Tag Archives: politics

If they wanted the right to vote, they’d better use it!

If a world had a perfect solution to how to rule a country, we would have the same rules and regulations everywhere. Some issues are always under debate. When I was abroad on an European youth project, I participated in country-bulding simulations, by which I mean we were presented with a map of four countries whose governments and most of population were destroyed during Third World War. Our task were to establish brand new political system, create government and take diplomatic actions among one another. It was very developing experience, especially as we were in different ages , ranging from those who just started high school to seniors at university. During the process of establishing laws and writing constitution, we got into an argument over the suffrage. The main question was if it should be obligatory as it forces people to be interested in who runs for seats, it is good solution. But is it democratic at all?

History is abundant in examples for groups of people to fight for their right to vote. There was a long and backbreaking work to be able to go once in a while to put a piece of paper with a name on it in the ballot box, just to express a personal wish who you want to be governed by. It took women almost a hundred years to be finally recognized as a person able to vote in United States in 1920. Four years later, Native Americans were granted such a right. Then, it took a lot of great personalities, such as Martin Luter King Jr or Rosa Parks, and thousands of supporters for the Black People to follow. And after several decades we take this right for granted, showing low interest in politics and expressing it in low turnouts on elections. So, there is an idea od making voting not a right, but a duty.

Some countries already force their citizens to show up at the ballot  – as for example Luxemburg, Brasil or Australia. The reason of such a policy is obvious – if you have to vote, you will probably get to know who you want to support and improves the general knowledge of what government is doing. They are representing all of their citizens, after all. Another advantage is that this solution diminishes the possibility of absence during elections for petty reasons such as bad weather or lack of good transportation. Moreover, compulsory voting ensures that there is no discrimination against disabled people as it must provide facilities for any kind of needs.

But if it is such a good solution, why only 22 countries are practising it? It may have many advantages, but I strongly believe that the state should never impose an action on their citizens. That is the first step to abolish democracy. If someobody doesn’t feel the need to be a part of community, they should have the right to abstain from the vote, that’s the point of having freedom. Also, there are people who don’t really know what the world of politics is all about and will support a person who is best with words. Then, it is great opportunity for populists to get power and then not fulfill their promises, which is certainly not what the state want to achieve.

It is always very easy to use force to get the intended effect. And violence, even in the form of fines (especially as they are often very hefty fines!) is never the answer for an issue, which here is lowinterest in government. We may quote the famous words that the democracy is the worst system ever, but there is no better option. And may it have positive effect on society, but in my opinion, giving away part of personal freedom in the name of presumption that citizens will be more aware of the events in the government is way too high.

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The paranoia of the war on terrorism – the aftermath of 9/11

This time, thirteen years ago all citizens of United States of America were in commotion. In panic. In fear. The eleventh of Sepetember 2001 was to become a pivotal point in recent American History. A day that changed the future of the country, its policy and attitude of its citizens. The day when America has altered for ever, when four terrorist attacks were launched on World Trade Center, in New York City. The suicide attacks destroyed the Twin Towers and left people terrified, looking for their friends and relatives.. It was al-Quaeda’s five minutes that will never be forgotten which cost three thousand people their lives and more than $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage.

The sudden and unexpected collision of planes with two of the biggest buildings in the world in broad daylight is quite an event. It has been talked about for long, long time after and has influenced the society. Isn’t it great for a terrorist organizations such as al-Quaeda? After 9/11 the national paranoia started. Also, people changed – they immediately started spending more time with family. praying and showing patriotism. This shows how big the impact of this tragedy is. And let’s not forget that fearful nation is very easy to manipulate, which is very dangerous. A lot of uncertain facts and lies has been said (here, I will recommend you Michel Moore’s book ).

Such a big killing spree cannot leave people and governments intact. The conspiracy theory which were not unpopular in the history of United States became a collective paranoia. The anxiety level has been noted to be much higher than before. But the most noticeable thing was obsession with security. When you read the stories of people who were considered as dangerous at the airport for ridiculous and inadequate reasons. The attempts to track down terrorists by scanning the web in search of people who use words such as “bombs” or “terrorism”, sometimes not even cinsidering the context.

But these reactions are understandable. And even if the war on terrorism had made it hard for people to travel, we may risk saying that al-Quaedea and Osama bin Laden is not around thirteen years later. Maybe the United States and world is not completely free from terrorism, but we do everything to improve. As Americans didn’t allow such events to repeat, we can only look with hope to the future where our sense of safety will not be upset.

Gaza’s conflict – let’s watch it together

Right now you are probably in front of a screen, sipping your favorite tea, wearing clothes that were made in China and thinking about the dinner you will eat later on. You more or less have anything you need to live. Yet you still complain. You’ve got your reasons – high unemployment rate, galloping inflation or these annoying neighbours who play that goddamn guitar every evening. And when we peacefully coexist in a society where the most important event is the final match of World Cup, somewhere else, in the Gaza Region, people are mercifully killed. The rest of the world just watch it with indifferent faces, acknowledging just one of the today’s news.

The conflict between Arabs and Jews on the territory of Israel has its roots in the aftermath of Second World War, when in 1948 Israel has been created as an independent country. Since that time, Palestinians and Israeli deem that territory as theirs and thus there are constant problems, especially in Jerusalem – the city which no body wants to give up on. Both sides have their reasons and both have lived there for quite a long time. In many cases, they were able to inhabit the same villages without killing each other, some even walk up the aise with ‘the enemy’. But as the land is divided into two different communities, having two different languages, Hewbrew and Arabic, and people want to achieve their goals by military actions, it is very unlikely that they will gain anything more than another casualties. Families separated, maybe never to be reunited again. Is this right to do such things in the name of territory and religious beliefs?

The bombing on the border of Gaza City started about two weeks ago. More than three hundred people passed away, mostly civilians. But show must go on. Citizens of Gaza City still work five days a week and send their children to schools. Once in a while there is a signal to run to the shelters, when the bombers are approaching. Some have to just lay on the ground, no matter where they currently are. In shelters, there are women with only few nails coloured or in the process of getting their new haircut, because the attack surprised them at the manicurist or hairdresser. Can you imagine living with fear that any moment a bomb can be dropped right where you stand? It is no surprise than so many need tranquillizers or sedatives.

What is even less surprising is a fact that amidst the body fighting, tanks and general chaos, people flee their homes, almost bare handed. More than 50,000 have already fled and this number will probably rise even more. Even the famous writer, Sayed Kashua, who has been writing about the Israelis and Palestinian stories for more than 25 years announced he is leaving his beloved Jerusalem for the United States, place where he and his family will be safe. At some point, the safety becomes more important than the love of your homeland.

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Yesterday, there was a protest in London during which thousands of protestes demanding a ceasefire and freedom for Palestinians. But most of us just sit and watch how the situation changes every few hours. There’s no bomb to blow up all your possessions and no gunmen to take away your life. Respect it and do everything not to lose that luxury.

When American president visits Polish capital city

This week, the President of the United States visited Poland for the first time since 2011. He came on the 4th of  July not without a reason – this date is particularly important for the Polish history, as it is the anniversary of abolishing the communist system there. Twenty five years ago the first free elections took place. It is not surprising that such a huge amount of people came to see Mr President making a speech, then.

generally speaking, Poles view Americans positively. Although we cannot say that about all the population, the 2013 BBC World Service Poll showed that 55% of Poles view U.S. influence positively, the highest rating for any surveyed European country. A lot of Polish people have their families in United States and vice versa. Poland is perceived as one of the most pro-American nations, with deep political, economical and military bond between these two. But why do Poles and Americans seem to like each other so much?

Every post-1989 Polish government has been a strong supporter of America’s presence in the country. It is obvious  that no political body does favours and gives support for free. But this relationship is mutual – a lot of Polish soldiers sacrificed their lives in American Army and died for the ideology of the U.S. Besides, these two countries were allies during Second World War. We should also keep in mind that just when Poland lost its independence America became a free country.

The importance of immigration is also not to be underestimated. Today, in many countries America is the synonym for the better life and opportunities, a place where everything is perfect and it is easy to get rich. The myth of ‘rags to riches’ has always been very alluring. Although “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, a lot of ordinary people have stayed there, having found the job that their mother country couldn’t offer and founded the family with an American spouse. And the connections are created.

The values of both countries are also very similar. Both American and Polish people deem freedom very precious and are very religious and rather conservative nation. It seems as though they are basically the same kind of people, additionally entangled in mutual historical alliances. That’s the reason why it is always such a big event when American president comes to Polish soil – no matter if we are in 1972, fighting with deep communism and greeting Richard Nixon or in 2014, still tackling many issues, but as an independent country, gathering to greet Barack Obama.