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On Democracy and local Staff election results in Luxembourg 2007

Trade Unions
General Assemblies, Elections and Referenda

There is little to object to in Mr. G's first paragraph. My innate sarcasm drives me to point out that he does a bit of "triumphant crowing" himself in his second paragraph, but that is a question of taste and must forever remain up to the individual.

His second paragraph is chockfull of doubtful assertions. Now, there were 3 681 voters registered in the Luxembourg. The meeting room in the JMO Building where the General Assembly was took place could hold 100 participants comfortably, 200 at most. (A hundred meters down the corridor, there is one that can hold 1 000+ people.) So the decision about the "not perfect system" was taken by between 5% and 10% of the electorate. According to Mr G.; "THAT's what democracy means, my dear friends ". (The CAPITALIZATION is his. I wonder whom he means by dear friends.Not me, I hope.)

Perhaps Mr G's and his dear friends think that I am a bad democrat because I do not respect their rules, nor do I honor the results of the recent polls in Kenya.

Seriously, there are two kinds of democracy; direct and representative. The representative kind is when we vote for the candidate who we hope will do the least damage. In many ways, the direct kind of democracy is "better". It is excellent when most of the electorate assembles somewhere and takes decisions with 50%+ of all electors. What we got was 5%+ deciding a system of rules that gave the list with 1/3 of the total electorate 2/3 of the mandates.

I sure hope that there is more to democracy than that. What we need and deserve is a referendum. That way, all the 3 681 voters can participate, without risking asphixation.

Best Regards,

Michael Ashbrook / ESTAT (16/1/2008)

In reply to the various people who have been moaning on this forum about how the results of the CLP elections in Luxembourg are not "democratic", I would like to remind them that the situation we now have is almost the exact mirror image of what happened three years ago, when the "non-US" lists, with only about 50 list votes more, if memory serves, obtained 13 seats out of 20. Naturally, at the time the representatives of those lists had no complaints at all about this "undemocratic" result; on the contrary, as I recall there was a whole lot of triumphant crowing about what a tremendous crushing victory this was.

In fact, the electoral system is designed to produce a workable majority and avoid deadlock. It is certainly not a perfect system - no electoral system is - but staff in Luxembourg recently had a chance to vote on a proposed change, and rejected it overwhelmingly. THAT's what democracy means, my dear friends: respect for (democratically agreed) rules. It is pointless to calculate what the result might have been under some different system, and I really hope the newly elected members of the minority will soon stop wasting everybody's time with that and get on with the job.

And no, this is not the official position of the US Luxembourg, it is my very own personal point of view.

Mr G. / DGT (7/12/2007)

Created by: admin last modification: Tuesday 03 of June, 2008 [13:57:46 UTC] by admin

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