More precisely, especially in old towns and villages, the members of the community which are the citizens of that small society are also the ones who are directly deciding on issues which affect their community. Thus, town hall meetings usually are the places where everything is discussed and decided upon.
One of the important benefits of direct democracy is the degree of implication of the citizens. Better said, in the moment in which the citizens have the right to decide on an issue which affects them directly, such as the prices of corn in the region and on the market, the citizens also become more interested on the situations in their communities and are more involved in the problems and solutions affecting them. This automatically draws a much more implicated society, where issues are discussed openly and with a much more implicated attitude.
One potential downsize of the direct democracy is present in the situations in which the society lacks interest in the issues of the community. When not all the stakeholders are involved in the decision making process, this is no longer a democratic process and may become tyranny or the rule of the minority. This is an important setback because it denies "direct democracy" the actual meaning of democracy, which is the rule of the majority.
India as a nation state is not necessarily defined by the traditional term of the nation state which implies a state formed out of one nation with a common background, history, language, and religion. Still, India is considered to be a nation state largely because of the historical experience the provinces of India share. India is one of the most interesting and rewarding former British colonies. The colonial system however player a crucial role in determining India to become what is nowadays called a national state.
The colonial system of the British placed an important accent on the unity of the population, even if they were different in race, religion, or language. This was crucial for the success of the colony and, as known, India was rightfully called the most precious stone of the British crown. Such a title suggested also a very well established system of connections between people at the level of the small society. This in turn revealed in time a national unity against a common enemy which eventually became the British Crown. Still, a great achievement was the success of the idea that India, despite its cosmopolite state, is a national state.
Topic 3: The Internet and Democracy 1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Internet and democracy? 2. What improvements can be made to the Internet (or use of) to improve democracy?
The Internet can be viewed as one of the most important inventions of our times largely because it ensures the connections between people across the globe at only limited if any costs. It also plays a crucial role in helping democracy develop.
The internet is the global network of free, global ideas and services. Given the potential and the already crucial tasks it has at the moment, the internet represents the key to communication, electronic knowledge, and creation.
However, despite the fact that the internet is a regulated virtual space, given the entire set of rules, norms, and regulations which constitute the legal framework for the work and activity done online, there are several aspects such as child pornography, illegal trade, and other actions which are against the law and at the same time cannot be punished. The relation between the internet and democracy is as important as it is fragile. In this sense, the core principle of democracy is freedom. The internet provides such a thing in the sense that it ensures that anybody having an opinion is free to place it online to share it with the entire globe. At the same time however, this freedom should be regulated in such a manner as to ensure that one's freedom is not somebody else's breach of rights.
The issue of pornography on the internet is also widely debated. Thus, while some have the freedom to do whatever they want, there are laws which forbid child pornography, especially online. Therefore, it is important to consider all aspects of the matter and to conclude that the internet in order to be in line with the democratic process must be regulated in such a way as to ensure that no breach of democracy takes place.
Topic 4: Environmental Politics: Environmental politics is an academic field of study focused on three core components: 1. The study of political theories and ideas related to the environment. 2. The examination of the political parties and environmental social movements. 3. The analysis of public policy-making and implementation affecting the environment. (from wikipedia) Political Strategies for Climate Change? In search of the ecological citizen?
The issue of the environment has become a crucial aspect given the nature of the threats facing the planet in the next decades. Global warming, gas emissions, Kyoto Protocol, all have become a source of debate and controversy. The United States is the most important country to have gas emissions above the limit and at the same time not to fully agree with the Kyoto Protocol.
An important role in the way in which the environmental policy is conducted in the United States is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. More precisely, it "gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes permitting the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. The Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 amended the RCRA by requiring phasing out land disposal of untreated hazardous waste. Some of the other mandates of this strict law include increased enforcement authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and a comprehensive underground storage tank program. The California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has the state regulatory authority for enforcing the provisions of RCRA" (U.S. Department of Energy, 2007). Therefore, it can be said that the regulation represented an essential step in dealing with issues such as hazardous waste. However, the issue of the act has indeed a history and procedures that are set as guidelines once they are approved.
Such an elaborated process reveals a clear interest at the level of the community and of the society at large for the issues of the environment. It can be said that it has become a clear cut policy and that citizens around the U.S. are environmental citizens.
An element which is important to take into account is the cooperation which is established between the legislative bodies on the one hand and the community on the other hand. The law is the emanation of the Congressional experience and expertise. However, in order to have an accurate image of the implications of the general rules established in the law, the experts in the field are required to contribute. This is an important aspect of the process because it enables the law to address in the end precisely the issues which are more stringent for the community. At the same time, it identifies the major issues the community is facing and tries to insure them a resolution.
The comments from the public community are essential because the people who live in the areas particularly affected by the waste problems are the most capable of providing feedback and even possible solutions. Therefore the collaboration with the communities is essential for managing to offer a law that is applicable for the issue at hand and for the resolution of the problems.
The example of the U.S. In terms of the environmental policy is important because it offers a perspective on how issues related to the environment have to be dealt with and how they are taken into account at the level of the legislation process and at that of the community.
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