Saturday 20th of April 2024

paths and methods of democracy.......

An article, titled "Chinese Democracy: A True Solution", published in China Daily in December 2021, said China holds "direct election of deputies to the county and township-level people's congresses". The author, Chen Yun, charge d'affaires, Chinese embassy in Indonesia, describes the Chinese government system as an "institutional foundation for protecting the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people".


By Mario Cavolo, Jasna Plevnik. Liu Dongchao


This shows democracy should be for all the people, not just for the wealthy. And this is perhaps the simplest way of explaining why corruption is so high in the so-called democratic governments in Western countries.

During the past year, a new saying has gained popularity on divisive social media platforms such as Twitter in the West: In China, the government tells the billionaires what to do; in the US, the billionaires tell the government what to do.

The fact that this saying is true is disturbing. It's an assault on the real meaning and application of democratic principles. And it gives rise to questions such as: Isn't the multi-billion dollar world of lobbying corporations and NGOs in Washington a legalized system of bribery that serves to cancel out and summarily eviscerate the importance of citizens' votes?

What is happening is that leaders give you a nice ideologically-driven feeling before you use your precious vote. But the moment you walk out of the polling booth, a corporation lobbyist hands over millions of dollars to the senator you just voted for, asking him or her to support some new legislation they need to secure their corporate profits, negating the value of your vote. The saddest part is that you have no way of stopping it or knowing whether it benefits society or not.

A Princeton University study in 2014 confirmed our worst fears that the United States government apparatus is either an oligarchy or plutocracy, certainly not a democracy. Although some politicians at the time made feeble attempts to rebut the findings, even eight years later, no one would dare to deny the conclusion of the study.

Since March 2020, apparently to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Federal Reserve, according to reports, has pumped "close to $30 trillion" directly into the hands of billionaires and bankers, and before that previous president Donald Trump signed The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, saying corporations would invest the money thus saved in the country including in the much-needed research and development sector and increase workers' pay.

But did the corporations use the saved taxes to help the people? Before answering the question let's take a look at the findings of a National Bureau of Economic Research study. According to the bureau, the wealthiest top 10 percent of the population owns 84 percent of public shareholder stocks.

Although we do know that workers received about $1 billion of the trillions of dollars as added bonuses, about $1 trillion was authorized for corporate stock buybacks. As such, high-income households benefited the most.

About the tax cuts act, Bret Wells, a tax law professor at the University of Houston, had said: "It is largely the top 1 percent that will disproportionately benefit — the wealthiest people in the world."

Let us return to China. China's description of socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is often mocked by some Western pundits, politicians and media outlets. But in making their case, they ignore the most important part of the story, that is, socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics indeed helps improve the livelihoods of the Chinese people.

Look no further than to China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) to understand that the country's government is taking measures to meet the needs of the people. The Chinese government has always responded to the call of the people, and endeavored to improve their lives and livelihoods. One example of that is publicizing a draft bill to solicit public opinions before finalizing a piece of legislation.

Martin Jacques, a British political analyst, academic and author of When China Rules the World, explains the matter thus: "The West boasts that its style of democracy is innately superior to all other forms of governance. But this is empty rhetoric. The ultimate test is the ability to deliver, to improve people's living standards. That is what wins hearts and mind."

In the Chinese government's application of democratic principles to improve people's lives and livelihoods, we also find the use of quality governance to build a safe, stable and secure society. If that is not worthy of admiration, what is?




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Cartoon mischief at top by Gus Leonisky using various China Daily cartoons....

alternative world management......


BY Salman Rafi Sheikh


The start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine was supposed to give the US a hitherto unavailable opportunity to re-unite the Western alliance under its leadership and maintain the US-dominated post-Second World War global order. While the Biden administration has got some success in forcing Europe to renew its allegiance to Washington – and drop its ambitions of strategic autonomy as an independent player in the international arena – it has not really had any powerful impact on Russia and China in terms of deterring them from pushing for their core objective of alternative world order. As it stands, the leading factor is that Washington’s success is itself largely limited to the West – a fact not lost on Russia, China and other countries outside of Europe. Outside of the occident, Washington’s ability to control anti-US forces has considerably decreased. This is especially evident in the Middle East, a region long known for its ‘deep’ alliance with the West but increasingly following a path that does not converge with the US.

For Russia and China, this is an encouraging sign – not only because visible and deep cracks have emerged in the wider US-led alliance, but also because countries outside of the Transatlantic Alliance are showing greater acceptability of the Sino-Russia bid to establish a multipolar world order not vulnerable to US manipulation. The initial success in charting the alternative course means that both Russia and China have every reason to continue illuminating this path.

This was also at the heart of Vostok drills held in Russia in September. This was a military exercise that, apart from Russia as the host country, included China, India, Tajikistan, Belarus and Mongolia. Whereas the decision of India and China to participate in these drills shows the drastic limits of the extent to which Washington can dictate global politics, the fact that these drills were held despite US sanctions on Russia and its politics of imposing “isolation” on Moscow shows, once again, that the politics of alternative world order is fast gaining traction.

How this exercise is tied to global politics can be understood from the way Russia’s Vladimir Putin contextualised it. A day before China confirmed its participation, Putin called for, in a speech he delivered to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security, “a radical strengthening of the contemporary system of a multipolar world.” This is necessary, as Putin stressed, to stem the Western tide to “expand its bloc-based system to the Asia-Pacific region, like it did with NATO in Europe.” Putin’s remarks were precise enough about US geopolitics around Taiwan as well. To quote him, “The US escapade towards Taiwan is not just a voyage by an irresponsible politician, but part of the purpose-oriented and deliberate US strategy designed to destabilise the situation and sow chaos in the region and the world.”

Putin’s views are not idiosyncratic. In fact, the Chinese are echoing the same in a powerful fashion. Global Times, an official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, recently said that,


“The US has been spiralling upward in its all-encompassing containment of China, and there seems no high point at which it will stop and take a break. It is like a runaway horse running wildly to the precipice of war.”


The conclusion that this commentary drew is that the ultimate aim of Washington is to establish its own hegemony in the region – and ultimately in the world – by “squeezing” China out. This conclusion is strikingly similar to how Russia sees the US bid to expand NATO to Eastern Europe – in particular Ukraine – to squeeze Russia in Europe. This conclusion is resonating globally now – from the Middle East to Africa and the Pacific.

The reason why this is spreading is that the idea of a multipolar world is attractive to many other states as well. The emphasis on multiple power centres means that the centre of gravity will neither be Washington nor Beijing or Moscow. In fact, the idea of a multipolar world order underpins a system that is fundamentally different from today’s misweighted and misguided rules.

In this context, India’s decision to participate in the multinational military exercise shows how close New Delhi is to the idea of a multipolar order that this drill represents. India is a country that has always aspired to global power status. For years, it has been striving for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council. Its ambitions are unlikely to be realised in a system dominated, unilaterally, by Washington. Within this system, New Delhi is likely to remain a player following, uncritically, the US in its footsteps. It is only by stepping out of this system – which New Delhi partly did by refusing to condemn Russia and/or deciding to buy Russian oil despite US sanctions – that New Delhi can push for its great power status more freely than has been the case.

There is no dearth of states in Asia and elsewhere aspiring to play a bigger role. Turkey, for that matter, is another prime example, with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Arab world emerging as the latest champion of strategic autonomy. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s refusal to exclude Russia from the G20 summit has proven, yet again, that exercising unilateral hegemony in today’s world is not the same as it was in the 1990s.

Given the scenario, what can Washington do? First, it can continue to ignite conflict and hope to attract more and more allies. This will, however, continue to backfire, as more and more countries are likely to fall out with Washington’s geopolitics of conflict. Secondly, it can safely reach the conclusion that the world has already changed, and that Washington needs to adjust itself to the changing global structure and the possibility of multiple power centres. Washington cannot fight everyone. Period. With more and more countries seeking to trade in currencies other than the USD means that the US ability to macro-manage global economics through its financial control is diminishing fast as well. It cannot sanction everyone and everything. Period.


Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.










democrapcies versus yooessocrapcy.....


By Alison Broinowski


Nations holding their breath for democracy may suffocate. If the US is still the leader of the free world, its followers are dwindling, as several summits in November will show.

This month, Australia lines up, once again, alongside the US at the G20 meeting in Bali, the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, and at APEC in Bangkok. Next year, Prime Minister Albanese will visit fellow Quad member India, before hosting the all-democracy group whose unifying purpose appears to be to contain China inside an ‘arc of autocracy’. What hopes of success do they have?

President Biden held a Summit for Democracy in December 2021, and promised another, a year later. That’s now slipped to ‘the first half of 2023’, with no explanation. The gap year for democracy, 2022, has been renamed a ‘Year of Action’ by Washington, to ‘support democratic renewal around the world’.

The attack on the Capitol in January 2022 didn’t set a great example of democratic renewal. The recent hammer assault on Paul Pelosi didn’t either. But when the second virtual summit does happen, its aim will be the same, to ‘renew democracy at home and confront autocracies abroad.’ Its three themes will be repeated: defending democracy against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and advancing respect for human rights.

Whose rights, is one question. Defending what against whom, and why, is another. Confronting and fighting is a third: what other ways are there?

Biden began his presidency saying he would make human rights and democracy his slogans. He now needs these worthy objectives to polish up his public image after the ‘defining moment’ of his mid-term election results. He will seek to show Republicans that he has foreign friends outside the US. But he may find that even under his Democrat administration, global support for democracy has fallen in a year.

Not all countries on Biden’s guest list for 2021 had achieved democracy. Hence the name, ‘Summit forDemocracy’ not ‘Summit of Democracies’. In the view of University of Sydney politics Professor John Keane, the guest list was ‘cynically drawn up, bureaucratically crafted, agency-structured’ and included states that weren’t democracies at all.

The number of ‘electoral democracies’ in the world reached an all-time high in 2012, with 97 allowing voting for someone from a list of candidates. A decade on, their number has fallen to 89 countries. In the same period, ‘liberal democracies’ also fell, from 42 to 34. These are countries whose governments recognise and protect individual rights and freedoms, and where political power is limited by law. (Democracy – Our World in Data

If attendance at the 2023 democracy summit falls, that could do Biden more reputational damage, and may explain the delay in holding it. Biden’s guests, each with their own problems, will have absorbed reports from the US of mass shootings, election fraud, civil division, judicial bias, gross inequality, right-wing extremism, and domestic terrorism. They know about American agencies which, covert or overt, were behind coups, assassinations, torture, and electoral intervention in their own countries. Some of their citizens grew rich from the proceeds. All are watching Biden, who may succeed him, and with what result.

Biden campaigned with the slogan ‘America is back’. That was a rerun of his earlier days as a Senator, when the US and world leadership were synonymous. The world has changed since then. The US has declined, China has risen, and Russia is doing in Ukraine what America has done for over a century – invading other countries – while China is not. But Biden seems not to understand that US hegemony is over. Now, rival states’ aspirations must be accommodated peaceably, for military confrontation between nuclear powers means total destruction.

But in Biden’s view, nothing’s changed: democracy must confront autocracy, as good confronts evil. His National Security Strategy in mid-October echoed Barack Obama’s vaunting of US exceptionalism. Again calling America the ‘indispensable nation’, Biden told the world it ‘needs US leadership’. Pointing to a Disney-ish vision of a brightly-lit, beacon-like United States, Biden fancifully saw American military power and the ‘international rules-based order’ still leading the world.

Putting the ‘war on terror’ behind him, Biden has repeatedly claimed that the US will defend democratic Taiwan against Communist China. His officials, aware of the consequences, keep backing away from that, from mentioning ‘democratic’ Ukraine, while knowing its Nazi history. But democracy is Biden’s weapon against terrorism, Communism, and authoritarianism. The greatest struggle, in his world-view, is between democracies and autocracies.

Neither Russia nor China is a democracy in US organisation Freedom House’s terms. Each nation has autocratic traditions, but both prioritise the central authority’s responsibility for the nation’s security and progress. The war in Ukraine, incited for years by the US, but launched by Russia in February 2022, is a proxy war of democratic NATO against ‘authoritarian’ Russia. Russia wants its former territories back: so does China. A war in the South China Sea, also long-planned, may be fought the same way, by the US, Japan, Australia, and even NATO, with Taiwan as their proxy.

Democracies’ record doesn’t inspire confidence. Hong Kong’s history as a democracy dates only from 1984, when the British allowed some reform, without ever granting full universal suffrage to the colony before the handover to China in 1997. Taiwan’s history as a US-style democracy is also short, with no direct presidential election being held until 1996. Professor Jeffrey Sachs says the real struggle for us all is to live together and overcome our common crises. But at a Democracy Forum in Athens, Sachs was pointing to Britain as the world’s most violent country in the 19th century, and to the US inheriting that distinction in the 20th and 21stcenturies, when his (free) speech was shut down.

President Biden’s greatest mistake, said Sachs, was to claim that ‘the greatest struggle of the world is between democracies and autocracies. The real struggle of the world is to live together and overcome our common crises of environment and inequality.’ In that struggle, Australia plays a minor role, but we have abandoned diplomacy for militarism. This month’s events may show we’re on the losing side.









the chinese avoid this....


By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams


Along with "Trump and his allies," Sen. Bernie Sanders said the richest people in the United States are "trying to undermine American democracy."


Rallying for Pennsylvania congressional candidates Summer Lee and John Fetterman in Philadelphia on Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders ripped U.S. billionaires for pumping record-breaking sums of cash into the midterm elections in an effort to sway the results in their favor.

“It is not just Trump and his allies who are trying to undermine American democracy,” Sanders (I-Vt.) told the crowd gathered at Franklin Music Hall Sunday night. “You are living right now under a corrupt political system which allows billionaires to buy elections.”

The senator pointed specifically to the AIPAC-founded, billionaire-funded super PAC spending big to defeat Lee in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District. Sanders also noted that billionaire Rick Caruso, a former Republican running to become the next mayor of Los Angeles, has poured $100 million of his own fortune into the California race.

“Billionaires are saying, ‘Hey, we own the country, we may as well own the political system, and I’m going to elect you and I’m going to defeat you.’ That ain’t democracy, that’s oligarchy,” said Sanders, who argued only a massive surge of voter turnout and transformative legislative action will be enough to counter billionaires’ influence.

According to an analysis released last week by Americans for Tax Fairness, U.S. billionaires who have seen their wealth skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic have spent nearly $900 million on federal elections this cycle, with significantly more going to Republican candidates than Democrats.

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that “political spending on the 2022 midterm elections will shatter records at the state and federal levels, with much of it from largely unregulated super PACs financed with enormous checks written mainly by Republican megadonors.”

“The American campaign finance system increasingly mirrors American society, with hundreds of thousands of small donors trying to keep pace with a billionaire class whose spending appears nimble and bottomless,” the Times continued. “While both parties have their billionaires, Republicans have many more. Of the 25 top donors this cycle, 18 are Republican, according to Open Secrets, and they have outspent Democrats by $200 million.”

With billionaires spending massively and election-denying Trump loyalists running for Congress and key positions at the state level, Sanders argued that the November 8 midterms are “about saving the foundations of American democracy.”

“Pennsylvania is one of three or four pivotal states in this country,” the Vermont senator said. “And this election will be close. So I’m asking you now, in the next few days, to do everything you can to vote, get your friends to vote, help elect John Fetterman, help elect Summer Lee, help elect Josh Shapiro, your next governor. And do everything you can to defeat Republican extremism.”

Looking beyond Tuesday’s vote, Sanders said, “Don’t think that it’s all over on Election Day, no matter what happens.”

“Your job is to have a vision,” he continued. “We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. All over this world, people in country after country, people walk into the doctor’s office, they don’t have to take out their wallet, their credit card. All over the world, you have countries in which young people can get a higher education without having to go deeply into debt. People have paid family and medical leave. We can do those things, and we can do more.”

“We can do these things,” Sanders added, “if we have the guts to stand up to corporate greed, to stand up to a billionaire class that wants it all.”






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of chinese democracy......




I have written earlier that the multi-party electoral system (“democracy”) is the only form of government designed to be controlled by outsiders, naturally leaving it open to corruption and fraud. The Chinese, listening to the Americans, discovered all the proof of this in their own back yard. China has experimented with small-scale introductions of Western-style democratic elections for local officials in rural areas.

We are often told that “first impressions” are the most important, that on initially meeting a person or entering a new situation, we see it most clearly at that first introduction. With the passage of time, our perceptions become clouded and dimmed by extraneous factors and our focus scattered by irrelevancies. On the introduction of “democracy” to the Chinese, they saw it very clearly as it really was – a system for obtaining political power that was just begging to be manipulated. In fact, it was seen as the very purpose of such a system and to have been designed precisely for such a purpose. And it was.

In early 2014, in Changsha, China’s nursery of democracy and many other imaginative crimes, there was a massive vote-buying scandal where almost 60 individuals were charged for electoral fraud, dereliction of duty, disrupting elections, buying votes, bribery and related corruption, involving more than 500 lawmakers and various local party officials who were disqualified and relieved of their posts, their crimes involving many thousands of citizens and more than 100 million yuan in bribes. And this was only one case of many.

In North China’s Hebei province, one town had two failed elections within a month, corrupted by vote-buying with twice as many votes as eligible voters, stolen ballot boxes and much other electoral fraud. Many towns and villages introduced multi-party elections in the late 1980s, with many experiencing similar problems. In September of 2016, there was a massive election-rigging scandal in Liaoning, with more than 500 people paying bribes to get friends elected. China’s National People’s Congress expelled 45 lawmakers, nearly half the number elected from Liaoning, because of bribery and election fraud. In addition, more than 500 lawmakers were dismissed or resigned from the 619-member Liaoning People’s Congress, and several people were arrested.

I was surprised that anyone was surprised. That’s democracy. That’s how it works. It was designed to be wide open to corruption. In the West, we have more experience so we do it more quietly and in different ways, but the result is the same. Wherever money can buy legislative power, all open systems will become corrupted.

The Chinese saw “democracy” as it really was – a way to obtain control of a government by collecting votes. The easiest way to collect votes is to buy them, and there isn’t even any morality here. Before moralising about the Chinese, consider that if it’s okay for AIPAC and corporations to buy politicians, why isn’t it okay for politicians to buy voters? The next easiest way (if you’re willing to be a bit dishonest) is to print excess ballots and stuff the ballot boxes. And let’s not forget that stuffing ballot boxes was a tradition in the US and Canada 200 years ago.

But again, with this “new” political system, we are being offered full control of the government of a city, by the simple expedient of having people vote for us. There is no other requirement, and anyone can do it. It’s obvious that someone with money and ambition will rise to this challenge and find a way, honest or otherwise, to get those votes.

These are serious issues in China because increasingly the king-makers in the background will be foreigners. Jews, US Consulate staff, members of the US State Department, Embassy officials who are CIA but disguised as diplomats, the NED, USAID, AmCham and dozens of American NGOs, are all spending money and working in the background to influence government in China. That’s the truth, and if it’s apparent to me it should be obvious to many others. Their success in Hong Kong is stunning; the Americans have obtained enormous influence on the political landscape in Hong Kong and are so clever and experienced that the hundreds of thousands of little Hong Kong puppets cannot even see the strings. And they have every intention of doing the same in Mainland China.

Kindergarten Democracy

But these examples were nothing compared to what happened at the Chunhui Primary School in Zhengzhou, where 1,700 small children learned lessons about “democracy” that they will unfortunately never forget. These students used to have a “backward, old-fashioned, traditional, Chinese-style” system of choosing student leaders where the selection was based on silly things like scholastic merit and the recommendations of teachers as to character. But, thanks to American pressure, they “altered their tradition” and instead turned to modern, Western-style “democracy”.

And how did that work? Well, one student (with a very poor academic record) was chosen as a leader because he was “good at basketball” and was “friendly”. And how did they get themselves elected? Well, they learned to conduct democratic election campaigns, just like all Westerners. According to media reports, “Some played the saxophone, some danced, and some showed off their calligraphy or painting skills, played traditional Chinese musical instruments as a way of impressing voters.” One mother was so eager to make her little kid a king that she printed more than 1,000 pretty little blue election cards with his name, asking everyone to vote for him.

The Headmaster of the school, Hu Jianling, said the program aimed to encourage students to “bravely express their ideas” and to “participate in the school’s management”. In the opinion of the school, these student leaders proved Hu’s plan “effective and perhaps even beneficial”.

Let’s examine what really happened here. I have no wish to embarrass Mr. Hu, who I am sure is a fine gentleman with good intentions, but what kind of devil possessed this man that he thought it was a good idea to get 1,700 10-year-old kids to “bravely participate in the school’s management”? What the hell does he think a school is? In this one experiment in this one school, we can see all the pathetic flaws of Western democracy, flaws apparently invisible to the teachers, the parents and especially to the students who have learned a corrupt lesson in living that they will probably never forget. If you want to corrupt the population, it is always best to begin with the children, because that will make the corruption permanent.

First, what was the purpose of these elections? It should be to select the most competent person for a job that carries responsibilities to the students, but nowhere in any of this little kindergarten travesty was there even a mention of competency or responsibility. None. These little politicians just wanted to be elected because they wanted to be elected, not because they had any ability or wanted to accomplish anything useful for their schoolmates. There were no students who campaigned to eliminate excessive homework or to have cleaner washrooms or more after-school tutoring. They just wanted to be leaders and to have the accompanying power and prestige, with not a thought to any obligation involved.

Even worse, how did these little politicians campaign? How did they conduct themselves to convince their electorate to vote for them? Well, they “leveraged their personal popularity”” from good looks or sports ability, or their father’s money for buying pretty dresses and nice bicycles. They “leveraged their entertainment ability” by playing the saxophone or other instruments. They “leveraged their painting and calligraphy skills”, and they no doubt found many inventive 10-year-old ways to run around the school begging for votes. How wonderful. The mother who paid to print the cute little blue cards for her kid to pass out will next time have a 5-yuan note attached to them. Those little kids learned that the only real qualification for becoming a leader and taking power is a talent for psychological manipulation, that credentials are ignored in obtaining votes.

Are these the primary ingredients of a good leader? Is this how China chooses its General Secretary and Politburo members? Do they sit in Tiananmen Square and play a saxophone or a guitar, or paint caricature portraits of tourists? This is how the Americans select their leaders, but why teach this to Chinese children as an ideal?

But this was only the first attempt and our little politicians had no experience on which to draw. They will do much better the next time. They will quickly learn that you can buy votes, and will begin raising small amounts of money to give out more than cute blue cards to anyone who promises to vote for them. They will learn that you can attract votes by making promises – not by keeping them, but by making them. So, they will promise to reduce homework, with no idea of how to do that and with the knowledge that they have no power to accomplish such a result in any case. But they will promise, at least to try.

They will learn they have the power to grant gifts of patronage, and will promise to place popular voters on committees, with the expectation these individuals will help to sway other voters. They will promise to work for easier marking standards, better school lunches, and many other things that the smart candidates will know are fundamental issues for all students. They will learn to read the wishes of the student body and to turn those desires into votes and personal power. They will quickly learn to become real politicians. In short, they will learn to lie and manipulate.

They already know that a school year is a long time and that kids have short memories; they intuitively know they won’t be held accountable for failing to deliver, and they also know there is no accountability anyway, that after they are elected, nobody can do anything to them. If there were personal responsibility, there would be no candidates.

And it gets worse. In all segments of society, including elementary schools, there are always ‘king-makers’ lurking in the background, those who don’t want to be in the light but who prefer to sit in the shadows and pull the strings. These are the clever ones who amass the real power and who intuitively understand how to control events to their ultimate satisfaction regardless of the wishes of the greater group. These are the dangerous ones; they are too clever by half, and are naturally manipulative. Often, they have a mother who is of like mind and character, providing all the guidance necessary. The first thing they learn is that the power lies in the nominations, not in the voting.

And now we naturally enter the field of multi-party politics where we have two or three king-makers, each with a following, each selecting a likely candidate who will be obedient and controllable, and will say, “I can make you the leader. Would you like that?” And off we go, each king-maker (and his mother) designing a platform of campaign promises guaranteed to attract naive, innocent and inexperienced little voters.

This is where it will lead, and there is nothing the school or the teachers can do to prevent it. Why? Because the original premise, however nicely-worded, is false, flawed, and almost criminal. The purpose of this selection process should be to choose the best leaders for the school, mature, responsible little people of good character who can set an example for the other kids, who care about the welfare of their school-mates and who will genuinely use their power to improve the school’s environment. But we have discarded that objective and instead created a purposeless popularity contest that is wide open to every kind of social pressure and corruption. We are not selecting our leaders on their ability or their character or their sense of responsibility, but instead on their personal marketing ability – on their skills to influence and manipulate others to vote for them, honestly or otherwise.

In all of this, where is the discussion of credentials, of qualifications for a position of responsibility? Totally absent. In fact, the prior system of teacher character recommendations and scholastic excellence – in other words, credentials – which was a perfect system, was specifically abandoned so these idiotic yuppies could emulate the Americans and accommodate their foolish version of “democracy”.

There is no evidence that any of these little candidates had any leadership skills, good academic records, a sound character, or indeed any understanding whatever of the needs and wishes of either the students or the teachers. None would be old enough to have any appreciation of the meaning of participating in the management of the school. None will be selected on any of the necessary attributes of a leader. Few if any will have any real qualifications for a leadership position, and none will understand the responsibility they are accepting. They are little kids.

And what of the students who vote? What will they consider in casting their votes for a student leader? The ability to play a saxophone? Mama’s pretty blue cards? Few if any will have an appreciation of their responsibility, few will know how to choose wisely, and none will have the ability to properly evaluate a (more or less) unknown person for a job whose duties they do not understand. My congratulations. Welcome to American-style politics, the one thing China was fortunate to not have.

But this is precisely what China now has in its rural areas with the introduction of Western-style democratic elections for local officials. These are much more serious because the participants are adults, the decisions affect real lives, and because too often the king-makers in the background are almost all American and Jewish.



Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).






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