2011 – When ‘Global DemocracyNow’ Became a Popular Demand Occupy London, October 15th 2011
What is going to happen with my lifethe next 25 minutes?You will hear about: 1. Is there a global democracy? 2. What are the impacts of the lack of global democracy? 3. Are there any solutions?
Is there a Global Democracy? A story that starts in prison.
Undemocratic Global Institutions• UN Security Council – controlled by 5 states with veto: US, UK, China, Russia, France.• IMF, World Bank – one dollar one vote system. Like 18th century parliaments, rich=powerful.• Basel Committee on Banking Regulation – controlled by 20 governments with veto power (G20).• WTO, UN Climate negotiation: all governments have veto. But powerful governments force small ones to act as they wish. In Cancun, when Bolivia vetoed, they went ahead.
Two summarizing facts: Power: 1 American > 3.5 million PalestiniansIf you oppose your government – you have no control other global politics
2. What are the implications of the lack of global democracy?
George Papandreou, former Greek Prime minister and current head of theSocialists International about the global democratic deficit, and the Occupy movement’s demand to redistribute power
US Banks deregulation in 1999 as an exampleFrom the congress speech of SenatorWellstone , who voted against the Act: [it is] “the wrong kind of modernization because taxpayers could be stuck with the bill if these conglomerates become `too big to fail’. [...] These financial conglomerates may well be tempted to run greater risks, knowing that taxpayers will come to their rescue if things go bad.” (Congressional Record, V. 145, Pt. 6, April 28, 1999 to May 10, 1999, Senate, 1999, p.28318).
How many Senators used a ‘Golden Straightjacket justification’ to explaintheir support for the law (the need toderegulate banks to compete in global markets)?
Examples? “This bill is vital for the future of our country. If we dont pass this bill, we could find London or Frankfurt or, years down the road, Shanghaibecoming the financial capital of the world. That has grave implications for all of America where financial services is one of the areas where jobs are growing the most quickly, where ourtechnology is way ahead of everyone else, where our capital dominates the world.” Senator Schumer (Democratic party)
Concrete proposal #1:Changing the discourse – United for Global Democracy Manifesto
United for Global Democracy manifestoThe manifesto was produced over four monthsthrough consultation among groups, activists andpeoples assemblies around the world (includingsome of the main groups involved in Occupy –Assemblies inMadrid, London, Boston, Brazil, Argentina). It gotendorsed by Canadian-based Naomi Klein, Indian-based Vandana Shiva and Arundhati Roy, the US-based Michael Hardt and Noam Chomsky, Egyptbased Samir Amin as well as Uruguayan EduardoGaleano.
Concrete proposal #2:UN Parliamentary Assembly Albert Einstein, 1947: "selection [of UN delegates] by governments cannot give the peoples of the world the feeling of being fairly and proportionately represented. The moral authority of the UN would be considerably enhanced if the delegates were elected directly by the people"
Concrete proposal #2: UN Parliamentary AssemblyWhat is it? Similar to the European Parliament, but global:A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) for the first time wouldgive citizen representatives, not only states, a direct and influential role inglobal policy.As a transitional step until direct elections become practical, the UNParliamentary Assembly could consist of delegates from national andpossibly regional parliaments, reflecting their political diversity. The UNPAwould therefore include members of minority parties whose opinions areoften not represented in the United Nations.
Concrete proposal #2: UN Parliamentary Assembly1. More than 1,000 MPs world wide supporting2. Supporting resolutions: European Parliament, Pan-AfricanParliament, Pan-Latin American Parliament, ArgentineanParliament, Swiss Senate, Greens internationals, Liberalsinternational, the socialist international.3. Individual support: Albert Einstein, Albert Camus, Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Former UN Secretary-General), 16 heads of states/ForeignMinisters.
Concrete proposal #3: a Global ReferendumsSupporters:• Evo Morales.• Civil Society and social movements (mainly in Latin America): endorsed in People’s summit in Cochabamba.• World Vote Now – film coming up soon on National Geographic
Concrete proposal #4: a Global squareA new proposal coming out of Occupy, anelectronic global square:“What we need, at this point, is a platform thatallows us to radically democratize our globalorganizational efforts. In addition to the localsquares, we now need a global square wherepeople of all nations can come together as equalsto participate in the coordination of collectiveactions and the formulation of common goalsand aspirations.”
Concrete proposal #5: #GlobalDemocracy /Electronic global democracy
Concrete proposal #6:Changing the discourse – Give Your Vote Campaign
Give Your VoteA campaign we did last year in the UK, and planning toin the US this year:“In our globalised world, politics doesnt stop at theborder. But democracy does. To challenge this, votersin the UK pledged their votes to peoplein Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ghana who aredirectly affected by UK policies. After a month ofasking questions of candidates, TV debates, radioshows and local discussions, people voted via localtext message with the results passed on to people inthe UK who cast those votes.”
How can we collaborate?There are many ways - come and speak to meafterwards, or write me an email to:firstname.lastname@example.org.