To the ash heap of history!

Philosophy post warning!

Smite wrote “The EU members have developped a certain political culture in the last 40 years, and most important principle is the rule of law and the separation of legislative, executive and jurisdiction. These fundamental principles are being raped by Hungary and Poland and suing them is the only rightful action.” My reply was “The [2024 EU] election we’ll defeat them and throw the “rule of law and the separation of legislative, executive and jurisdiction” to the ash heap of history.”

It wasn’t a rage-answer, I do believe it, though I want to explain and clarify. First thing first, I don’t think elected partisan officials should decide criminal or divorce cases. In that sense I do want an independent judiciary and never met anyone who didn’t. What I mean is that the judiciary should have no power either over the laws (ruling them unconstitutional) or the politicians (locking them up for corruption).

Let’s start with the first: if the country has agreed-upon constitution or established laws, it seems a good idea to prevent a bad politician create laws that conflict these. It is a good idea. The problem is that the judges who’d decide if there is a conflict are just as “bad” as the politicians.

You don’t have to look further than the “Travel ban” of Trump which was OK-ed by the Supreme Court 3 times now (one time with 9-0), but lower court judges keep blocking it with new excuses, causing delay until the SC smacks them down again. The most notorious judge became a literal meme for his efforts:
hawaii

While this is funny, the democratically elected president cannot implement one of his signature issues because of these clowns. So the will of the people expressed by their vote can not be done because of “separation of powers”.

The meme-judge is of course only the tip of the iceberg. The Supreme Court is a problem in itself, due to being completely partisan. People openly discuss “liberal” and “conservative” justices who regularly vote 4-5 according to party lines. The lefties are losing their minds over Brett Kavanaugh to the point of promoting Pizzagate level nonsense against him, because they – rightfully – believe that he’ll always rule for conservatives.

This couldn’t possibly happen in Hungary. While formally they have the ability, Orbán sent every old judge into retirement and promoted loyalists to their places. If he loses the next election, I’ll support the new government doing the same. However I believe it would be much better if no democratically elected government could be stopped by activist judges. The government should be able to make any rules, even conflicting ones. If the people don’t like the mess, they can show them the door.
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Corruption is bad. Politicians shouldn’t steal and they do all the time. Shouldn’t the law apply to them when they aren’t doing politician stuff, but simple human crimes? Of course it should. But who will apply the law? Honest, apolitical career investigators of course, like these two:

stopit

For those who didn’t follow US politics, these lovebirds were “investigating” the Trump-Russia hoax and did everything in their power to frame him for treason while also making sure that Hillary Clinton gets out of her private server investigation unharmed.

You could tell that they are an exception. Corrupted scum who got where they definitely shouldn’t be. But there is a serious problem: I wouldn’t have done better in their place. I would have also done everything to cover up for my candidate and frame the other one. I would do it for the same reason they did: I’d believe it’s the right thing to do. My candidate is the good one and the other is a disaster for the country. If I can’t do it, no one can. I believe there isn’t a single man on the planet who could serve as impartial investigator in a case against a politician.

I’m however capable of realizing that these wannabe dictators didn’t: that no one made me king(maker) and it’s not my call, but of the people’s. If the majority supports the other candidate, it’s their way or the highway (to exile). Forcing my way would be nothing short of dictatorship. Ergo, the only way to protect democracy is making sure that no judges and no prosecutors can touch our politicians, even when they’d deserve it. Only “we the people” should be able to punish them.

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A personal note: I was a supporter of liberal democracy all my life. I didn’t even vote for Orbán in 2014. The US election, the Russia hoax, the sabotage of Trump by judges turned me into a rabid illiberal, a rallygoing Orbán fan and a supporter of Putin, Erdogan, Netanyahu, Duterte and co. I believe the liberal countries are in the state of “independent institution capture”, where the checks and balances are in the hands of a small minority.

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Sunday morning update: I hope it’s not you Smite:
6dlv

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

33 thoughts on “To the ash heap of history!”

  1. Funny you should mention Erdogan when you listed the ones you support, becouse IMO, as bad as the system is now its nowhere near as bad as it is in Turkey. If we get rid of the checks and ballances, that you find so stifeling, what stops an elected official (as Erdogan was, at least the first time) from simply taking all the power to himself and becoming an authoritarian dictatotr (as Erdogan has). You say you oppose unelected beurocrats serving jail sentences, well thats exactly what is happening in Turkey.

    The problem with the separation of powers in Europe is that we never had it. Im Polish, so Ill use my countries example. Our administrative branch is “elected” by the legislature (as it is common throught Europe). Thats two branches of the goverment with no separation whatsoever. And yes, oir judiciary is not the best (to use an euphemism), there are way too many judges in high places that learned their trade during the communist era. But the last thing I want is for that era to come back and what you are suggesting is a straight road down that path.

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  2. I am socialist-technocrat with some fascism (not nazism) mixed in. And some time ago, that was a quite weird fringe mix. Nowadays, that looks like some normal centrist views. World changes. The problem for most people, they think that laws, checks and counter-balances make world a better place. The world is decided only by power and being vicious (which illeberal goverments can do) can make even a weaker party stronger. Statism was always just a fad.

    I like to say: “Think what Romans thought about themselves, when Rome fell”. They probably also thought that they are the most sophisticated, educated, libertarian, good christians (don’t forget they did become christians at this point).

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  3. One thing bug me in your post, it’s your confidence in the “people” power.
    As far i can see, almost every democratic(or not) state make their best too strip the power from the people by manipulating them, making restrictive law or else
    So once the people don’t apply his counter power what can prevent one governement to go full [insert your favorite bad guy political doctrine here].

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  4. @Hidden Leander: if someone can be manipulated to not vote by moving the DMV or some other “voter suppression” trick, his vote wasn’t too valuable anyway. If the people want someone to be gone, they’ll vote.

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  5. Elections and voting are not the same as a democracy. A democracy is about giving everyone equal voice. Winning an election or referendum doesn’t deliver democracy if the winner only listens to the core group that puts them into power. An independent judiciary is crucial to protect the minority interest.
    Traditionally, the executive is the will of the majority expressed through a singular person or group. The legislative provides a more representative voice of the people. The will of the majority decides what will happen, the voice of the people set the rules and an independent judiciary rule on whether or not those rules are broken to ensure that the voice of the minority is not silenced or ignored.
    When the judiciary kick-back against an action taken by the executive, they do it in accordance of the rules set out by the legislative. The onus should be on the executive persuading the legislative to change the rules, not changing the judge until they find one that supports them.

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  6. No.

    The 3 ring circus is set up that way to STOP pure democracy from producing a dictator, which is eventually will. Eventually, some asshole (Hitler, Erdogan, et al) will slide into power, cancel all opposition in the Judicial, then use that to delete their opponents and extend their power indefinitely.

    You have to think long term. The GOAL is not to win “During this administration”, the goal is to establish a system that is stable over the long term. For THAT, you need a low “beta” (volatility index).

    Potential despots are few and far between, to simply give them the power to stack the courts 100% of the time is not a long term solution. Some despot WILL rise to power, and they WILL use that power to stack the court and use it to stay in power.

    Let’s say the statistical possibility of a leader being a secret despot is 5%, and for the sake of argument, it was impossible for sufficient numbers of people to see it coming. (Really, anyone who believes otherwise is spouting hyperbole.) Then let’s take the US as the example country. The newly minted secret despot cannot just stack the Supreme Court, they have to retire on their own first. Best case, he or she pulls up a majority of partisan justices after one, two, or three retire… even then, that leaves 6 justices they DIDN’T appoint. Those 6 will cross partisan lines the second the secret despot reveals themselves as an ACTUAL despot.

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  7. @Gevlon lets assume youre tright. Would you also say though it is at all possible to vote him out by now? Id wager good money, that any election in Turkey is going to be a farse. That ia preciesely why, I compleatly disagree with you on the subject matter. We dont need less checks and balances, we need more. The more the better. Governments more often theb not do harm to people (mostly financial, but physical is also not uncommon). The more constrained a government is, the better we are going to be.

    And to reply to your yet unasked question, yes there is a point, where this approach will fail, as the government needs to exist to provide some essential services, but we are very far away from that point and very close to authoritarian dictatorships.

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  8. @Smokeman: this is a non-argument. If a tyrant emerges, no judge or senate can stop him. Only armed resistance can. The judges can only stop someone who respects their ruling. They don’t have an army to enforce their will.

    @Artahm: 100%. He has no other source of power than the people. The military is not behind him, he has no powerful clan, no ideological zealot elites (like the communist party). If he loses his popularity, he is done.

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  9. Gevlon:

    No. Only if your system is already weakened to the point where a pebble can tip it over. It took Hitler decades to come to power, Erdogan took advantage of extant weakness. (Personally… I think the “coup” was his doing from the get go, but that’s a conspiracy theory.)

    If your 3 ring circus is strong, it will resist virtually any uprising short of external military might.

    The long term goal needs to be to keep the 3 ring circus as 3 equal rings. When a branch gets too powerful, it needs to be servoed back. Sure, there will be partisan hacks arguing for “The current administration is the only way and needs to take over the courts, legislative, executive to get anything done!” But those voices need to be met by the voices of reason that support the balanced separation of the branches.

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  10. @Smokeman: Even if we accept your explanation, that ship has sailed. The “independent institutions” are already captured by a tiny minority and use it to stop any democratic process. They are already working on removing any opposition, to the point of firing people for “wrongthink” from their apolitical jobs.

    Trump or Rod Rosenstein WILL be unchecked ruler. You can only choose which one. My choice is Trump (,Putin, Orbán…), because there at least I have the hope of my vote will matter. If the career bureaucrats win, there won’t be any kind of voting anymore (or more specifically, we can vote for a powerless ceremonial president)

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  11. I will point out to yourselves a little bit of information that all of you failed to notice.

    Reality exists.

    The ultimate rules are set by reality. Whatever rules we set have to obey the rules of logic or they will fail (failing means producing results different to expected and by default a disaster). People discovered these thousands of years ago and called it God. Now, with science and discovery, we know that those are “just” rules of logic, but that only makes them stronger. God can be merciful, logic is not.

    Pure democracy, European edition, has the fatal flaw that people can vote through any idiocy. We can see it fully in the EU. They are producing thousands and thousands of pages of laws and regulations every goddamn week. The Germans are failing for the same error again and again. “Ordnung muss sein” – “Whatever we have agreed to, we have to carry out”. Wrong. It doesn’t matter if we all agree that from tomorrow everybody will be nice to each other. The Universe has its own rules and laughs at our legislation.

    The US was set as a constitutional republic and the Americans have had a religious approach to their constitution. This made them the power that they are, as their constitution was a very good set of rules. Not perfect, but the best there was at the time. The mere human voters do not have the right to change the Constitution unless they are in near perfect agreement over the whole nation.

    The opening of the Declaration of Independence
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
    was the wisest and the most important statement in the history of mankind so far. It produced the world that we live in. There will be progress as the world goes on, but in the 250 years since then, nobody managed any better. It was the US that has saved the world from German and Russian collectivism, 3 times total so far. We don’t even know how many other threats to humanity never even came to our attention because the US was there to nip it in the bud.

    To anybody who criticizes the US: do not compare them to your hypothetical Utopia. Compare them to the actually existing present and past organizations.

    The UK is the close second. The British people don’t even know why they did it, but they voted to leave the EU. Everybody is worried and concerned about Brexit. It isn’t true that “brexiteers lied to people and promised them heaps of gold”. The people know perfectly well that leaving EU will cause massive problems, but they still voted for it. It was, in my opinion, the sheer legacy of British culture and tradition. The “working class” are the ones who follow their customs and norms without the arrogance of “intellectuals” who can rationalize any idea. The smarter they are, the better at rationalizing yet another stupidity.

    @Gevlon: your whole point is just silly. Your idea of “let them do whatever and if they do bad the next elections will take them out” is self-contradictory, when “whatever” by necessity includes removing the next elections. Poof, you’re living in the Fourth Reich. Happy Holocaust and pray you aren’t an Untermensch this time around.

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  12. @Stawek: you are extrapolating from the past into the present. The whole Trump issue started with the fact that the USA stopped being the power that it was. Since 2000 the USA started a bunch of wars and lost every single one of them. They are being overrun by illegal aliens. The median wage is dropping. These are all the products of the existing system, as it no longer capable of coping with the challenges of the modern world.

    It is possible that Trump will fail, and the USA remains as it is. Then it will become weaker and weaker, more and more poor and troubled. Just like the SU under Brezhnev: still a nuclear power no one dares to attack, but rather a bad example than anything challenging. While no one knew when the SU would collapse, it was evident that it will happen at some point.

    I’m not comparing the checks and balances to some ideal utopia. I’m comparing it to Orbán’s Hungary, Putin’s Russia, Kazincky’s Poland. I’m 100% sure that there will be a next election in Hungary, simply because Orbán doesn’t have an SA/SS like Hitler to enforce his will against the people.

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  13. You are comparing 250 years of the US to 8-year-old governments of relatively small countries. You are comparing to your idea of what you think Hungary is, not to what it really is. You don’t know because you don’t have a representative sample of Hungary under Orban. I am not criticizing him, only your knowledge of him. We simply don’t know any better, yet, even if I think he’s doing well.

    Orban doesn’t have SA cause he doesn’t need it. So far he’s doing well, people are well fed and vote for him voluntarily. What will he do when the polls show he’s losing the next elections?

    Kaczynski’s Poland is national socialist. Now, it’s better than “let’s get rich before the next elections” ideology of the previous ruling party, but it’s still socialism. They pay people to have babies instead of importing millions of “refugees”, good. Polish traditions give us some hope, in our love for freedom and the distrust of governments. Alliance with the US will only strengthen it. The million or so of Polish people who lived in and experienced the UK will add even more. However, there are no checks and balances in Poland. None. The system is highly unstable. We shall see.

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  14. The men you admire, like Putin winning election after election with 90+% of the vote, are de facto dictators. They are not simply illiberal or conservative. If you disagree with Putin, you don’t get to oust him from power in a free election. You get to quietly simmer and say nothing, or else you end up in prison or touching the wrong doorknob coated in poison.

    The death of your lauded goblinish behavior is all but assured under such men, because in the end all of your cleverness and productivity are bent to only his personal gain.

    Democracy may have its problems, but it beats the hell out of life under any form of dictator. And an independent judiciary is a very important concept, because otherwise you have mob rule. Legislatures end up inevitably captured by the executive and rendered irrelevant except as rubber stamps to the latest strongman. You may hate the cosmopolitan liberalism of Europe, but that liberalism has absolutely been the cornerstone of a 70-year prosperous peace.

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  15. @LazyE: you merely declare those who you don’t like “dictators”, despite the existence of free elections. The same way as Trump is called a dictator, despite he can’t even dictate himself a wall.

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  16. Again, we don’t know what will Putin do when polls show he’s losing the next election.

    I prefer Putin’s system of 50 oligarchs stealing 1 billion each to EU’s 5 million lesser bureaucrats stealing 100k each. Because that’s how many government drones we have in the EU, even when you discard all the state-paid teachers, doctors, nurses and such.
    I would much prefer some form of open aristocracy that is given money for nothing over socialist “directors and managers” that are paid to do government jobs. Not only are they taking the money but by working the jobs they are absolutely not qualified for they destroy the economy.

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  17. @Stawek: it’s not about what Putin WOULD do, but what Putin COULD do. Imagine that the majority rejects him and he chooses to oppress them. Who will carry out his orders? The soldiers are one with the people, if the majority of people reject him, so do majority of the soldiers.

    Dictators always based their rule one a loyal minority (clan, religion, ideological zealots). Who would be Putin’s loyalists?

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  18. Do you really believe that Putin sits at the head of a vibrant democracy? That his word is not law in reality? To join the Russian opposition is to see the inside of a jail cell and to have your family and livelihood threatened until you exile yourself. We in the United States have enough checks and balances that we can say that Trump is not a dictator, because even with one party in majority control of all of the major arms of the government, there still exists enough independence and opposition that the will of the elected leader does not instantly become reality. This is a good thing. Because all too often decisions made by powerful majorities in a time of crisis become irreversible.

    The only reason Putin even allows an opposition party to exist is because it gives him a veneer of respectability for people like yourself. People that live in liberal Western democracies but are unhappy with the policy choices.

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  19. @LazyE: Putin’s word is the law because the people support him. Sure, he isn’t nice with the opposition, but that cannot stop the people to not vote for Putin, even in absence of other candidate.

    You celebrate that the will of the majority cannot be done. You are celebrating tyranny.

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  20. I simply refuse to accept that authoritarians like Erdogan can think of anything other than themselves or their families. At this point if you think he will ever get toppled by a ‘vote’, you are simply mistaken. He has cleared the civil sector and the army of “conspirators”, and has thrown anyone with a different opinion to a grave, prison or the unemployment lines. He will be in power until he dies, and then his son in law will probably take over.

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  21. Two wolves and a sheep decide what’s for dinner. The sheep opposes the will of the majority. She’s a tyrant.
    The Jews of the Third Reich were tyrants, too. They opposed the will of the Aryan majority.

    Your original idea was erroneous. Now that you’re digging deeper you can see the logical contradictions coming up.

    Tyranny is removing the liberty of people. Whether it is done in democracy or dictatorship is irrelevant.

    Who is going to support Putin if he loses elections? Everybody paid by him and his government, everybody who voted for him (could be 49% of the population), every coward who “just follows orders”.
    How many people supported Stalin after all the murders? Nobody. They just followed his orders out of fear. Worked fine for Stalin for decades.

    Am I saying Putin is like Stalin? No. I don’t really have any idea what Russia is like, as I can’t trust the Western press on the topic and don’t know any Russians.

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  22. Whats the best government method to rule a country? Answer is, It depends what you measure as the best. Whatever you take as example – democracy, autocracy, dictatorship – they all have both good and bad sides. Democracy is good because it gives alot of opinions and point of views and usually is produces result whats best for the most of the people. Democracy is bad, because its vulnerable to corruption, manipulation, bureaucracy, it allows to gain and hold power against peoples will and it punishes ruler, who do required unpopular decisions. If you compare democracy to dictatorship or even tyranny, it has no corruption, no manipulation, no bureaucracy, it allows to do the unpopular decisions what needs to be made without loosing the power. Dictatorship problem is, it allows ruler to do many bad decisions without any significant effect of power change.

    If you look current govnerment methods, the 3 problems(corruption, manipulation, bureaucracy) are significantly problematic. Thats why dictatorship type of rules emerge, because in one hand they abuse those problems to get in power and in other hand they fix the problems when in power, they remove the loophole, so noone else can abuse it with same ways.

    stawek gives a good question: What is better, 50 oligarchs stealing 1 billion each or EU’s 5 million lesser bureaucrats stealing 100k each? Its alot easier to control 50 oligarchs then 5 million bureaucrats. Its easier and faster to implement any rules what needs to be done, because you need to manipulate alot less people and there is alot less bureucracy. There is even less corruption against rulers. Big problem against dictatorship is, they create their own problems, absolute power produces absolut corruption. Dictator needs to secure their position, so it sets and makes many roadblocks to those, who challenge them. That means the power of democracy, versatility of viewpoints, optimizing to the best for most is gone. Answer to the stawek question, if there is no war or any other fast decision needing cituation 5 million bureaucrats will do more for the people then 50 oligarchs.

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  23. @Tithian: we’ll see. So far, 2/3 of the Turks living in GERMANY voted for Erdogan https://www.dw.com/en/turks-in-germany-praise-our-leader-after-two-thirds-vote-for-erdogan/a-44378286

    I doubt they did so in fear.

    @Stawek: wolf > sheep. Haven’t you read anything from me?
    Nobody in Germany voted for the Holocaust. Nobody even knew about it, because the Nazis did it in secret, knowing that the population wouldn’t support it.

    If 49% votes for Putin, he is still popular. I don’t see a significant difference between 49% and 51%. I don’t care if he cheats and “wins” with even 40% true votes. Tyranny starts where someone with 1/3 support rules against the 2/3.

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  24. Wolves > sheep. How is that relevant to the current discussion? Are you advocating for anarchy here, where strength makes the rules? This makes your whole post moot, as the only rule of government is “the strong make the rules”. It doesn’t work even with chimpanzees, what makes you think it’s a workable proposition for human societies?

    People didn’t vote for outright killing of Jews but they did vote for the man with open and vocal hatred of Jews, as it was a major campaign point for NSDAP. They voted themselves the ubermenschen and thus legitimized whatever followed. There are some laws that are just bad, no matter how many people vote for them.

    As for your 1/3, it’s just your arbitrary number. Polish PiS won elections with 37% votes. It gave them majority of seats in Polish Parliament so they can rule against the will of other 2/3rds now. Are they tyrants?

    Democracy is good in one thing: it can very efficiently remove failing rulers. This, however, is only possible if there is a non-democratic way of assuring the next elections. A revered constitution, somehow independent judiciary, anything that can provide a robust stop to anybody trying to extend their rule beyond the elected time or scope.

    Democracy plus some form of system inertia to damp down spikes of stupidity or tyranny seems to be working pretty well wherever it is implemented.

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  25. @Stawek: the main point of the crazy “whiteness/patriarchy” leftists is that the powerful white males are oppressing the “marginalized” by magical means (systemic racism, mansplaining…). But their underlying point is that the sheep (the marginalized) must be protected from the wolves. If you go that way, this is the existing reality. At some point you have to accept that the wolves got strong by merit and their rule is the best for the society as a whole, even if individual sheep isn’t particularly happy about it.

    The Germans voted for the idea of getting themselves a “pure” country. That wasn’t alien from that age. Among the Jews, the zionsim was growing, which is pretty much the same idea. In the USA Jim Crow was in full force. The Nazis didn’t stand out of their contemporaries for their resentment of the “other”. They stood out with killing them. The people couldn’t know what Hitler will become and didn’t vote for his true plans.

    1/3 is indeed an arbitrary number. The meaning is “tyranny is when clear minority rules over a clear majority”.

    PiS got 37%. PO got 24%. The rest went to 6 sub-10% parties. So the “majority of the people who had one idea” was there, PiS rules democratically. The others had the option to unite, but they didn’t, because they couldn’t agree in one program or one leader.

    There is one and only one effective guarantee that the next election will be there: the citizens are ready to rise against a tyrant who wants to get rid of the election. Not judges, not press, not nothing. The communists had everything, the people still risen against them in Poland in 1980, Czechoslovakia 1968, Hungary 1956. That’s enough proof for me that no one can be tyrant in these countries without overwhelming foreign military.

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  26. I understand you have general views about illiberalism, where an elected leader can do whatever he wants because that is what majority of people who elected him want. However, the keyword is elected. What if it wasn’t? Here’s critical questions to your platform: suppose you built a system where “dictatorship of majority” is implemented. How would you implement accountability, when the first wish of supporters, who managed to momentarily sway public opinion and get a fleeting majority, is “remove election and rule forever so our opponents never have a chance for comeback”, which putin and Erdogan successfully pulled? They are not a majority anymore, on a remotely fair election, putin’s lackeys fail miserably, and not even to real opponents, but to some marionettes pretending to oppose them. In local deputies election on Moscow, there are precincts where putin’s party he personally called to vote for – haven’t got a SINGLE seat (means not even 10% of votes), so this is not an abstract question. putin only stays because election mechanism are broken, and in general, every fleeting group who sways people once so that their views become momentary majority – would immediately request their elected politician to break elections, and within your mandate system, he will. FC what do? Second question, supposed you made up some borat-proof method to secure election, what to do on complete agenda reversals? Sure, the said politician will not get reelected, should election still work, but it is also not an abstract question, it’s a live one for people under putin. He went against his own majority to push retirement age past life expectancy in Russia. 89% of people are against that change even on putin’s controlled polls. He did that right after “election” too, and he actually promised to not do exactly that what he did, saying retirement age will not be moved. In short, he’s a lying piece of shit that went back on his word within 2 months of being sworn in. FC what do? I got further critique, but it’s nothing compared to importance of those two questions, so I await an answer on that.

    putin was not elected. I can tell that because I actually worked as election monitor on that election, and I can tell you straight faced that it was a fraud election. You say people can stop voting for putin, but that is factually wrong. On the electoral precinct I was assigned to, I assembled a whole collection of voters, who confessed to me that they are forced by their superior to show proof they have voted for putin, gave out the superior’s name and phone number, and demonstrated how they are proofing they voted. This alone accounted for 12% of votes WITH confession. The transfer list, which is people who live on other territories but decided to vote on my precinct for whatever reason, was almost entirely people who were doing the same “proofing” as people who confessed they are being forced to vote, but told me nothing, accounts for 22% of total votes. Then there were other frauds – the list of “house calls” electoral officials are making for people who can’t walk – suddenly grew before they moved out, with people included there with a “reason” part left blank (which is illegal, but didn’t bother officials or police after being pointed out) and they all “voted” for putin (with some officials in the next district caught red-handed simply collecting signatures and ballots from people near local store, I can assume my precinct did the same, just smarter). There were also people brought in by social services by hand, pressed into thinking they must vote (in soviet union, voting actually was mandatory), which is also illegal, but once again, didn’t bother police or officials when pointed out. And even then, on my precinct, 50% turnout, and 56% of them voted putin. That’s 28% of total population ruling over 72%, how about that?
    But even that isn’t all. Just before election, my precinct got split in two, because with a huge transfer list of forced voters, it outgrew maximum amount of voters allowed for one precinct. So it’s basically same street and same people, just two precincts instead of one, wanna guess the results of that second precinct? 78% turnout, 77% putin. The only difference was – there were no election monitors on that one. Their transfer list and house call lists were longer, and I could swear I saw the same people coming more than once.
    Naturally, this all went to my report, among with other reports much worse than mine (22% of independent monitors were removed from election sites without explanation, one got removed for 3 hours, in which, according to officials, 700 people have voted, with only 400 in 9 hours when monitor was present. We also have video evidence where camera in the only entrance captured 421 people entering election site, but protocol in the end showed 1400 votes cast, but officials denied any action even on that, and refused to publish video from election site itself).

    Therefore, I admit that views where elected leader can do whatever he wants have right to exist. However, the keyword is ELECTED. putin, with his REAL rating hovering between 29% and 31%, and his party rating basically non-existent at this moment (putin’s candidates suffered a crushing defeat on governor elections in multiple states, even where their direct “opponents” basically told their supporters to vote for putin’s candidates), was NOT elected fairly since 2004. Supporting him on election basis is simply wrong, and he’s exactly what you’re saying is dictatorship – even less than 1/3 ruling over 2/3. I’m not even directly against your ideas – I think that a politician fairly elected should have some form of mandate to push agenda that made him elected. But seeing putin, which presented one agenda before his “election” (which was extended social support, as Russia has a HUGE poverty problem Europe haven’t had for 100 years, where tens of millions of people who have a job still can’t afford basic necessities), and pushing in 100% opposite direction, removing social support institutions one after another, right after “election”, I think there should be accountability for russian reversals like this with a stronger warrant than fraudulent election.

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  27. Last Anonymous:
    Moscow is, by all metrics, a lot more liberal then Russia as a whole.

    Most capitals are.

    Have you controlled for that in your estimate that “less then 1/3 are ruling over 2/3”?

    Like

  28. @Shalcker

    My assigned precinct was 4 flight hours away from Moscow, in a mid-sized town, with typical living conditions for the majority of russian population. That was the mission, to study the average.

    P.S. Skimping through a mission report, I found a gem, report from a mission member sent to monitor Novocherkassk (population 170k). He worked with communist party (KPRF) monitors which were quite active in the area, and his report directly states that (wording changed as report isn’t public): “At 100% of precincts covered by an actively reporting KPRF monitors, their reports and official outcome protocols had a very peculiar discrepancy: they matched in all numbers, except two, which are turnout, and votes for putin, with those two always being higher in the official protocol. KPRF monitors claimed their numbers are correct, confirmed by the copies of official protocol they received on election site, properly signified by officials, which indeed matched their reports, while official protocols submitted to territorial election authority did not. Available election site recordings also confirm turnout numbers close to that of KPRF monitor data. Therefore, it may be assumed, that every official protocol from every precinct in Novocherkassk is fraudulent”.

    Fair election? Not even once…

    Like

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