Thursday, November 30, 2006

Whose Trojan Horse Is it? IRV as Both Half Step for Democracy and as Solidifying Corportocracy, Beware

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"There wouldn't be an Elephant or a Donkey hiding in IRV, would there?"

Whose Trojan Horse is this? Is it being pushed by noble grassroots democratic interests into the Democratic-Republican corrupt city under siege in the name of more competitive democracy, or, is it being pushed backwards out of the city by the very parties that no one wants?

The IRV (Instant Runoff Voting) Half Step: A Trojan Horse to PRMA? Or a Trojan Horse to Solidify the Same Parties After all? Historically it has been both so beware.

Recently, Instant Runoff Voting has won in four cities across the U.S., in four different contexts with very different demographics. This is interpreted at that link as an "electoral solution" by many different people against the "corporotocracy". However, what if the corporotocracy is the one to really gain from IRV? What if the corporotocracy built the Trojan Horse IRV? For how IRV needlessly serves to maintain and even solidify the U.S. two party corrupt party framework, and for how other mechanisms would be more beneficial read on.

While I would support IRV as a Trojan Horse "moving into the city" held by the Democratic-Republican neocons, remember that it is as well a horse that serves to perpetuate Democratic and Republican second round wins, without them having to earn the votes. Thus, beware that IRV can serve as a Trojan Horse in the reverse: maintaining the same old parties in power without any change of policy even as their base of support has eroded, as much as building the potentials of more competitive parties.

Either way it is interpreted, IRV has difficulties itself. It is at best a half-step toward a more optimal democracy--though perhaps an important half step.

In this short post I'll compare IRV to PRMA, or 'proportional representation with majoritarian allotment,' which is a full step that removes some of the still unrequired limitations of IRV. A short background discussion of IRV, PRMA and straight PR (proportional representation) is detailed at below and at the above link.

The irony of IRV is that, despite some saying there that IRV is "one approach to breaking the two corporate party stranglehold that exists in the US," IRV effectively enshrines second round low plurality wins of the very parties that those who support IRV would lambast. As mentioned in Toward A Bioregional State, Republicans have supported IRV in Alaskan state attempts when they felt it served to coup second round votes from the separatist party of Alaska. Democrats support IRV in other contexts, where they think that they can sponge up Green voters. Either way, it is important to remember that an easier way of gaining voters is actually appealing to them in the first round, instead of scheming not to be representative in the election and gaining votes in a second round by voters desperate to escape one or the other, instead of wanting to promote one or the other.

Suboptimally, in the long run, IRV would ensure that the stranglehold still continues to exist--even with less people voting for it in the first round.

PRMA has the best features of PR without its gridlock drawbacks. PRMA has the best features of IRV without its drawbacks of continuing to institutionalize a low plurality winner election (which means a less representative party getting into power).

This other version of PR, called 'proportional representation with majoritarian allotment' or PRMA, means when elections go to plurality wins (less than 50% want a 'winning' candidate), it goes proportional representation. On the other hand, when 50% of the public truly wants a singular candidate then it goes to that candidate in the district.

The intra-party dynamic that PRMA sets up is toward on the one hand majoritarian parties hoping to integrate 50% of the public. On the other hand, they are arranged against lots of other parties knowing that if they at least create a plurality win, they win as well. The outcome of that is that it forces all parties to seriously ratchet for 100% electoral inclusion. Thus, it makes pre-electoral collusion strategies of ignoring blocks of very popular issues intentionally ignored by the Democratic and Republican Parties unlikely to be tolerated. The gatekeeping they exercise together against the supermajorities supporting health care, ecological concern, and sustainable economic policies would end.

PRMA is additional security that third and fourth parties (if they can show the actual win is plurality) will have real electoral incentives to fight against vote fraud--instead of stand by and watch collusion from Democrats and Republicans to protect vote fraud in American politics at present, which has perhaps been going on since 1960 (though that link's predictions about 2000 would have been better on betting on Republican instead of Democratic fraud, considering 1998 Florida vote law changes), perhaps even earlier, though definitely later.

The difficulty in most U.S. elections is that the Democratic and Republican group of parties agree to appeal to only a partial electorate, and have successfully gerrymandered districts and utilized vote laws to assure that there is nothing competitive about voting at all since most competitive party experiences are demoted from a voter's eye view of U.S. elections and replaced with either a one-party gerrymandered district experience or a form of managed debate over different methods of approach of the same neocon policies, instead of a true election which would be over priorities of the policies themselves.

Instead, PRMA raises the stakes and assures that if smaller parties can pull enough people to cause a plurality, then the district has several representatives based on the direct and actual percentage of the public that voted for them.

For example in an election between parties A B C D (with D as an independent write-in), if--

A 40%
B 40%
C 15%
D 5%

--it's a plurality outcome. Thus it goes PR (proportional representation for the district), though at the direct percentage they get and no more--because that is closest to what the public in aggregate wanted to see.

Candidate A gets .40 of a vote. The voter (you) put him on a leash just like you wanted since he was unable to win a larger majority.

Candidate B gets .40 of a vote as well.

Candidate C gets .15.

The suggestion is that the top three candidates get 'the' seat, split three ways if a plurality win. The numbers and weight of the candidate's power changes depending on what the voter wants.

If the public in aggregate want something else, i.e., not a plurality win, then the public had more confidence in a particular singular candidate. If a candidate can get over 50% of the vote, then they get the full 1 seat and no one else.

If the public is able or unable to solidly back a singular candidate, then that should be reflected accurately either way.

PRMA forces all parties to ratchet up the voter appeals for more voter inclusion. IRV indirectly does this in the first round though it is only a feint because of the second round runoff if a plurality win. However, since the public definitely wanted a plurality win, no one should artificially be forced to support any candidate they didn't want, which is the point of IRV's second round. IRV keeps institutionalizing low plurality wins with the only benefit going to the unrepresentative party that failed to get a lot of support in the actual election (the first round). IRV rewards laziness and lack of getting out the vote by a party.

Thus, while IRV is hardly a democratic optimum since it lets lackluster parties who no one wants to vote directly for, like the Democrats or the Republicans in the first round, coup votes in a second round, such parties get rewarded for being unpopular which is hardly optimal.

The only thinly optimal feature of IRV is that it helps build the potential recognition of third or fourth parties, an important informal check and balance on political corruption. However, the bad feature of IRV is that it would only enshrine the very parties of the Democrats and Republicans with their lower plurality first round wins anyway--without encouraging them to get out the vote. IRV only encourages second round coups of votes so they could appeal to even less people in the first round and still get in via the second round. IRV is like a fusion ticket though it doesn't encourage large umbrella campaigns, and actually encourages lower plurality wins.

PRMA solves some of the difficulties of second round low pluralities in IRV, and it is a virtual PR. You, the voter would decide on that. PRMA is flexible since, most important, it lets the voters collectively decide, based on the actual demographic outcome of a particular election, how much power a candidate gets. Nothing is decided beforehand. If the aggregate public wants a majoritarian win, they get that. If the aggregate public want a mixed/plurality win, they get that. Either way, with PRMA, the voters more directly decide based on how they actually voted and how much they actually trust someone--and trust them no further!

PRMA is featured in Toward a Bioregional State, in two places: as a democratic optimum for geographic demographics being meaningful in the state based Electoral College for the Presidential Vote, and for district based legislature elections in state Senates and federal Senates (based on whole states instead of special singular Democratic or Republican gerrymandered districts), and in state House of Representatives and federal House of Representatives (based on stable watersheds).

HOWEVER, I would support IRV--as only a stepping stone--to build larger and more competitive parties for more voter choices.

Plus, strategically, IRV stands to get its foot in the door (with less existing corrupt party opposition) because pre-existing Democrats and Republicans have been known to sponsor it. However, it does in a small way serve the voters by creating more competitive party frameworks, though it is unrequired to force the voter optimally to support a party in a second round they failed to support in the first.

That being said, I would still support IRV presently--unless you want to go at it and push for PRMA. IRV is sort of a half-optimal step to PRMA. Half step is better than nothing. Since, once IRV has built more informal parties in place, and the drawbacks of IRV mentioned above are seen later, I suggest PRMA is a more democratically optimal solution. Within the book, I would suggest a lot more requires changing formally, though this is only a little forewarning or even foreshadowing of IRV difficulties that will soon become apparent. It's hardly enough. There are several chapters touching on the dynamics of PRMA versus IRV versus PR in the book. Check out the table of contents.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

POLLS: The Three Pink Elephants in the Room: Nov. 4 Shows U.K. has Green Majority like U.S. Green Supermajority in Health, Ecology, Economic Policy

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"Almost every Indymedia site in the world is right now publishing the message that the Children's Revolution kids' bloc might be leading the March for Global Climate Justice from the American embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, at 1 pm on 4 November. Under the heading “Worldwide Children's Revolution to Try to Save the Human Race From Extinction?” the story says that the very existence of future generations may depend on urgent worldwide action to tackle global warming and climate change.*"

It is easy to continue noticing the majorities or super-majorities seen in polls for a demographics toward sustainability that is "already there--only waiting to be organized".

This is news from Britain despite a neo-Orwellian police state brought about after 7/7, which created more surveillance framework on the public: despite that, the majority of Britishers want a "climate change party."

Green Power on the march: Thousands unite to rally against global warming
By Ian Herbert, Colin Brown and Michael McCarthy
Published: 04 November 2006

People power comes to the fight against climate change today as Britain witnesses its biggest march and rally demanding the Government acts against the threat of global warming.

From the rock band Razorlight to members of the Women's Institute, from the singer K T Tunstall to the Bishop of Liverpool, the expected crowd of 20,000 in Trafalgar Square will be as wide a cross-section of society as can be assembled anywhere.

The Stop Climate Chaos event brings together an even broader coalition of groups than that behind last year's Make Poverty History events: 40 organisations, ranging from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to Oxfam, from Surfers Against Sewage to the Ramblers' Association.

The unprecedented demonstration comes in the wake of the Stern Review on the economics of climate change, published on Monday, and on the eve of this year's UN climate conference, which is being held in Nairobi, Kenya, over the next two weeks.

Two polls show that public concern over the climate is rising steadily, with more than half of Britons now saying that they would accept green taxes to cut pollution, [which would remove unsustainable material use subsidies for oil and its informal raw material regimes animating formal policy] and 40 per cent saying a party's climate change policies would influence the way they vote.

The Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, spoke out on the climate issue yesterday, telling an audience in Delhi that the Indian subcontinent could face a combination of drought and rising sea levels - devastating crop yields and forcing millions to flee their homes - as a result of soaring global temperatures. [Or being innundated with sea level rises in the 10s of meters--if Greenland and/or more Antartic glaciers start calving 8x faster into the Southern Ocean, as they have been noted to have been moving after Larsen B disappeared. More here.]

Tony Blair was told by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, in talks at Downing Street that tackling climate change will be a priority for the German presidency of the G8 group of industrialised countries in the new year. [tackling climate change or tackling protesters against state-corporate intransigence?]

Ashok Sinha, director of the Stop Climate Chaos organisation, said: "The event reflects how widespread the concern about climate change is. It is emerging out of the green box. People realise it is not just an environmental question but a moral one."

Those who attend today's event will be asked to sign up to the "I Count" register, committing them to an individual contribution to the climate change cause.

Those who cannot attend can register online at

A new 16-step "I Count" guide to reducing carbon emissions, featured this week in The Independent, has been published by Penguin to coincide with the rally.

The event has two main political demands - that the UK Government negotiates an international deal to keep global warming to less than 2C; and that it introduces a climate change Bill to the Queen's Speech which - like The Independent's own proposed climate change bill last week - would deliver annual cuts in UK carbon dioxide emissions.

The closest Britain has come to an environmental protest on such a scale before has been the Campaign against Climate Change protests outside the US embassy in London's Grosvenor Square last year, which attracted 10,000 people.

Today's event, however, draws in a wider band of activist groups, some of which are relatively new to climate protest. The Women's Institute's 215,000 membership identified climate change as a primary concern at their national federation AGM last year.

The Ramblers' Association is concerned about the effects of climate change on the footpaths, fells and coastlines of the UK.

"The event is a chance for us to indicate that this is very much a fundamental issue of concern for us," said Patrick Brady, head of countryside protection at the organisation.

As a sign of their commitment to the cause, many of those travelling to today's event will do so in a carbon-free way, including cyclists from Somerset, walkers from the West Midlands, and one group paddling down the Thames by canoe from Oxford.

The protest, which sits firmly in a proud tradition of environmental campaigning tracing its roots through the mass trespass movement of the 1930s to the anti-road building movement of the 1990s, shows Britain is not prepared to sit back and wait for politicians to find answers to the climate change crisis.

New public opinion readings confirm that. A Populus poll yesterday for BBC2's The Daily Politics programme showed that more than half of Britons (53 per cent) agree the Government should impose higher taxes on activities that cause pollution [just taking away corrupting crony subsidies would be a start, even without adding such taxes]- even if it means the end of cheap flights and driving a car becomes more expensive (45 per cent disagreed).

A survey undertaken by TNS Omnimas for Stop Climate Chaos, reveals only 4 per cent of the population believe Tony Blair has made effective progress on the issue, while 40 per cent claim climate change policies would influence their vote.

Today's events

* 11.15am. Christian church service at Grosvenor Chapel, 24 South Audley Street , W1, addressed by Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.

* Midday. The first of a number of "feeder" events that anyone can join. Around 5,000 people are expected at a Campaign Against Climate Change rally outside Grosvenor Square.

Another, under the banner of the People and Planet organisation, takes place in Malet Street, WC1, followed by a procession to the main event in a Rio-style parade.

[hardly all the religious are corporate-fascist...]
* 12.30. The Rt Rev James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, addresses a gathering in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, staged by Tearfund and Christian Aid. By now, street performances will be under way in Trafalgar Square. A big screen will also be in Trafalgar Square screening films about climate change and the work organisations are doing to tackle it.

* 1pm. Main event starts in Trafalgar Square. Speakers and performers include K T Tunstall, Miranda Richardson, the Bishop of Liverpool, Razorlight and Adam Hart Davis. The event wraps up at 3pm.

Similarly to the polls above, the U.S. supermajorities on Green politics can be summarized from a comment I wrote elsewhere on another blog commenting on another person who wrote:

Mojo Workout writes:

"There is a lot more I could or would say about how the left/right paradigm is falsely constructed, for example: A lot of people with certain imbued religious doctrines might be preternaturally homophobic, but otherwise extremely liberal by any socialist's definition. They are either marginalized from the political dialogue, or forced to belly up to the "right wing" bar, by virtue of their religious indoctrination, something which they were given as children. So look how effectively such a false dichotomy can be wielded, as in the last presidential election (Diebold fraud in Ohio excepted) to give either a majority, or the plausible illusion of a majority, to the Republicans...So maybe we ought to come up with a better, more inclusive word for the philosophy that is for the maintenance of life on earth (although technically this could be called "conservative" -- ironic, eh?)....Just a quick follow up comment to my post above, to mention the irony that the gay-bashing Republicans seem to have fielded more gay members of Congress than the Democrats by far. Sadly, a high percentage of them also seem to be pederasts. Maybe GOP stands for Gang Of Pedophiles? It just goes to give the lie to the whole left/right false dichotomy, since lefties are supposed to be pro-gay rights, and righties anti-gay. Yet even the chair of the GOP is gay. So who is kidding whom?

"The left/right paradigm is a force fit Hobson's choice to fractionalize and to de-fang any real political power on the part of the people, and to mask the fact that we have long lived in a one party, totalitarian state. So let's update our vocabulary, at the least. It's the first step to throwing out the bums on both "sides"."

I have noticed that there are "ascriptive" social movement issues (interpersonal politics) and those politics or social movements separately weighed in about "social" issues (social organizational politics). Instead of 'left/right' I would offer the analysis of the 'interpersonal/social' issues, which break out into many different variants--four mostly--discussed below.

Ascriptive is defined as:
1. to credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute: The alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians.
2. to attribute or think of as belonging, as a quality or characteristic: They ascribed courage to me for something I did out of sheer panic.

Typical ascriptive interpersonal things range from gender, ethnicity, sexuality, handicapped status, age, religion, etc.

For instance, in the history of Wisconsin for example, which throws a real loop or insight into how interpersonal politics can be "conservative" and social politics can be "liberal" simultaneously, the state is one of the largest Germananocentric populations in U.S., even more than Pennsylvania.

The state itself was founded in 1848, off failed ethnically solid German "liberal" revolutionaries.

When they came to "Wisconsin" before it was a state, there were already other northern Europeans mostly there with them like Scandinavians. The history of Wisconsin, particularly in national politics has been one of xenophobia as well as very radical leftism simultaneously. By the 1930s, the LaFolletes were turning quite pro Nazi in their iconography and even had a little "blue circle" flag with 13 red and white stripes, as an echo of the National Socialist flag in Germany.

So I'm saying that what we're talking about is, I would argue, in the popular mind, a an observable 'wedge' separation between interpersonal politics and social politics which are treated entirely differently. People split more on this issue than the current fake 'left/right' arrangement assumptions of purism would want to allow.

Instead, we are handed a rigged plate due to lots of historical things where expectations are:

means liberal interpersonal
means liberal social

means conservative interpersonal
means conservative social

When you can get such additional admixtures as:

liberal interpersonal
conservative social


conservative interpersonal
liberal social

For the "conservative interpersonal/liberal social" variant, some are very conservative interpersonally like the Wisconsinites, though who would be 'non-conservative' (liberal social) in their social politics--like their state history of support of banning margarine and running their state like Frederich List instead of Adam Smith.

And inverting it once more, "liberal interpersonal/conservative social", you have gay activists within the Republican party--interpersonally liberal though socially conservative (using "social" here in terms of public institutional policies about economics and establishing institutions, etc.).

It used to be called (strangely) the American school of economics what both the U.S. did as well as various states like Wisconsin did.

However, once the corporate elites had 'been there, done that' and consolidated the national scene, they moved globally and lost any nationalist economy loyalty both left and right parties inclusive.

So with both the 'left' and 'right' being conservative socially now (neoliberalist corporate fascist), the only hat peg that both residual parties calling themselves 'left' and 'right' in the United States have to hang their threadbare identities on is ascriptive interpersonal issues.

The residual 'left' and 'right' institutionally in the U.S. achingly pretend they are different and "pick a staged fight" of fake issues over gay marriage, etc. to disguise their common silence on social political issues that they have both sold the United States down the river on with their conservative social policies for global privatization which is without any majority support.

I think Mojo is correct that the whole interpersonal liberality of rank and file gay Republicans find themselves very socially conservative. That is the current twist of the Good Ol Pedophiles (i.e., the Republican Congressman from Florida, Foley, and his gay sex and gay propositioning with his underage Republican page).

However, the 'left' institutionally speaking stands for nothing as well--given the 1990s whole Democratic Party/Clinton's "don't ask don't tell" and stand against gay civil rights equally.

As for the U.S. 'left', so while mouthing interpersonal freedom (though doing nothing about it), the 'left' is socially conservative as the 'right'.

And while mouthing interpersonal repression (though hypocritically being a party of high powered, rich, libidinous, libertine, pedophiles (watch that U.S. censored video Conspiracy of Silence [50 minutes]), the 'right' is socially conservative as well.

However as for social politics instead of the difference of opinion on interpersonal politics, there are super-majorities for health, ecology, and national economics. These are:

The Three Pink Elephants in the Room: Health, Ecology, Economy

The main topics they are both avoiding are the social politics supported by super-majorities in polls on health care, environment, and sustainability.

These three issues are the true core of U.S. grass roots social politics regardless. Even those who typically 'vote right' (on conservative interpersonal politics) are pro-environment socially, in the U.S. See information below.

However, none of these 'U.S. parties' that run themselves like the French aristocracy of the 1780s more than anything want to touch health, ecology, or economy issues.

polls health

Majority (65%) of Americans want single-payer health care; willing to pay more taxes to get it. --- In ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, 3 point margin, Americans by a 2-1 margin, 62-32 percent, prefer universal health insurance program over current employer-based system. 78% dissatisfied with cost of nation's health care, including 54% "very" dissatisfied. Most dissatisfied with overall quality of health care in U.S.--first majority in 3 polls since 1993, up 10 points since 2000. --- Public wants government to play leading role in providing health care for all. In the same poll, by almost a two-to-one margin (62% to 33%), Americans said that they preferred a universal system that would provide coverage to everyone under a government program, as opposed to current employer-based system. Slightly different question asked by Kaiser, June '03: more than 7 in 10 ten adults (72%) agreed government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens even if it means repealing most tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush--less than one-quarter (24%) disagreed with this. --- Americans overwhelmingly agree access to health care should be a right. In 2000, as in 1993, 8 in 10 agreed health care be provided equally to citizens; over half agreed “strongly” or “completely.” In 2004, 76% agreed strongly or somewhat that health care should be a right.

polls ecology

The majority (77%) think we should do "whatever it takes" to protect environment. --- In another poll, reported in The Ecologist, upwards of 80% of the U.S. with little difference between left or right want their environmental laws seriously enforced, as well as strengthened.

[This is the issue once more that many of the people who 'vote right' and may be more interpersonally conservative, have the same social policies and weigh in 'on the left' on the health, ecology, and economy issues.]

polls economy

The majority (86 percent) favor raising the minimum wage. The majority (60%) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. --- The majority (87%) think big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. --- The majority (66%) want to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

--- That is the center--and huge center it is. The 'left/right' thing has totally broken down when left and right PARTY elites both have moved toward globalized privatization support. It has left this super-majority of social politics--for health, ecology, and economy issues--festering WORLDWIDE across all nations.

So while the U.S. is a supra-majority place that does have a social politics that is common and strong on these three areas, its two French aristocracy parties play at dividing this up and ignoring that base, and reaching for any distraction available to keep people knowing that WHAT IS ABOVE IS THE MAJORITY.

More on this in my book.

Throw in: that the majority wants a complete pullout from the fake wars of the Skull and Bones'ers and you have completely 180 degree turnaround situation in the United States demographically--completely at odds with its French aristocratic parties that run it from the outside (on the global level).

Any political party could clear the decks with a "health care, ecology, and national economy" policy.

And it could either be a different one, or the same ones in power, forced to adapt to keep power--or they are popularly removed.

Hey! That's just what happened in Venezuela (and another film to watch).

And it looks like it's about to happen in Mexico or a true revolution will be occurring very shortly there (i.e., the Lopez Obrador (ALMO) issues against Mexican national vote fraud; Oaxaca autonomous city protesting against the governor's demotion of educational funding).

This is why the French aristocratic parties running the U.S. are so regressive and full of hatred about so called painted "Green" issues: because these issues "aren't Green" at all in a sense--they are cross platform huge majorities drawing from the social political base of Democrats and Republicans instead of only Greens.

They know that is the majority, though they additionally know that since these are issues, any party could come along and claim this super-majority and send the Democrats and Republicans off to the guillotines which is what the traitors deserve--particularly after 9-11 stand down and obfuscation that the U.S. political elites killed several thousand people for their own goals of further distraction from this supramajority. (Recent polls from CBS show that only 16% of the U.S. believes the official story of the Bush Administration about 9-11).

Remember back in 1999? The 'battle of Seattle', the WTO on the run?

That demographic is still there, and only stronger. The WTO rounds have just broken down among different nations as well by 2005.

Back in 1999, it was to the mutual surprise of "Teamsters and Turtles" marching together, similar to the huge cross party/cross interest coalitions seen in the U.K. on November 4, 2006, mentioned above.

Back in 1999, the French aristocratic elites running the U.S. probably were scared stiff that interpersonally conservative organized labor was joining social political environmentalism parades and protesting global privatization with them.

9-11 was a huge distraction (one they had been planning for generations, though) for ushering in a tyrannical police state against this "Green" super-majority. David Helvarg has written about the historical issues, showing that such modes of ecological tyranny had been steadily growing since the 1980s instead of suddenly popping out of nowhere.

One of the points of the bioregional state is to remove systemic corruption that has maintained such degradative and informal gatekeeping based nation states. Simple policy change frameworks by themselves only maintain the gatekeeping arrangements. A more competitive informal party framework will innately mean less gatekeeping, and thus, less prone to promote elite only frameworks of political economy (which are inherently self-destructive--particluarly for the elites in the same boat as we.) Toward a Bioregional State is both toward more competitive party frameworks as well as allowing that super-majority to decide for its local watershed area or state area what its developmental priorities are in the first place. As noted in the definition of the bioregional state:

Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of electoral reforms and commodity reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent concerns about the economy, the body, and environmental concerns (e.g. water quality), toward developmental paths that are locally prioritized and tailored to different areas for their own specific interests of sustainability and durability. This movement is variously called bioregional democracy, watershed cooperation, or bioregional representation, or one of various other similar names--all of which denote democratic control of a natural commons and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions--while not removing more generalized civil rights protections of a larger national state.

The bioregional state is thus toward a different 'grain' of democracy with a more competitive party framework as much as non-gerrymandered watershed based districts and (at last count) over 60 other different additional checks and balances mentioned in the book.

These additional checks and balances would serve to ameliorate against the way political power biases, informal party corruption, and environmental degradation interact in "half complete" democracies around the world.

As said in the introduction to the book:

"The issues around environmentalism are typically framed in the media, in academic work and even in activist circles as an issue of technocratic, economic or environmental management. The issues around democracy are seen in terms of social protest movements or informal political parties. The whole idea of another route of influence is the formal state: how it constructs, constrains, and designs the contexts of these situations themselves. Typically, the idea of changing the formal state as a mechanism of political change is effectively shielded from elite and popular awareness as a route towards sustainability. Instead ideas are constrained and guided within existing informal ideas of what to do, letting existing party frameworks maintain the informal gatekeeping upon political agendas, stopping any progress towards sustainability.

"However, to add other checks and balances on informal parties interacting in the state is perhaps the only solution to sustainability, if I am understood in what I mean when I say that at root these informal corruptions in a democratic state create environmental degradation and gatekeep and ignore citizen feedback about it. Corruption--and the gatekeeping and demoting of any citizen pressure attempting to alleviate such corruption--leads to environmental degradation.


"I argue that unless additional checks and balances are added that address from the beginning these biased interactive effects, nothing called democracy can ever be achieved or sustainable—socially or environmentally. Without the bioregional state, all that democracy will ever become is a repetition of aristocratic-royalty states under different symbolic legitimations and under an ecological tyranny."

On the other hand, if you like the repetition of history, just keep going. You'll get it.

Below are only a few more interesting U.K. articles on the cross-party environmental rally there:


Trust joins rally to halt climate change

THE Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is joining a national rally to stop climate change.

Tomorrow, trust representatives will join groups from across the nation for the Stop Climate Chaos Rally being held in London.

Director Colin Raven said: "Wildlife trusts comprise the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK's habitats and species, whether they be in the countryside, in cities or at sea.

"Trusts across the UK are already reporting changes in UK species, due to climate change. That's why it's important to us, as a movement, to demonstrate our commitment to doing something about climate change. We can secure an environment rich in wildlife for the future. But to do so we need to act now."

The trusts say im-pacts of a temperature rise due to global warming could include threats to UK plant species abundant in Worcestershire.

They say lowland ponds are more likely to dry out, which could threaten some species, and there could be more frequent fires on small isolated nature reserves such as the Devils Spittleful, one of Worcestershire's last remaining heathlands.

Mr Raven said much of the emphasis on climate change had been on reducing carbon emissions, something trusts were tackling "In Worcestershire the trust is converting its vehicles to run on bio-diesel sourced from waste vegetable oils and is installing a geo-thermal heating system at its education centre," he said.

A strategic, integrated and large-scale approach to land management and decisions affecting it was needed.

1:39pm Friday 3rd November 2006


Bishops and 'Rock Gods' united by climate chaos
Trafalgar Square, London, UK is set to be colonised this Saturday by thousands who are attending the free event on the eve of global climate change talks in Nairobi.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The countdown to the 'I Count' climate change rally has begun and organisers claim it could be the ‘coolest’ event this year.

Trafalgar Square, London, UK is set to be colonised this Saturday by thousands who are attending the free event on the eve of global climate change talks in Nairobi.

The protesters will be demanding that the UK Government negotiate an international deal to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade and introduce a climate change bill into the Queens speech that delivers annual cuts in UK carbon dioxide emissions.

The event is set to be a diverse gathering with comedians, rock and pop stars sharing a platform with bishops and aid agency executives.

Commenting on the diversity of the event Ashok Sinha, director of Stop Climate Chaos said: "It will be an unprecedented day to send a clear and resounding message to Government that we want them to do all they can to stop climate chaos."

The organisers, Stop Climate Chaos, have also announced the very high profile support from UK band Razorlight, who will be playing a short set at the protest.

Other, more critically acclaimed, musicians have also backed the actions of I Count. Thom Yorke of Radiohead have his support because he was "part of the last generation which can solve the biggest problem that the human race has ever had to face. If we don't then our time is up."

Other High profile protesters will be the Scottish soft rocker KT Tunstall, television light entertainer and stand up comedian Simon Amstell, Right Reverend James Jones the Bishop of Liverpool, TV historian Adam Hart Davis.

Joining them will also be The Bishop of London Richard Chartres. The Bishop’s contribution to the protest will start with a sermon at a ‘Service of Challenge, Commitment and Blessing’ at Grosvenor Chapel, 24 Audley Street, London. There will then be a rally in Grosvenor Square after which the bishop will lead the congregation to the main event in Trafalgar Square, where he will address the crowds.

The protest comes after the much publicized Stern Report which calculated the potential cost of climate change. The Bishop suggested that economic reports like the one complied by Lord Stern present the world with a situation where it is "no longer possible to find excuses for doing nothing."

"It is not enough to point the finger of blame at others and to demand that somebody else should do something. Now is the time for individual and collective action in adapting to the reality of climate change and the unsustainable way in which we are exploiting the earth’s resources."

In the same statement the Bishop rearticulated his theological imperative to act on climate change. "We are not masters and possessors of the earth but tenants and stewards. Together we have a responsibility to God, to future generations and our own well being on this earth to take action" he said.

Stop Climate Chaos is a network of activist groups and aid agencies, many of which are faith based. Ekklesia has monitored and reported on the networks actions since it launch earlier this year.

Article written by Jordan Tchilingirian


Biggest Youth Movement in History Could be About to Begin in London...

The EARTH AID Environmental Campaign | 02.11.2006 22:39 | Climate Camp 2006 | Anti-militarism | Climate Chaos | Ecology | London | World
Almost every Indymedia site in the world is right now publishing the message that the Children's Revolution kids' bloc might be leading the March for Global Climate Justice from the American embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, at 1 pm on 4 November.
Under the heading “Worldwide Children's Revolution to Try to Save the Human Race From Extinction?” the story says that the very existence of future generations may depend on urgent worldwide action to tackle global warming and climate change.

All the indications are that there will probably be similar worldwide demonstrations in a number of different countries by the children of the eco warriors who have been protesting against the destruction of the global environment for many years.
Questions have been asked about whether these demonstrations will be peaceful and law abiding, and about the ethics of woman and children being seen protesting in public.

Every major news organisation on the planet has been alerted to the fact that this historic event is likely to be occurring, and they have all been asked to help provide protection for the young people and their parents who have unfortunately often been the victims of police violence, even at peaceful events.

The mainstream media appears to have been unaware that most of the peace and environmental protesters and campaigners are children and teenagers, and the police may not have realised that they have often been brutally attacking and injuring youngsters.

John Lennon sang “Come Together, Join the Movement, Take a Stand for Human Rights,” and maybe it is now time for us to ask the police and the military to join the People in their struggle against the corrupt alien governments and corporations and banks that are driving humanity to extinction.

Children leading a peaceful revolution that changes the political and economic system and ensures the survival of humanity could well be the answer to the question “Can You Save the Human Race?”.

The EARTH AID Environmental Campaign
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People & Planet: Carnival of Climate Chaos (London, Saturday 4 November, ICount)

Emma | 03.11.2006 10:33 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Globalisation | London | World
In the wake of the Stern Review, on the eve of critical international climate talks in Nairobi, and shortly before the Queen's Speech, young people will demonstrate that they will not sit back and wait for the catastrophic climate change predicted for our generation. Marching from Bloomsbury to Trafalgar Square, the Carnival looks set to be one of the most impressive student mobilisations in years.

"The Biggest Issue of Our Time": A Generation Mobilises for the UK Student Movement's Largest Ever Event On Climate Change

The UK's leading school and campus organisation campaigning for action on world poverty and the environment, People & Planet, is calling for the youth of the UK to stand up and be counted in a mass demonstration on climate change.

Climate change is quite simply the biggest problem we have ever faced... as environmental scientists predict that escalating climate chaos will cost the lives of millions, ruin the livelihoods of millions more, severely affect animal and planet life across the globe and cost trillions of dollars. While politicians might be able to afford short-term views; the young people of the world cannot. It is our future at stake, which is why we are taking the lead in demanding real action now.

People & Planet, as the student representatives within the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, are preparing to stage the huge student carnival as part of the 'I Count', event in London, on Saturday 4 th November, 2006, from 12 noon.

Thousands of students and young people from across the UK are expected to join the carnival on Saturday 4th November to demand that politicians take action on the global crisis facing our generation. In particular, we are calling for a Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday 15 November, which will create a 'carbon budget' to track and manage greenhouse gases emitted by the UK as a whole. This is urgently needed to deliver the substantial and sustained cuts necessary to combat the appalling social and environmental effects of climate change, (already responsible for the deaths of 150,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization).

The 4th November event is part of the wider 'I Count' campaign to stop climate chaos, launching at the beginning of October. In the run up to 4th November, People & Planet groups and Students' Unions have been lobbying local MPs to support the Climate Bill in the Queen's Speech as we demand action from the government, not just words.

The Queen’s Speech marks the start of the new ‘parliamentary year’, setting out the agenda for the year ahead. People & Planet and Stop Climate Chaos are calling for a climate change bill to be introduced in the Queen’s Speech. The Bill will require Government to commit to a Carbon Budget - ensuring that UK greenhouse gas emissions are cut by at least 3% year-on-year.

November 4th also marks the last Saturday before the next round of international talks on climate change start in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday 6. Many of us are changing our habits to cut our own carbon emissions. This must be backed up by the world’s leaders taking action, including the UK who will be at the negotiating table. The carnival and i count event is an opportunity for us to tell our government that we want them to go into the negotiations committed to do everything they can to stop climate chaos.

The bottom line is that whatever we can do as individuals and in our communities, the government can multiply. Cleaner cars - it can make it law. Sharing clean technology with the world’s poorest countries - it can see it happens. Better buildings that don’t leak heat - it does it. Now is the time to put the government to the test.

The 'I Count' campaign is calling on our government to take action in three areas:

* Action in the UK: The first step the government can take towards delivering annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 3% (through the creation of a comprehensive Carbon Budget), is to announce in the forthcoming Queen's Speech that it will introduce a Climate Change Bill.
* Action internationally: Make it a top priority to ensure that global greenhouse gas emissions are irreversibly declining by 2015.
* Action for justice: To provide all necessary assistance to developing countries to both adapt to climate change and, in the longer term, get access to sufficient clean energy to meet their developmental needs.

All are welcome to join the 'I Count' event; further details of which can be obtained from the following websites: , and

The carnival, part of the vibrant Shared Planet weekend event, will be assembling on Malet Street outside the University of London Union.

Thousands of students will be marching together to Trafalgar Square in a Rio-style parade with samba bands, banners and massive props. Young people will create a giant mobile weather map of climate chaos which will dance, shimmer and samba its way to join thousands of other climate change demonstrators in Trafalgar Square as part of the Stop Climate Chaos 'I count' mass moment.

We will be aiming to create an impact as only students can by working with the famous political artist Polyp who will be the creative force behind the carnival, not only making it fun, but also a huge moving installation of political art!

"The Carnival follows months of climate change lobbying by young campaigners. Students across the country have met with their MPs to demand that the Government include a Climate Bill with annual 3% targets for reductions in carbon emissions. We want a tough bill to be introduced in the Queen's Speech. The bill David Miliband is proposing to the Government simply isn't good enough. With just over a week before the Queen's Speech, the Carnival is the last opportunity for young people to ensure that the government responds to their calls for 3% annual cuts."--Emma Hughes, A Student from Cardiff University who is cycling from Wales to the carnival to demonstrate her passion for a carbon-free future.

"Students are no longer prepared to sit back and watch as the government fails to take the tough action needed to stop dangerous climate change. We are the generation that will have to live with the consequences of government inaction and individual and corporate short-termism. The science is clear; and now the Stern Review has spelt it out that the economic costs of inaction will be huge. What's missing is a decisive and bold policy shift. If Blair is serious about climate change, we challenge him to use the opportunity of his last Queen's Speech as Prime Minister to produce a Bill that will really make a difference. Government inability to commit to 3% year on year carbon emissions reductions amounts to nothing more than negligence!" --James Lloyd, Head of Campaigns, People & Planet

On the same weekend People & Planet are hosting a national conference, Shared Planet. Over 800 students will come together to discuss sustainable solutions for Climate Change, HIV/AIDS and Trade. Student campaigners will get the opportunity to pose tough questions to Justin Forsyth, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and Jo Swinson, Britain's youngest MP. The conference will also see the launch of People & Planet's newest campaigns: Treat AIDS Now and Ditch Dirty Development.

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Direct action events at airports and coal facilities scored home in the run up to Nov. 4.


[and remember oil is a decision, instead of a forced requirement...]

Climate activists to take to the streets against short haul flights

Plane Stupid | 03.11.2006 17:55 | Ecology | London | Oxford
Environmental activists will on Monday protest in Britain’s first national day of action against short haul flights.

Called by green direct action group, Plane Stupid, during the Climate Camp at Drax in September (1) protestors pledged to take creative direct action to mark the start of the UN International Climate talks in Nairobi. The day of action also coincides with new research from HACAN Clearskies showing that 100,000 flights from Heathrow each year are to short haul destinations that are easily reachable by the more sustainable train alternative.(2)

In the last few months, Plane Stupid grounded planes at a short-haul airport by blockading the taxiway (3) and marked the 60th Anniversary of Heathrow by chaining themselves across the entrance to BAA’s head office. They are part of a rapidly growing grassroots movement tackling the root causes of carbon emissions.

On Monday individuals and local groups all over the UK are organising their own protest actions against their local “climate change criminals” from the aviation industry. Locations of direct actions are not public but Plane Stupid are organising a number of public, awareness raising campaign events in London, Reading and Cambridge. (4)

Campaigner for Plane Stupid, Ellen Rickford, explained, “The politicians will jet off to Nairobi this week to continue with their bleating about the need for action on climate change. Meanwhile, they encourage short haul flights through their airport expansion plans and the tax breaks they give to the airline industry. When our ability to live on earth is at stake, they haven’t got the spine to sacrifice their ability to live in Portugal on the weekends.”

She added, “Some of us are saying enough is enough. We’re fed up with waiting for governments and corporations to act responsibly and feel that we now have a duty to act ourselves to prevent climate crime.”

For more information/interviews:

PHOTOS AND FOOTAGE from previous actions are available. Pix on Monday should be available too.


(3) 25 activists were arrested after they established a protest camp on the taxiway at Nottingham East Midlands Airport.
(4) Details of these public events are at


[and remember coal is a decision, instead of a forced requirement...]

Climate change protesters climb chimney and cut power
John Vidal, environment editor
Friday November 3, 2006
The Guardian

Greenpeace protesters yesterday halved the amount of electricity being generated by Britain's second largest coal-fired power station as more than 25 people occupied Didcot in Oxfordshire.

Last night police had failed to remove them.

According to the environment group, 30 volunteers from across Britain invaded the site at 5.30am yesterday and immobilised conveyer belts which carry coal into the plant. As one group of protesters hit emergency stop buttons and attached themselves to machinery, a second group of 12 set up a "climate camp" on top of the 60m (200ft) chimney stack.

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RWE Npower, the owner of Didcot, said last night that two of the station's four generators had not been operating when protesters entered the site, but engineers had kept electricity supplies going by switching the station largely from coal to gas. "We reduced electricity generating capacity by 500MW, or 50%, but security of supply was not at risk," said an Npower spokeswoman.

The occupation of the station takes place in the week that Sir Nicholas Stern's review of climate change economics warned of global financial catastrophe if carbon emissions are not slashed urgently.

Tomorrow a big environmental protest is to take place in London with more than 15,000 people expected to rally for action to tackle climate change.

The occupation follows a week-long demonstration in August against Britain's biggest carbon polluter, the Drax power station in North Yorkshire. When Didcot is burning only coal, it emits roughly 6m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Greenpeace yesterday said that Didcot was a symbol of the government's failure to tackle climate change. "Didcot could halve its emissions overnight if it switched from burning coal to gas permanently," said campaigns director Blake Lee-Harwood.

Npower said it wanted to switch to cleaner fuel. "We fully support clean energy and we're at the forefront of developing it," said Kevin Akhurst, managing director of generation. "Of our three coal stations, Didcot A and Tilbury are already scheduled to close over the next five to 10 years ... but they can't just be switched off overnight."

Greenpeace protesters said they were prepared to continue the occupation. Ben Stewart, occupying the smokestack last night, said: "It's a bit cold, but we are ready to stay for days.",,1938476,00.html

And if we plan to stay on this planet, we better be ready to stay for more than days--we better be ready to stay for thousands upon thousands of years and start acting like it. This means change toward more democratically representative materials policy and toward less gatekept political institutions that would doubly sustain us instead of repeatedly destroy us every 200-300 years as the history of state based societies shows.

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"Presently we are trapped within these un-ecological democracies that are underwriting and protecting this process of politically sponsored ecological degradation. How do we instead explain to others that the state has an Ecological Contract with its people, and if this Ecological Contract is neglected,..."

you get degradative and corrupt developmental choices like this:

"In Poland the new extreme-right government has begun the procedure of construction of the new Via Baltica road. Primeval forest of outstanding beauty is endangered. Why exactly this route was chosen among so many other possibilities..."

is best answered by one word: corruption. And an answer for that corruption is the bioregional state.