piclist 2001\11\06\211930a >
Thread: Speedtrap warning device using any GPS receiver.
www.piclist.com/techref/io/sensors.htm?key=gps
picon face BY : Russell McMahon email (remove spam text)



Reply to pvt response to a public posting so I'll remove some details ...

> Really? So how democratic is compulsory voting here in xxx? Do
> people NOT have a right NOT to vote either?

Nothing is a perfect implementation of any system.
Names are just convenient labels to hang general groups of concepts on.
I suspect that many of the "democracies" that we have in the world today are
similar if not better in "goodness" to anything the Greek's achieved.
Nothing's perfect and even if it were there would still be a good percentage
of us who didn't like it :-)
eg for "half reasonable" democracys try UK, USA, NZ, Australia, Canada to
name just a few. There are many more but these I'm most familiar with. Some
like Fiji and Nigeria meet the test marginally if at all. It is utterly
inconceivable to most anyone here in NZ that the armed forces may one
morning rise up and take over the government. Not impossible - just
inconceivable :-)

I'm afraid I'm not fully up to date with the fine implementation details of
voting systems in other countries.
I know that even though voting is "compulsory" here, there is no actual
compulsion to vote or penalty for not doing so. Sometimes it is excedding
hard to get people to stand up for their own rights, and voting for those
who rule us is a major right. I'm not quite sure why you have a problem with
compulsory voting as I thought the perceived problem was our inability to
influence those in authority.



> NOTHING is democratic,

as above. I think what we have in many countries approximates the spirit of
the ideal reasonably well given the general nature of the human nature.

> and the only reason why Greek democracy only
> lasted in the short periods was because they weren't warring with each
> other, but rather defending themselves against invasions. Let's not make
> the democracy look like the culprit for the warfare.

I'm not a historian. I understand (possibly wrongly) that much of the
Greek's wars were in fact amongst the various nation states that we came to
know as Greece. Certainly external invaders can't help much. External
invasion by itself doesn't break down your form of government unless the
invaders succeeed and impose their form of government instead. certainly,
internal invasion applies pressures and we often see democarcy retreat from
such pressures to some extent - it is a somewhat fragile flower. cf eg WW2
war government of Britain and current restrictions in a number of countries
due to recent world events.

> Don't delude yourself Russell. Better yet, delude yourself, but not
> others.

Delusion is oft enough the result of a strongly held viepoint that is not
exposed to critical examination and exchange of views in a  wider forum. If
you or I can't examine our perspectives publicly we are more liable to be
deluded than if we do - always providing that we are also ready to have our
viewpoints changed by suitably logical and robust argument. I find that most
such discussions add to my always incomplete understanding of the matter
under scrutiny - which doesn't always amount to a change of viewpoint :-)


regards


           Russell



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