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Algerians march against president and political system
In this picture taken on June 27, 2012, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, left, and his Army chief of staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, review an honor guard before attending a military parade, in Cherchell near Algiers, Algeria. Algeria's powerful army chief, Ahmed Gaid Salah, insisted Wednesday that the military won't get mixed up in politics, a day after he said a constitutional process should be set in motion to declare ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul) ALGIERS, Algeria – Algerians taking to the streets for their sixth straight Friday of protests aren't just angry at their ailing president — they want to bring down the entire political system. Small crowds started filling the boulevards of Algiers on Friday morning, and their numbers are expected to swell after midday Muslim prayers. The Algerian army chief called earlier this week for a constitutional process to declare President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office. Other politicians and parties backed the idea as a solution to the gas-rich country's political crisis. But protesters see the proposal as a way for the secretive political elite to keep their grip on power and name a hand-picked successor to Bouteflika, who has been largely out of the public eye since a 2013 stroke. Anger at the constitutional process issue is central to Friday's protest.
Britain’s political system is at the breaking point
before the result of yesterday's vote on Theresa May's Brexit Deal was announced, one could be forgiven for thinking it was just an ordinary day in the British parliament. This time by 391 votes in favour to 241 against - a defeat by 149 votes. When the unimplementable promises made by the Leave campaigners before the referendum turned to dust, May's government still persevered in trying to make Brexit happen. Both parties are riven by splits on EU issues - 75 Conservatives refused to back May in yesterday's vote, with the majority of those opponents favouring a "no-deal" Brexit instead. On the Labour side, about half of the MPs do not back Corbyn's Brexit line and want the UK to hold a second referendum and stay in the EU. Meanwhile, three Conservative and eight Labour MPs have recently left their respective parties to form The Independent Group, a proto-party in the House of Commons, to try to force the idea of a second referendum onto the agenda. Throughout all of this, May and Corbyn, both of them steeped in party politics - they have each spent more than 40 years in their respective parties, refuse to seriously seek solutions collaboratively. So, the House of Commons cannot move forward. But lacking a solution, in the next fortnight the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal, with major economic and political consequences. While that idea might appeal to enough MPs, the EU side is not keen.
EDITORIAL: Political system still needs major fix 30 years after start of reform
The “Outline” identified the lack of regime change and “the loss of healthy tension” as core problems with Japanese politics and called for the introduction of a single-seat constituency system into Lower House elections. It was a time of great change. Japan’s asset-inflated economy collapsed and the Gulf War broke out. The single-seat system is supposed to create a situation where power periodically changes hands between two major parties as voters give one or the other a strong mandate to rule in response to their policy proposals and political performance. But there have been calls for a serious review of the current system. The ruling camp is fixated on ramming through its policy initiatives on the basis of its political dominance, while the opposition camp can do nothing but put up futile resistance. But the Diet's role is also to monitor the actions at the core of political power and various government organizations. The article gives the Cabinet the power to “convoke extraordinary sessions of the Diet” and stipulates, “When a quarter or more of the total members of either House makes the demand, the Cabinet must determine on such convocation.” This provision enables the Diet to force the Cabinet to convene Diet sessions to ensure that the system of checks and balances works effectively. The Abe administration’s tactical use of abrupt snap elections to its political advantage has left the manifesto-based election, a key component of the political reform, in ruins. The successive Cabinets following the start of the political reform can be grouped into two classes: short-lived Cabinets due to a divided Diet with the opposition camp controlling the Upper House and stable, long-ruling ones.
Director of National Intelligence: Russian interference in US political system ongoing
(CNN)A handful of top US national security officials said Thursday that Russia is continuing to pursue its efforts to interfere in the US political system and said President Donald Trump has directed them to make countering election interference a top priority. "We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday from the White House briefing room. The top officials' presence in the White House briefing room amounted to the administration's most significant effort to date to convey that a whole of government effort is being undertaken to combat Russian attacks on US democracy, which Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said is "in the crosshairs." That cognitive dissonance was on display during the briefing Thursday as Coats, national security adviser John Bolton and FBI Director Chris Wray were pressed about contradictions in the administration's messaging and the President's. "I think the President has made it abundantly clear to everybody who has responsibility in this area that he cares deeply about it and that he expects them to do their jobs to their fullest ability and that he supports them fully," Bolton said, adding that Trump opened his private meeting with Putin by raising election interference. Wray, meanwhile, fielded a question about Trump and his administration's ongoing attacks on the Mueller investigation and on the FBI. Coats, Nielsen, Wray and Bolton were also joined by Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command, who said the US is prepared "to conduct operations" against cyber actors attempting to undermine US democracy. Coats said that while Russian efforts to influence and drive a wedge in US democracy are "pervasive" and "ongoing," he said that US intelligence so far believes the Russian influence campaign is less robust than in 2016. We have not seen that kind of robust effort from them so far." "We will continue to monitor and warn of any such efforts."
New Research Exposes Why Competition in U.S. Politics Industry is Failing America
Katherine M. Gehl, former CEO and political innovation activist, and Harvard’s Michael E. Porter reveal how the U.S. political system is no longer designed to serve the public interest, and how it has been reconfigured over time to benefit our major political parties and their industry allies. Report lays out a strategy for reinvigorating our democracy. BOSTON— At a time of high dissatisfaction and distrust with the U.S. political system, Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter today released new research that illuminates the root causes of why competition in politics is failing to serve the public interest. The parties focus on serving their partisan supporters and special interests, not the average voter, ” said Katherine Gehl, a former CEO, who has also worked in government and is now dedicated to driving political innovation and reform. “This report is not about adding to the depressing national dialog about politics, but about how to understand how the political system actually works and change it through reforms that will matter.” “I was drawn to analyze the U.S. political system as an industry when our research found that our political system is the biggest impediment to U.S. competitiveness,” said Harvard’s Porter, who is based at Harvard Business School and co-chair of the School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project. “Our dysfunctional political outcomes are a competition problem. Our political system will not be self-correcting. For nearly six years, the U.S. Competitiveness Project has conducted in-depth research to identify the necessary steps policymakers and the business community must take to improve U.S. competitiveness. As co-chair of the multiyear, non-partisan U.S. Competitiveness Project at Harvard Business School over the past five years, it became clear to him that the political system was actually the major constraint in America’s inability to restore economic prosperity and address many of the other problems our nation faces. Working with Katherine to understand the root causes of the failure of political competition, and what to do about it, has become an obsession.