Michael Walker

Gold Star - 57,060 Points (cv48488)

Democratic Or Not. - Poem by Michael Walker

-'Democracy is coming to the USA'. Leonard Cohen.

One social sciences class I taught did not want government;
they were already disillusioned with authority, wanted anarchy,
a free state of individuals living without oppressive laws.
It seemed they were trying to teach me something,

In freedom of speech I listened to their arguments
which were persuasive and a detour from democracy.
However, I kept voting every three years,
and the last timeI campaigned for the Labour Party,

Telling myself that in this system the people elect leaders
unlike North Korea where Kim Jong Un-'the Great Successor'-is an autocratic dictator,
the third member of the Kim family dynasty to rule by divine right.
Nevertheless, by the new millennium,120 countries were democratic.

The American people directly elect the Congress and President,
voting for individuals not parties, unlike my country's mish-mash MMP.
France has a similar Constitution to America's, faithful
to the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

The Declaration is really about people anywhere anytime:
equality as citizens, free and fair elections, free speech
and equal distribution of wealth and property to all citizens.
The world owes these natural rights to the original democrat Pericles of Athens.


-27/28 January 2020.

Topic(s) of this poem: life, politics

Form: Quatrain


Poet's Notes about The Poem

The social sciences lesson happened many years ago. You could make a case for anarchy, possibly. No system is perfect.But a dictatorship such as North Korea is stifling and oppressive regarding people's rights. Kim Jong Un has had opponents imprisoned without trial and sent to a labour camp or executed. Kim Jonf Un had his own uncle executed. The world knows about North Korea's nuclear weapons of course.The people have suffered from famines in the past, at least partly because of the US trade sanctions. Kim Jong Un still hopes the US will remove trade sanctions.
Pericles, the ruler of Athens, was the first champion of democracy in the years when he ruled as strategos from 445 BC-429 BC, the year of his death.
MMP= Mixed Member Proportional. New Zealand took up this system in the 1990s, a radical break from the past. There are about 120 seats in parliament. Much less than half are constituency MPs, voted directly by the people. Many more than half are 'List MPs', chosen by political parties. The people vote for a local MP, and also for a party. The List MPs do not come in with a mandate from the people.
I find Leonard Cohen's song 'Democracy' quite stunning.

Comments about Democratic Or Not. by Michael Walker

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (1/29/2020 4:37:00 AM)

    beautiful expression and writings on Democracy. Yeah rightly said the song Democracy by Leonard Cohen is also beautiful to realize the democracy. But still I'm raw or damaged brain holder about this word! Very impressive the system but very sensitive if anyone handle it inappropriately! In politics it has varieties impact. Sometimes bad something it brings because democracy has wide range where free sense, free mind, free will falls in the blunder well through illusion! ! ! (Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (1/26/2020 3:15:00 AM)

    First, I would like to thank you for your Notes on dictatorship v/s democracy, practice of democracy in NZ or in ancient Greece. Despite mish-mash or manipulations, democracies remain the most favorite globally. Thanks for this poetic treat with a focus on different political systems. (Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(1/26/2020 7:15:00 PM)

    You have analyzed the poem with insight and sensitivity. I agree that democracy is the best system of government around the globe. Dictators have often appeared in politics: Stalin in Russia; Adolf Hitler; and the family of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un in North Korea.
    All three had some good points, though, and Kim Jong Un looks friendly, smiling and charming in some photos. Saddam Hussein also springs to mind.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 25, 2020

Poem Edited: Sunday, January 26, 2020


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