This post is not so much about Greece’s problems than it is about forming a new government. Greece, like so many countries before it, is in the process of forming a new government as they lost confidence in the current one. Forming a new government is a more peaceful resolution of a bad situation than an all out revolution that also seems common place today.
Forming a new government sounds like the perfect solution to our present problems here in the U.S. I wonder how that would work with our form of democracy? With the partisan divide that currently stifled our bringing some level of prosperity to the other 99% of us we it seems we need a new government, the old one seems totally unrepairable!
Let’s investigate just how forming a new government works. Greece is the epitome of democracy so it must have some democratic (with a small “d” for all my Republican friends) principles behind it?
I know we formed a new government the first time by calling a continental congress in Philadelphia. That definitely wouldn’t work this time around for very obvious reasons. Here is what the folks as WikiAnswers have to say about this topic. Some of you, heck maybe most of you, will want to just skip this part 🙂
When can the governed form a new government?
Short answer: Whenever.
Longer answer: There are several ways a government can be overthrown, some legal within the particular governments framework, some not. First let us look at the republican democracy in the United States.The US constitution provides a few clues. First, the entire House of Representatives comes up for election every two years, it is possible though unlikely that all of the incumbent members fail to get reelected and a new House is formed. What happens more often is some members do not seek reelection, some fail and some succeed, and the composition of the House changes. In the Senate, one third of the members are elected every two years (remember Senators serve a six year term). This causes a more gradual shift in the composition. Dramatic examples of what can happen can be seen the the 2006 elections where the Democrats took control of both houses and thus all committee seats and in the 1994(?) campaign where the opposite occured. The US executive (President and Vice President) are elected every four years and this change can arguably have more impact than the legislative elections. The constitution also provides for impeachment proceedings, which allows the populace to remove the executive, albeit by proxy through the House and Senate.
Many of the democratic nations use the Westminster system of government, wherin the sovereign (if one exists) or other head of state calls for a parliament to convene. The members of parliament are elected by the populace, the party in the majority then get to form the government. If no majority exists a coalition must be formed. This system can see a much higher rate of change as elections are not on a fixed schedule. Then we have the non-democratic nations. Dictatorships, monarchies, and single-party rule. Peaceful change in these nations is much less likely as the rulers often do not rule with the consent of the governed…. When does it become appropriate for a populace to forcibly change their government? There is no clear cut answer for this, no real benchmark where a person can say “Yep, those are freedomn fighters, not terrorists (or whatever).” … Start out with the Federalist Papers. Ask yourself why did some in the colonial US feel it was appropriate to use arms and violence to establish their own gevernment. Why did others feel that was wrong? Also, read up on the Jeffersonian idea of how the US should be governed, compare that with what Hamilton had to say. and compare both to how it actually turned out.
Getting those yahoos in Washington to give up some of their power and start acting in a more cooperative seems impossible. Power is mainly what drives Washington these days so letting loose of some of it will take a GIANT GIANT effort. So short of a wholesale removal of all representatives there is not a lot we can do with our republican (little “r” for all my Democrat friends) form of democracy. Maybe its time to shift to a Westminister system? 🙂
It is obvious from all the polls taking place today that a vast majority of our citizens have no confidence in our current representative. Why can’t we have a “no confidence” vote in our government like so many others seems to have. We certainly need it, especially now.
But what do I know….