Democracy in America today (II)

Uncle Sam, you're wrong!

Fundamental political rights of Americans in today's society, not only are not exempt from the elements of the archaic, but become even more vulnerable, they are even more manipulated. Uncle Sam (Uncle Sam — US, an image in the eyes of Americans, personifying the state machine) is increasingly dominates them.

Most complaints about election call.
The U.S. president is still not elected by direct popular elections and the electoral college. Many rightly believe this system obsolete and undemocratic. With it, in particular, the voice of a resident of Delaware or North Dakota has mathematically much more weight (measured by the ratio of voters to the number of electors from the state) than the voice of the voters in larger states, such as California or New York. Thanks to this system three times in the history of the U.S. president elected the candidate with fewer votes than his opponent (the last time — George Bush Jr. in 2000) … And Gerald Ford was not elected at all. At first, he was co-opted by the Republican National Committee in place caught stealing Vice President Spiro Agnew, and then automatically took the place of the departed from his post because of the Watergate scandal, Nixon.


Absolutely right, the CEC Chairman Vladimir Churov, Russia, noting:"The election of the President of the United States — not straight, not universal, not equal, do not provide secrecy of voting". (1) American practice Archaism relevant experts explain the fact that in its main features it has developed in the late XVIII century. and did not change significantly. But it has since passed a lot of time, and, most importantly, American politicians do not cease to teach others how they should organize the electoral process.

It is extremely important the administrative resource in the U.S. because a significant amount of the functions of electoral bodies legally entrusted to the bodies of the executive authority of the state and the legal regulation of campaign candidates virtually nonexistent. It is the presence of the Republicans 29 to 20 governorships from Democrats, including 7 of 9 "swing" states, many experts explain the "finishing spurt" Romney previously lagged far behind Obama.

For its part, the Democrats found that their voters are more likely to vote early than Republicans. And the current president for the first time in the history of the country has already casting his ballot in advance of the date of the election, giving it the appropriate signal. It is recognized that when such practices are opportunities for serious manipulation, for example, in the course of voting by mail. Thus, according to one study, in 16 counties in Mississippi in the local elections, held in 2011, which was attended by "dosrochniki", there were more voters than the residents themselves, who, according to the 2010 census, have reached voting age. Democrats are generally better prepared for this form of voting due to the support of companies associated with information technology, while Republicans rely mainly on financial corporations.

In the U.S. political system as a whole has developed "bipartizm", ie absolute monopoly of the two parties is quite far from a European-style multi-party democracy. At the hearing, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Nikonov noted in particular that the United States is very limited ability of small parties: to participate in the elections. "The party must be registered in each state, and this procedure is much more complicated than we have branded filters in the elections of governors." In addition, the small parties have no access to the media. Nikonov noted that independent voters in the United States that does not support either the Republicans or the Democrats, is growing. However, this has no effect on the number of independent deputies or local level, or in the U.S. Congress. (2)

According to the organization "Project Sentensing"more than 5.8 million Americans (2.5% of all likely voters) disenfranchised because of a criminal record. While in general the right to vote stripped every 40 minutes an American, African-Americans — every 13th (7.7% of the total), and in some states, such as Kentucky, Virginia and Florida, voters ousted from more than 20 % of black Americans.According to the Census Bureau, of the 75 million eligible citizens who do not get this right in the presidential election of 2008, 60 million were not able to do so due to lack of registration, which is associated with many burdensome procedures.

Serious questions are raised and questions to allow international observers to monitor the vote. Currently only in the states of Missouri, South Dakota and New Mexico, as well as the District of Columbia have laws that allow access of foreign observers during the elections. In other regions, the question of the activity of foreign observers is the responsibility of local authorities. ODIHR OSCE monitored the national elections in the United States, from time to time recommend to solve the problem of the excessive and disproportionate restriction of active electoral rights of entire categories of American citizens. Change for the better occurred. Thus,in response to the desire to expand the number of OSCE observers to the current presidential elections Texas authorities threatened them with criminal prosecution. The prosecutor of the State of Greg Abbott sent Ambassador Daan Everts, Head of the OSCE observer mission to the United States, a letter in which he called his team's presence on the U.S. polling stations "legally irrelevant." Abbott banned observers to areas of the state to approach closer than 100 feet.

There is a growing secret control over the population.In February 2011, Obama signed legislation to extend for another 4 years of the provisions adopted after the attacks of September 11, 2001 "Patriot Act". We are talking about sections of the law to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor suspicious persons (even without evidence of their links with terrorist organizations) to perform inspection of commercial records and listen to telephone conversations suspicious callers from any number under applicable throughout the country "warrant-rover . "

The current U.S. law, in fact, allows the intelligence community to carry out a total censorship of all electronic communications of foreign and American citizens without a court order. It also requires telecommunications companies to assist the Government in gathering intelligence about foreign objects and maintain the confidentiality of the information collected, giving them immunity from lawsuits relating to both their current and potential cooperation with federal law enforcement agencies in the framework of the terrorist surveillance (Terrorist Surveillance Program).

Under the amended law of 1994 "On providing communications companies with law enforcement authorities» («Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act»), the operating companies are required to ensure the compatibility of its technology with the possibility of electronic surveillance by security services. In the period from 2004 to 2007. the number of emails scanned the U.S. secret services under this law has increased by 3000%.

Currently under consideration in Congress, the bill "On the exchange and protection of intelligence on cyber threats» («Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act — CISPA»), according to human rights activists, does not limit the possibility of the U.S. government to monitor web browsing individuals.

Limited freedom of speech. During the attack on journalists covering the action of the movement "Occupy Wall Street", NGO "Reporters without Borders" in January 2012 lowered its rating of the U.S. in its annual global press freedom index by 27 positions immediately and put the United States on the 47th (57 nd with the territories in which Washington exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction). According to the organization, from the excessive use of force by police while covering protests affected more than 80 journalists. According to the
investigation of the Coalition of Independent Lawyers (Protest and Assembly Rights Project), in only one of New York City from September 2011 to July 2012 has been arrested at least 18 accredited reporters.

In the past four years, a top record of the number of open criminal cases in connection with leaks of classified information to the media. In particular, the charges of violating the law "On spying" were brought against six persons, including ordinary B.Menninga transferred the information to a network resource "Wikileaks".

Site "Wikileaks" has been the subject of harassment on the part of the Administration of the United States in retaliation for the publication of diplomatic reporting. Access to the site "Wikileaks" repeatedly blocked by the decision of the District Court and the requirements of some of the senators. Employees of the White House, the Library of Congress, the Pentagon, the State Department and other U.S. agencies are prohibited from entering the site "Wikileaks".

According to the latest report, "Google" (3) the availability of the services of the company, during the period from July to December 2011 the number of submitted to it by the U.S. government requests for content removal increased by 103% compared to the previous reporting period. U.S. law enforcement agencies requested removal from video sharing "YouTube's" 1,4 thousand of videos that are "contained insults." 6.3 thousand queries require disclosure of data on more than 12.2 million people of this company. 93% of these requirements were satisfied.

U.S. authorities also require domain name registrars to deny access to foreign websites that violate U.S. sanctions legislation. In 2008, without notice, in accordance with the decree of the Ministry of Finance of the United States were closed for about 80 websites, advertise Europeans travel packages to Cuba, included in the "black list" of countries with which the Americans are not allowed to do business on the basis of the law of 1917 . "Trading with the enemy states» (Tradind with the enemy Act).

According to a joint study of the National Association of religious broadcasters and the "American Center for Law and Justice" global Internet company, such as "Apple", "Google", "Yahoo!", "Facebook" and "Myspace", actively filtered information, in particular , of a religious nature. This is done under the pretext of fighting extremism and intolerance. As a result, the believer is not easy to publish their views on the Internet, for example, about the sin of sodomy, lesbianism and other perversions. "Protection against extremism" turns into a restriction of the rights of people is quite traditional sexual orientation (which, they say, is still the majority).

(ExtensionTo be continued)

(1) (2) rn (3)


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