Archive for the 'Politics' Category

The Ignorance of Voters

The Ignorance of Voters

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Wahl-O-Mat zur Bundestagswahl 2009

Wahl-O-Mat zur Bundestagswahl 2009

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How can the EU improve your life?

tellBarroso.eu!

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Vote Obama or McCain: Global Electoral College

What if the whole world could vote?

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Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

Commentary: Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

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Chaos Computer Club: Election-Rig-O-Mat

Chaos Computer Club: Election-Rig-O-Mat: Nothing easier than a landslide win

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Become Republican

Become Republican

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Maplight.com

Illuminating the connection between money and politics. Where’s the German equivalent?

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Abgeordnetenwatch

Abgeordnetenwatch.de Find your representative, ask questions, get direct answers and track their voting record.

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50 books for thinking…

…about the future human condition. Check out the list:

50 books list from the Rand corporation.

New Tabacco Laws

Taxes for cigarette-sticks in Germany are going to be leveled with the rest of tobacco products. People will have to pay the full tax, no matter the size or form. That’s another incremental step into the right direction, but what we actually need are Irish anti-smoking laws. They’re strict and effective – and I have a lung to protect:

  1. Signs against smoking (which already exist in Germany but are often ignored) would have to be displayed in all affected areas
  2. If you break the law and smoke away you’re fined up to €3,000
  3. Environment Health Officers are hired to enforce the ban and conduct regular checks

The reasons why Germany should and can introduce this law is self-evident. If it works for them, it can work in Germany, too. The sooner our lawmakers learn from the Irish experience, the better. Don’t get me wrong, if somebody wants to smoke, let them – but give me the same freedom of choice to not to be exposed to it.

No Taxbonus for cigarette-sticks

Unbelievable: Death Row for Self-Defense

Reading The Peking Duck, I find this story:

It’s in the middle of the night in Mississippi. A black guy, the name’s Cory Maye, never had anything to do with the police, is alarmed by intruders in the middle of the night. He shoots one of them out of angst for his baby daughter and himself. Turns out, the intruders were the police who broke into his house by mistake and the intruder killed the son of the police chef. The police were on a drug raid but got the wrong guy. A (mostly) white jury sentences him to death since the police rather chose to change their story about drugs, saying they found traces of it in Maye’s possession during the raid which they first concluded wasn’t the case.

If the facts are as reported, this was self-defense. I don’t have a gun at home and never would want one, but I’d be crazy if I don’t defend myself against any intruder who endangers me or my family. Maye gets the death penalty. Unbelievable.

I’ve written before about capital punishment, and my opinion didn’t change at all since then. In the contrary, almost every news item I read about capital punishment confirms my conviction that a flawed system must not be allowed to execute irreversible decisions about life and death.

Battlepanda: Outrage

Loose Cannons?

As mentioned before, private contractors fight instead of nations, the number of innocent lives taken is gradually going to increase the more private security guards replace the average G.I. Joe. No transparency, no accountability. What’s worse, in an area where people have little or no trust towards the occupying forces, a handful of loose cannons has a bigger impact on the people’s security (feeling) that a complete battalion. You don’t win people over by killing their friends and family out of kicks. The way the Iraq war was started was a disaster, the way the fighting is being continued is not much better.

Private Security Guards in Iraq Operate With Little Supervision

An Election Less Ordinary

Half a year ago, Chancellor Schröder proclaimed that the people of Germany are going to vote for a new government this year. At that time, the SPD had just about 24% support in the population. The CDU, on the other hand, was in high favor with about an absolute majority. It seemed to be all so clear, today’s election was supposed to show a clear way for the future. One side defiant, insisting on continuity, the other side proclaiming the Wechsel (change), dividing the bearskin before the bear was killed. It came all so different than everybody expected. Instead of a clear mandate, neither SPD nor CDU got the upper hand, but look yourself:

SPD CDU Green FDP Linke other
33,9%
35,3%
8,2%
10,2%
8,4%
3,9%
-4,6%
-3,2%
-0,4%
+2,8%
+4,4%
+-0%

The “red-green coalition” is no more. The SPD gained remarkable 10% in the last months before the election, but still failed to become the biggest faction in the Bundestag. The only way Gerhard Schröder will continue to govern Germany is by asking the FDP into the boat. They again, announced they would never do this. Angela Merkel’s CDU lost over 3% in comparison to 2002, which is certainly disappointing and they can’t form a coalition with the FDP as planned. What’s left to do? They won and lost this election, the mandate to form a government is theirs, but with who? The Green Party announced they would rather be in the opposition than form a government with CDU and FDP. So, it’s either the Green Party or the FDP, one of them will have to sell its soul and contradict themselves in their respective campaigns. Both parties would loose all credibility and very possibly be marginalized until 2009. Every party announced they would talk to everybody else, except to the Linke/PDS. They said they are going to work in the opposition. They have no other option, since they can’t abide a red-green coalition, it would contradict everything they stay for.

Which leaves us with a big coalition. A Chancellor Merkel with Schröder’s SPD? I don’t see it, but the numbers don’t leave even one other politically viable option.

Pay-per-Vote

Don’t know who to vote for? Take a look at this, creative Ebayers offer advice for undecided voters or sell their own vote:
illegal Ebay auction (might die quick)

If you’re short on money and didn’t vote yet, take a look at Cashvote (German).