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Americans know that democracy is something that must constantly be fought for. Japan never had a revolutionary war. Democracy was given to us by MacArthur.

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Hidetoshi Masunaga, 70, who studied law at Columbia University in the late 1970s and became a licensed lawyer in New York. Since 2009, he has led a small group that has filed more than three dozen lawsuits to challenge disparities in Japan’s election system. (New York Times)

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Well that explains why America is constantly at war.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think this was true once. But now I think most Americans are ready to embrace an Orwellian state as long as it gives them the illusion of safety.

But they are equally ready to send an army out to fight if they truly believe the threat is real. Despite the idiocy of the Iraq war and the mismanaged Afghan conflict.

My parents and the generation before them understood that the state is a threat to liberty and security as much as any foreign power or threat. But modern Americans, the mass mainstream that is, have lost the script on this topic.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Americans are constantly at war because the country is run by the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned was taking control. And when Eisenhower's successor Kennedy tried to rein it in, he was assassinated. Since then the heads of the US executive branch got the message and have continued to follow precedence. One need look no further than how Cheney/Halliburton milked the treasury for trillions from 2003.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Except the only fight with foreigners to impose democracy on them and allow a constant erosion of democratic values at home.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Virtuoso

Lol, too funny.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I guess "disparities in Japan’s election system" isn't worthy of any comments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Democracy does not really exist here. Lots of people vote, but the government ignores their wishes. And then next election the same people get voted in again despite this fact. That is apathy not democracy.

I often equate politics here to something akin to high school elections. The most popular guys win. When I ask people why they vote for Ishihara, for example, they always say he is famous and well known. None have ever said they agree with the following list of his political ideas.

It is too much like talent idol and not enough like real politics. But then again, who can blame them when whoever they elect are just part of a political class and not real representatives?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just because America had a revolutionary war, doesn't necessarily make them experts on the subject. I think it we had a truly independent panel of experts they would. I am sure, find many things in America that are undemocratic. After all they had the North/South war where one of the major problems was slavery. There was hardly anything democratic about that institution. Granted they got rid of it but it took armed struggle American versus American.

Have a look a Piers Morgan and the gun debate. The guy is exercising his rights to have his say about the evils of guns. Then there are the pro-gun guys that wanted him deported in order to shut him up. Hardly a democratic process going on there. We could rant on about this all day though and it still won't get us anywhere. I just wish Mr. Masunaga would think a little more before making such a statement.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I guess "disparities in Japan’s election system" isn't worthy of any comments.

Disparities in the American Senate rival disparities in the Japanese Diet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Democracy does not really exist here.

Absolutely agree.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Have a look a Piers Morgan and the gun debate. The guy is exercising his rights to have his say about the evils of guns. Then there are the pro-gun guys that wanted him deported in order to shut him up. Hardly a democratic process going on there

That's an awful example. So some people saying stupid things, with no ability and no actual will to enforce them, equals undemocratic? Do you even know what you're talking about? It's free speech either way. If anything, you're the one who's undemocratic, if you're suggesting people be silenced for saying stupid things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Democracy was given to us by MacArthur.

It is so silly that this kind of war time propaganda still lives today. He needs to learn the history a bit.

Freedom and People's Rights Movement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_and_People%27s_Rights_Movement

Meiji government to establish a constitution in 1889 and a diet in 1890

The movement carried on and common suffrage of all men above 25 years old was established in 1928. MacArthur came to Japan in 1945.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@live

Just because America had a revolutionary war, doesn't necessarily make them experts on the subject.

I beg to differ. Because of that and other wars, it does give us a deeper and broader perspective .

I think it we had a truly independent panel of experts they would. I am sure, find many things in America that are undemocratic.

You'll find that in every country in the world. But at least, in the states, I'm allowed to be tried fairly before my peers.

After all they had the North/South war where one of the major problems was slavery. There was hardly anything democratic about that institution. Granted they got rid of it but it took armed struggle American versus American.

No one ever said it was democratic, it was the worst thing at the time America AND Europe AND the Middle East could have done, but everyone learned from that. We all know that the institution of slavery was one of the worst events in human history.

Have a look a Piers Morgan and the gun debate.

Good lord.....

The guy is exercising his rights to have his say about the evils of guns.

Trust me, NO one is listening to Piers Morgan, No one. Guns are not evil, it's the people that use them in a violent matter that are evil.

Then there are the pro-gun guys that wanted him deported in order to shut him up.

Do you know why, it's not that he's a total idiot, but also the man has his own skeletons in his closet and he wants to pass judgement on people without checking his closet first. He pompous and he's a loudmouth. That's why, they wanted to deport him.

Hardly a democratic process going on there.

How so?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It was in November 2000 that the last racial discrimination law (that forbade marriage between white and nonwhite people) was abolished in Alabama, U.S. That's 7 years later after South Africa abolished its discrimination law. It was in 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference that Japan advocated all forms of racial discrimination, which U.S. and Britain obstructed with all their might.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

IT was in November 2000 that the last racial discrimination law (that forbade marriage between white and nonwhite people) was abolished in Alabama, U.S. That's 7 years later after South Africa abolished its discrimination law. It was in 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference that Japan advocated all forms of racial discrimination, which U.S. and Britain obstructed with all their might.

Seiharinokaze -- such a foolish comment on so many levels. First off, while not something to be proud of, your example about Alabama actually points to the strength of America's democracy. In that we allow the individual states to decide issues that should not be made at the federal level. Take the debates going on now here about both gay marriage and abortion. Similarly, sure Japan is on the record about opposing racial discrimination, but they also have virtually NO IMMIGRATION, in order to keep minorities out. They are the ultimate xenophobic society. Them telling the U.S. and Britain, two countries that have large minority populations, what to do is foolishness. You need to really learn the definition of democracy. Becuase, fortunately or unfortunately, a true democracy allows for the debate of issues and groups who may advocate some unpleasant opinions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gosh, sorry, getting weak-sighted recently. It's "advocated abolition of all forms of racial discrimination". I don't talk about immigration law. I talk about how people as citizens of the country were treated. And there was no discrimination law in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is one of the more politically and economically literate electorates despite low voter turnout and general apathy. The revolving door at the top, cronyism and corruption with a naturally fatalistic view hardly gives 'democracy' the same resonance. Then again, perhaps some shouldn't get too superior. The US hardly boasts the voter turnout of a country like France, nor the level of press freedom seen in Scandinavia, nor the number of parties and different ideologies you can vote for in most democracies - including Japan. I admire the US in many ways, but at times it seems some need reminding that democracy is not a US creation, nor is the US the best example of it in many ways.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think the point being made is whether there's a predisposition to understanding / appreciating the idea of democracy, and how that impacts social commitment and popular involvement in government. We can argue how democratic the USA is forever, but not so much how ingrained the idea is - or whether the average Japanese person feels the same way about democracy in Japan.

It's probably not the case that the appreciation for, and experience of democracy needs to be any one particular way, or follow any one particular model. It's up to each nation / people to define their own take on it; develop it on their own terms, and make it work for them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

First off, while not something to be proud of, your example about Alabama actually points to the strength of America's democracy. In that we allow the individual states to decide issues that should not be made at the federal level.

Jerseyboy - do you really think that the right to marry a person of another race is something that can be withheld by states? If not then it is not a decision that should be made at the state level. This is clearly a fundamental human right that should be made at the federal level.

Your point about states rights strengthening democracy is correct, but your example about inter-racial marriage is not a good example of it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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