the formal powers of the upper house was proposed by the 19th-century British political thinker and historian W.E.H. Lecky, who saw that the legitimacy of the Lords was eroding, and hoped to arrest this decay by drawing clearer boundaries around the upper house's powers. Without some formal rule of this type, any move by the Lords to contradict the will of the Commons would be viewed as a threat to democratic supremacy. With such a rule, everyone would be assured that the Commons remained ultimately in charge (if it was sufficiently united on an issue), even if the Lords started to throw around its veto power quite often.

How Goes the War?

How goes the war on terrorism? This is really the war against the ideology of Radical Islamism which began long before the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001.

Following September 11, there was a rare moment of political unity in America. But now that unity is gone as votrepreneurs (politicians) go back to their usual form. They are more interested in promoting their political careers than in their country's national security.

For the Democrats, this means that they must portray the policies of their opponentsas failures। This is the nature of democracies.

As stated in my last article, Harry Reid was quick to say that the war is lost. Hillary Clinton called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. The Senator from New York said:

"Guantanamo has become associated in the eyes of the world with a discredited administration policy of abuse, secrecy, and contempt for the rule of law."

Meanwhile, both houses of Democrat controlled Congress passed a bill calling for the US troops to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by October 1. Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut said:

'Staying the course' has cost us over 3,200 young lives of our brave men and women in uniform and more than $400 billion, with no progress to speak of."
All these comments must be comforting to America's enemies. I can imagine, Osama bin Laden in his cave somewhere gleefully absorbing the news. He would vote for them, if he could.

Ahmedinejad would
also vote
Democrat, if he could.

Its time to ask, 'Who are they and what do they want?' Also, what does America want? America's enemies are Radical Islamists who are fighting to implement Islamic Law in Iraq with the eventual goal of bringing Islamic Law throughout the world.

Its part religion and part politics. Indeed, Islam traditionally does not separate politics from religion. America on the other hand wants to promote its ideology of democracy throughout the world. The two ideologies are incompatible.

For the Islamists, the world must be ruled according to Islamic Law (also known as Shariah) which was revealed to Prophet Mohammad 1,400 years ago. In a democracy, it is man who makes the laws, not God. Thus if the majority of the people vote to legalize alcohol, this is against the Will of God and cannot be accepted by Islamists. In an Islamic state it must be God who makes the laws and not man. Thus democracy is a form of idolatry in which man worships himself and puts himself above God.

Thus when Bush wanted to plant the democracy in Iraq, he was throwing a gauntlet down at the Islamists. The two leading Islamic states are Saudi Arabia (Sunni version of Islam) and Iran (Shiite version). Both have supported the Islamist agenda with their oil money.

Should America succeeds in Iraq, Muslims might be seduced from the Islamist ideology. That is why the Iranian Mullahs call America the Great Satan for Satan is the great deceiver who misleads mankind from Allah's Laws. They are thus anxious for Bush to fail in Iraq.

Also anxious are Bush's political rivals in America। To persuade voters to switch sides, you must always portray your opponent's policies as failures.That is why every little problem in Iraq is magnified into a major failure. Every suicide bomb blast in Baghdad is cited as evidence of failure ignoring the more tranquil parts of Iraq. Every success no matter how big is ignored. Thus the big fact that a bloody dictator, Saddam Hussein is gone and Iraq held its first elections is played down.

Instead the focus is on the missing WMDs or the fact that 3,200 American lives were lost. While every life is precious, the lost of which is a tragedy to family members, it should be remembered that this war is cheap compared to other conflicts. It cost 500,000 lives in the Civil War before slavery was finally abolished. It cost about the same number of lives before Nazism and Fascism was defeated. It cost more than 100,000 lives in the wars against Communism. You can't fight a war without casualties.

For Bush's political rivals, the focus must always be on failure - no matter how small. The news media too must focus on failure. A story about an Iraqi mother and child walking down the road safely does not make the news. But a story about them blown apart by a suicide bomber would. Its the nature of news. Bad news raises ratings and advertising revenue. Good news don't sell.

For every Iraqi killed, thousands others go about their lives unmolested. But TV images of the victims of suicide bombers gives the impression that the Bush's policy of trying to plant a democracy in the Mid East is a failure. Democrats and the news media are of course please to call it a civil war. But it is not a failure and there is no civil war. Don't take it from me. Ask the Iraqis.

Iraqis: What Civil War?

In a survey, 61% of Iraqis think (1) their country is not in a Civil War as compared to only 27% of think otherwise. Most also think that their lives are better now than under Saddam Hussein. This means that American intervention is not a failure - unless US troops withdraw. Then you will get a Civil War.

Portraying your political opponents as failures is the nature of democracy. But it does undermine public morale in a war, making defeat more likely. The average voter also gets confused and loses his or her focus on what this war is about which is to prevent the spread of Radical Islamism. America wants to promote democracy and the Islamists want to promote the Islamic state. For Bush's political opponents, the most important thing is to win the next elections, not win the war against Radical Islamism. In fact, a victory would improve the electoral chances of the Republicans, their rivals.

To get voters to switch sides the Democrats must tell them that going into Iraq was a terrible mistake. But if its a mistake, the inescapable conclusion is to get out.That is why in the recent bill passed by both houses of Congress, now controlled by Democrats, calls for withdrawal to begin by October 1. Bush is certain to veto it.

But what would happen if the US withdraws from Iraq? A civil war is likely to ignite with Iran supporting supporting their thugs and the Saudis supporting theirs. Soon one thug will emerge victorious and you get an Islamic state that is hostile to the US. Its likely to be Shiite dominated because the majority of the Iraqis are Shiite and it is also likely allied to Iran.

Radical Islamism would have made a big gain after losing Afghanistan (the Sunni version). Iraq, like Iran would support radical Islamists throughout the world with their oil money. Meanwhile, a Bush administration weakened by its political opponents, seems to me to be losing its will in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Should that happen, it would be the first time that an Islamist state have nukes. Very soon, its Sunni rivals, the Saudis would want nukes too. The security of the free world, not least the USA, will be endangered. If you cannot stop drugs and illegal immigrants from crossing the porous Mexican border, you can't stop terrorists with nuclear materials crossing either. Don't forget that these Islamists are not deterred by Mutually Assured Destruction like the atheist Soviets. Indeed, martyrdom is an inducement to use nukes.

So the war against Islamism is going badly. Yet the election circus goes on with the Democrats putting their personal interests ahead of national interests. They of course want to get elected. It does not matter to them if national security is compromised by their behavior. But we should not blame them for this. The problem lies with the system which rewards such behavior.

As I said, to persuade voters to switch sides you must always portray your opponents as failures even if it undermines public morale in a war. That is why I said that politicians behave like entrepreneurs. A businessmen trying to sell a detergent has to slime 'Brand X' to persuade you to buy his product. That is why I have called them votrepreneurs because politicians are entrepreneurs trying to win your vote instead of money.

How to reform the system? In my first essay, 'Democracy needs a Reformation', I have called for a single eight year term for the President and Senators should be elected for life. House Reps will be elected for four years as before. The life term for Senators term is likely to provoke opposition. But I was trying to replicate the British House of Lords without the element of hereditary power. In my opinion, the British Parliament in the 19th century, when the unelected Lords of the Upper House had real power, protected national interests better than the elected clowns of today.

That is because the personal interests of the British monarch and nobles were more aligned with national interests.
The ruling class saw the country as belonging to them and wanted their sons to inherit a rich powerful country. Defending the country meant defending the privileges that the country had given them. Only problem was that in their pursuit of national interests, Britain and other European powers became expansionist and made life miserable for others - including my own ancestors. But that is a topic for another day. (By the way, the British House of Lords, the most undemocratic element in the British Parliament, opposed the recent Religious Hatred Act and helped to preserve liberty of speech. A much watered down act was eventually passed.)

By electing Senators for life (or at least for a long time), you have a body of people who need not constantly behave like salesmen. They are free to think of the long term good of the country. They should also be well paid. A system of reward based on objective measures of national welfare (eg employment, GDP growth, inflation rate etc) can be set up to align their personal interests with national ones.

A Lower House which faces elections every four years will inject the immediate needs of the people into the decision making process. The President with his eight year term can act as a balance between the Upper and Lower Houses. As I said in an earlier article, too much or too little democracy is undesirable. The time for reforms is now - before some terrorist smuggle in a nuclear device or a 'dirty bomb' across the border. This could result in the Constitution becoming suspended. Should democracy fail to protect the people, the people will lose faith in it totally and turn to a dictator or strong man. I don't want to see this happen.

(1)Iraqis: Life Getting Better