Humanist Perspectives: issue 155, Living with Democracy

Living with Democracy
issue 155, Winter 2005

cover of issue 155
editorial and special report
One Nation Under Fraud by Gary Bauslaugh
Bauslaugh goes to Berkeley to investigate massive vote rigging in American elections, made possible by the introduction of the new electronic voting machines. The bad news is that Bush and his evangelical friends stole the election. The good news, such as it is, is that Americans did not really elect these turkeys.
the world around us
an Experiment in Democracy by Theo Meijer
Meijer writes about and explains “a remarkable and unprecedented report” on a new voting system, prepared by a Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform in British Columbia.
letters from our readers


Democracy & Education:
the Alien Princess
by John Dixon
The aliens have landed and have presented us with a non-negotiable demand: the first female child born in the New Year shall become absolute ruler of Canadians upon attaining her 21st birthday. How do we go about educating her?
Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia:
a proposal for new law
by Eike-Henner Kluge
How can we write a good law on assisted suicide and euthanasia? Kluge shows us. (Also see web supplement for detailed wording of the proposed law.)
the Psychopathology of Politics:
Can Politicians be Good People?
by Robert Weyant
Weyant finds signs of mental derangement in the behaviour of politicians.

columns & departments

things that go bump
Politics & the Power of Situation by James Alcock
Alcock discusses the psychology of belief in regard to our ideas about politicians, how we often make certain errors in our thinking about them, and how our political opinions are not always based in reality.
Fascism — Some Cautionary Visions by Shirley Goldberg
Goldberg writes about the reappearance of two prescient films, dealing with the dehumanization of war, both made in 1971, both largely ignored at the time of release.
practical philosophy
Politicians and Trust by Trudy Govier
On political, logical and ethical grounds, Govier argues against the common attitude of not trusting politicians.
letter from new york
Democracy & its Malcontents by Jonny Diamond
Diamond writes about a renegade mayoral candidate who reminds us that ‘real, living democracy is an irritating, difficult mess of human needs.’
Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times:
The Citizenry & the Breakdown of Democracy

reviewed by Ian Johnston
A book by Nancy Bermeo, reviewed by Ian Johnston Johnston discusses Bermeo’s analysis of why democracies break down.

last word

Living with Theocracy by Jim Skinner
featuring Holy Willie’s Prayer by Robbie Burns
What has happened to the ‘bearded, black-coated elders and preachers of the 18th century Scottish Presbyterian Church,’ described in Robbie Burns’ poem, Holy Willie’s Prayer? Skinner finds their spiritual descendants.


Democracy by Anne Spencer
A poem by Anne Spencer

Exclusive Web Supplements

Mutation or Demise:
The Democratization of Democracy by Henry Beissel
> read essay online
text for Kluge’s proposed new law
> download the PDF