Democracy

The Political Management of North Korean Society

North Korea’s political management system of carrots and sticks has enabled the regime to survive for 66 years. By Subbiah Lakshmanan The Globalist Securing foreign currency is critical to the political management of North Korean society. It is the key element in buttressing loyalty for Kim Jong Un. That aside, both carrots and sticks are used to run the system of managing North Korea’s society politically. They can be categorized as follows. Carrots 1. “Gifting”/Patronage system In a society where ... Read More »

UN court rejects UK’s claim of sovereignty over Chagos Islands

Judges advise Britain that separating archipelago from Mauritius in 1960s was wrong Owen Bowcott The Guardian The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal. Although the majority decision by the international court of justice in The Hague is only advisory, the unambiguous clarity of the judges’ pronouncement is a humiliating blow to Britain’s prestige ... Read More »

Guatemala amnesty bill stirs fears of impunity and revenge of ex-military

Legislation that would grant amnesty to anyone convicted or accused of human rights violations during Guatemala’s long-running civil war has raised fears that dozens of perpetrators of forced disappearance, torture and… Leila Miller Los Angeles Times Backed by military elites and their allies, including members of the party of President Jimmy Morales, the proposed law passed the first of three congressional readings last month. If enacted, the bill would mandate the release within 24 hours of dozens of officials and ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit throws up really big calls on jobs, the rural economy and peace

Cliff Taylor: Government would need to embark on a major programme of assistance for the companies affected The Irish Times The Omnibus Bill on Brexit, published yesterday, is an important piece of work to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. But the big decisions lie elsewhere. How do we support the sectors worst hit? And what about the Border? There is an almost irresistible temptation among the political classes to reassure us that everything is ready, and it will all be alright ... Read More »

Bashir declares year-long state of emergency across Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a nationwide state of emergency on Friday and dissolved the government, in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his iron-fisted rule of three decades. Khartoum – AFP Hurriyet “I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year,” Bashir said in a televised address to the nation from the presidential palace in Khartoum. “I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels,” he added. Deadly protests ... Read More »

The sharks are circling ahead of the election — and it’s asylum seeker policy in the ‘chum bucket’

In full parliamentary flight this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison raged at Labor that it had “gone to the bottom of the chum bucket” when it started its probing of… Laura Tingle ABC Chum buckets, for anyone not familiar with the term, are buckets full of fish guts and heads and other smelly stuff that is thrown into the water by fishermen to attract a feeding frenzy of fish, particularly… And there was some truth to what the Prime Minister ... Read More »

Political corruption scars young voters forever, new research finds

Twenty-five years after the Clean Hands scandal in Italy, those who voted for the first time in 1994 still record less trust in democratic institutions and are more likely to vote for populist parties, according… AAAS and EurekAlert! New research finds that political corruption has a long-term scarring effect on trust in democratic institutions and on voters’ behavior and that such an effect differs according to one’s age cohort, with first-time voters at the… In particular, Bocconi University’s Arnstein Aassve, ... Read More »

High Noon over Humanitarian Aid at Venezuela’s Border

Venezuela’s constitutional crisis continues to unfold, with the opposition amassing food and medicine on the borders with the stated intent of turning the military against President Nicolás Maduro, who is refusing the aid. Phil Gunson ICG In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Venezuela Phil Gunson explains the standoff. What happened? Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognised as the country’s interim president by dozens of countries including the U.S., has promised that on 23 February a… An aid concert, featuring a… High ... Read More »

Dear Scott and Bill, we’ve strayed from our values: a Socceroo’s plea

Football commentator Craig Foster, who helped save refugee Hakeem al-Araibi, has written a challenge to PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten: now save Australia’s humanity. Craig Foster The Sydney Morning Herald Dear Scott and Bill, Thank you for your support for Hakeem al-Araibi during his recent struggle for justice and for the welcome provided to him last week at Parliament House. It was a powerful moment to see a young refugee celebrated in the centre of our democracy, ... Read More »

Rohingya: killings should remind all nations of their responsibility to protect victims of mass atrocity crimes

Do states have a moral duty to protect foreigners from mass atrocity crimes? Maria Jellinek The Conversation At the turn of the millennium – and with the 2005 global political agreement to the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) – the positive answer to this question seemed obvious. Yet, almost 15 years after that commitment, the world’s vow to protect civilians from tyranny is faltering. A painful indicator of this trend has been the failure of the international community to effectively protect ... Read More »

Managing Ethiopia’s Unsettled Transition

Ethiopia’s charismatic new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has generated great excitement with initiatives breaking with the past. ICG But he faces challenges as formidable as his promises are bold: he urgently needs to halt communal strife, smooth the road to elections and boost the ailing economy. What’s new? Ethiopia’s new premier, Abiy Ahmed Ali, has made peace with Eritrea, extended a conciliatory hand to opponents, and promised moves to free and fair elections, expanded political space and economic reform. But ... Read More »

Neo-Nazi in coast guard plotted attack on Democrats and journalists, say prosecutors

Lieutenant Christopher Hasson allegedly intended to ‘murder civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country’ Jon Swaine The Guardian A neo-Nazi serving as a lieutenant in the US coast guard has been caught plotting to attack Democratic members of Congress, including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and well-known media personalities, according to… Christopher Hasson intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”, according to a filing to federal court in Maryland. Law enforcement officers seized 15 ... Read More »

Labour centrists quit party, recalling failed 80s experiment

London: Seven British Labour MPs have quit their party and set up as a group of independents, saying politics in Britain is “broken” and criticising Labour policy on Brexit and its failure to tackle anti-Semitism among its membership. Nick Miller The Age The split was immediately compared to the ‘Gang of Four’ who left Labour in 1981 to form the Social Democratic Party, splitting the left vote and resulting in Margaret Thatcher winning crushing parliamentary majorities at the next two elections. ... Read More »

Even Conservatives Support Sweden’s Welfare State. Here’s Why.

It’s practical and efficient, allowing for a very competitive economy while ensuring a high standard of living. Barbara Koeppel The Nation While we’re waiting for Team Trump to make America great again, it’s useful to know what a not-great country such as Sweden offers its citizens. As Shakespeare observed, comparisons are odorous, but things smell good there. Not even the conservative Swedish parties and the far-right anti-immigrant party, which together won 205 seats in the September 2018 parliamentary elections (out ... Read More »

Mexico border wall: US states sue over emergency declaration

A coalition of 16 US states led by California is suing President Donald Trump’s administration over his decision to declare an emergency to raise funds for a Mexican border wall. BBC Mr Trump made the declaration on Friday to bypass Congress after it refused to approve $5.7bn (£4.4bn) for the wall. The states say they want to block Mr Trump’s “misuse of presidential power”. The Democrats oppose funding Mr Trump’s barrier, a key campaign pledge, and have vowed to contest ... Read More »

Estonia is running its country like a tech company

Estonia is often described as a genuinely digital society. Today a majority of government services are offered 24/7 online, and data integrity is ensured by blockchain technology. By Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia Quartz You can use medical e-prescriptions, file taxes, or even buy a car online without needing to go to the vehicle registration office. There are only a few things that you still need to do in the analog world, such as get married or buy property. Why spend ... Read More »