What Are the Key Elements That Lead Toward a Peaceful Political Transition?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 9, 2009
President Bush and President-elect Obama Walk To the Oval Office

The United States is in the midst of a peaceful political transition from one administration to another. Simultaneously, other nations such as Guinea, Somalia, and Thailand are also facing transitions – albeit with mixed results.

What are the key elements that lead toward a peaceful political transition?

Comments

Comments

ME
|
United States
January 9, 2009

Anthony in U.S.A. writes:

LEGITIMACY. Plain and Simple.

Also there obviously needs to be an understanding amongst the outgoing administration that they are part of a picture bigger than themselves. This eliminates foolish, selfish, "but mommy, the toy is MINE!!" element.
This is VITAL.When a political party is being molded and shaped, it is key that the "mastermind" behind the crafting, not instill an element of PRIDE or ENTITLEMENT into his "masterpiece." Then when it comes time to "change the chanel" one finds one operating the "station" without "static." Hence : Smooth Transition.

The citizens are easy enough to craft. It’s those in positions of influence and power that prove the most difficult. They forget to dance with who brung um. They become incapable of getting off the horse so the next "rider" can mount. They threaten to spill the beans. This is a cancerous element, but unfortunately, it goes with the territory.

Elizabeth
|
Israel
January 10, 2009

Elizabeth in Israel writes:

The key is to keep some of the high ranking officials who served under President Bush.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 10, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Mahdad
|
Iran
January 10, 2009

Mahdad in Iran writes:

In my Opinion Political Tolerance among Different Political parties and institutions based on Democratic Principles as well as strong civil society are vital toward a peaceful political transition for which the United States is an excellent hallmark.

Benn
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 12, 2009

Benn in Massachusetts writes:

Equal access to power is also important.

Zharkov
|
United States
January 12, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Using the U.S. model as the example, the key elements to a peaceful transition are to maintain a strong police state, isolate dissenters from t.v. coverage, remove all questionable participants from political gatherings, enact laws to make it a crime to assemble in a public place without a permit, disarm the public and infiltrate all dissenting groups, wiretap their communications, place their names on lists, and investigate anyone who seriously challenges government propaganda.

Jordan
|
South Dakota, USA
January 12, 2009

Jordan in South Dakota writes:

@ Zharkov, your Stalin-istic ideas are farfetched and fascist to say the least. I think that the exact opposite of your ideas leads to a democratic form of peaceable transition. I suppose you are playing a "tongue-and-cheek" play on words here to point towards the use of the N.S.A. Eavesdropping, or the historical Operation Shamrock (N.S.A.) done in cooperation with Operation Chaos (C.I.A.) to spy on domestic college anti-war protesters. Actions such as those in no way can represent a free society. On Liberty, written by John Stuart Mill, talks extensively about the dissentient voice and its importance to obtain truth in conflicting ideas between opposing parties. The debate over information and its regulation by a government, as a means of self-defense, goes as far back as governments have been established. However, this also does not foreclose the importance of the public forum. The establishment of the public forum coincides with Machiavelli's ideas written in The Prince, that one can judge a king by his counsel. The interesting paradox in the Greek Democracy or the Roman Republic through the venue of the forum is that the counsel to the king are the subjects whom he governs. Hence, this idea is represented in the first three words of the United States Constitution's Preamble, "We the People." This lends to the supposition that the people are the government, and through forms of representation we are an autonomously regulated society.

I think the most important factor with political transitions is to insure and establish a basis of faith from the subjects of the government in the political system which is enduring the transition. Senator John McCain in his presidential candidacy spoke-out about the need for a restoration of faith in the government from the American people. Corruption has inundated every facet of our government, and its institutions, from the Senate to your local religious parishes. Further the historical connotation of elections stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Gore v. Bush, clearly illustrates the disintegration of our democracy into that of a tyranny, or rule by the few elite in this nation. In that election, whether we like it or not, was not decided by the American people, but by lifetime appointed legal experts of our age, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

With the diminishing faith in the justifiability of the actions of our government, and the continuing trend of scandals, immorality, and self-serving aristocratic governance by our representatives, the establishment of a form of accountability to establish that faith must be founded.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 13, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Jordan in South Dakota, Faith is something one believes in without emperical evidence to back it up with.

Trust on the other hand is based upon data derived over time.

Trust is only gained through mutual respect, and thus respect is The Key element in any peaceful political transition.

Respect for the will of the people, and in service to all the people, not just one's constituants and suporters.

Thus the outgoing leader passes the torch to the newly elected, who is charged with the same responsibility to this nation.

It is respect that sets the tone of transition, for without it, nothing can be accomplished in the halls of government. We the people would be badly served in that case by those we trust to lead us wisely.

Welcome to the blog by the way, even though I strongly disagree with your assesment (and Zharkov's) of the results of the outgoing administration's policies.

If you stick around long enough, you'll realize that Zharkov doesn't actually believe what he writes, and only does so to get a rise out of folks.

(just a bit of observational analysis over time)

Zharkov
|
United States
January 13, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Other than the U.S. model for peaceful transition, we have the Nazi model using secret police and a "citizens national security corps" which president-alleged Obama said would be "more powerful and better funded than the military". This will ensure no disruption of government activity by unwilling citizens who no longer consent to be slaves.

The concept of punishing citizens before they violate laws arose during the Bush Administration and no doubt this will carry over into the Obama Administration when a Department of Pre-Crime will be established to arrest new born babies based on their genetic pre-disposition for criminal activity in the same way as they are now experimenting with in Britain.

The price for maintaining our class structure and political status quo cannot be raised too high. We must crush all dissent to avoid disrupting the "peace". Orwell's imaginary tale has become official US policy.

"Peace" at any price, at any cost. Government oppression must continue without objection -- issue National I.D. cards, an internal passport, to track and categorize the citizens and allow internal security police to demand "documents" at random checkpoints; analyze the voters to identify any potential threats to the political establishment. Wiretap us all. All are guilty of something in the New World Order.

Is a "peaceful transition" always desirable? King George thought so when he ordered the British Army to kill General Washington and destroy the First Continental Army. Suppressing dissent and preventing colonial rebellion is a British tradition, not an American one. America is not a colony of the federal government.

Zharkov
|
United States
January 14, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

If you think you're being watched, you're probably right.

Government employees are not exempt. When you leave government service, you will still be watched because you are considered a potential criminal.

The American Civil Liberties Union posted a website Monday showing that government-financed surveillance cameras are running rampant across the United States.

All the while, studies suggest they do nothing to cut down on violent crime. San Francisco, for example, has spent $700,000 for dozens of public cameras, but a University of California study just concluded there was "no evidence" they curtailed violent crime or terrorism.

The ACLU's website, "You Are Being Watched," shows a map of the 50 U.S. states with links to news accounts about where surveillance cameras are in each state. The federal government has given state and local governments $300 million in grants to fund an ever-growing array of cameras.

Two questions posed on the ACLU site ask:

1. "Do we want a society where an innocent individual can't walk down the street without being considered a potential criminal?" and

2. "Do we want a society where people are comfortable with constant surveillance?"

I would ask more questions:

3. Should our government be watching us, or should we be watching our government?

4. Do we want government officials protected from dissent, or do we want dissent protected from government officials?

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
January 15, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. There can be duality of theology; but, one objective in any democracy: The representation of the People served for the Greater Good of All Citizens.

2. The open respect shown by each party toward each other. The example set by both parties at this juncture of American History is a direct reflection of the productive and proactive nature of a true democracy.

Not much more than that in actuality; but, I would like to add: If the Press would get on board with showing the better side of both parties working together on a daily basis, which they do more often than not, the benefit of a proactive Free Press in a democracy would also be realized. Freedom of the Press was to provide another Check and Balance to the people and not meant for the sole purpose of Profit. So:

3. An Objective Free Press which also works for the Greater Good and not sensationalism for profit.

Zharkov
|
United States
January 15, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Respect should extend to foreign nations which share living space on the same planet with us, such as Iran. Israel has two arguments for bombing Iran's reactors while the world news media is distracted by the U.S. presidential inauguration:

1. Iran may have plans to make nuclear weapons, and,
2. Iran's president rejects Israel's right to exist.

Iran denies having a goal to make nuclear weapons. Other than Iran having been given plans to make a bomb, there is no evidence Iran wants one. There is no evidence that it can make one. There is no evidence that Iran would use nuclear weapons against any country if it had one -- which leads us to item #2 -- Iran's president doesn't like Israel.

As Dick Cheney might say, so what? A lot of people don't like the Israeli government, but we can't go to war with all of their countries.

If a national leader doesn't like Israel, should that condemn his entire country to war on the basis of the personal opinion of one guy?

America has nuclear weapons -- thousands of them. Suppose Mr. Bush hated British royalty, should Britain attack America on that basis? What if the British Queen hated the American welfare system, should we militarily attack Britain for that?

Should the Iranian people have any collective responsibility for the personal opinions of its President? Did they even know before the election what their president's opinions were?

Should the personal views of a national leader be sufficient cause for war against his people?

Collective responsibility, in the form of group punishment, is often used as a disciplinary measure in closed societies and institutions, such as dictatorships, boarding schools, military units, prisons, psychiatric facilities, etc.

Imposing collective responsibility on an entire group because of the views of only one of its members is almost always a sign of authoritarian tendencies in the institution or its home society. For example, in the Soviet Gulags, all members of a brigada (work unit) were punished for bad performance of any of its members. In Nazi Germany, all people in a village were subject to be punished if they refused to disclose the location of an escaped prisoner.

Have we not advanced philosophically beyond the concept of collective responsibility for the opinion of only one individual even if he is a national leader?

There is no reason to attack Iran -- there are only rumors and Iran says they are false.

One does not attack another nation merely on rumor and gossip.

The case against attacking Iran is far stronger than the case in favor of an attack. So far, Iran admits guilt of nothing other than occasional hostage-taking, and the Iranian people certainly should not earn a death penalty for foolish acts of their government.

An Israeli military attack on Iran today cannot be justified by any facts presently known.

.

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