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Cuban academic Calls for "Participatory Democracy" in Cuba

MalecnHabaneroHavana, Aug.17.─ Cuban academic Camila Piñeira, daughter of the late guerilla commander Manuel "Red Beard" Pineiro, on Wednesday called for "participatory democracy" on the island, while basing this on the economic reforms of President Raul Castro, reports AFP.

"If the changes are concentrated only on 'improving the economy', not only will we fail to achieve the objective of improving the material conditions of the Cuban population, but the social cohesion that has sustained the revolution will be affected," said Pineira, who is also the daughter of the Chilean leftist theoretical Marta Harnecker.


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US - Independent State Senate candidate unveils direct democracy experiment

  • "I, Jeremy Hansen, pledge online democracy... if you elect me as Vermont State Senator for Washington County" [ See Website ]
  • Phil Dodds joins Hansen's online pledge as candidate for the US House of Representatives from Florida Disctict 3 [ See Website ]

VT State Senate candidate Jeremy HansenVermont, Aug.8.─ Independent state Senate candidate Jeremy Hansen (photo), running in Washington County, today demonstrated a sophisticated beta website where voters can comment, weigh pros and cons, and direct Hansen's potential Statehouse vote.

Hansen pledges, if elected, to make policy decisions solely based on his constituents' online input. He says he will state his own opinion on matters, but will otherwise vote according to the information gathered by this interactive platform.


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Thirty things you didn't know about Angela Merkel

PM Angela MerkelBerlin, Aug. 12.─ Few citizens get to ask their leading politician a deeply personal question, but celebrities seem to stand a better chance. The magazine of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Munich-based daily, got some household names to pop one to the German chancellor Angela Merkel. And Mrs Merkel, while holidaying in Sulden in South Tyrol, seems to have found the time (after reading our memo on how to break up the euro), and the ready wit, to reply.

For those burning with curiosity about the rather reclusive but currently most influential woman in Europe, this could be essential reading. Here are a few tasters:


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Lack of true democracy leads to instability

Bangladesh: PM speaks at Int'l seminar on People's Empoweerment and Development

PM Sheikh HasinaDhaka, Bangladesh. Aug.6.─ Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday attributed the mass upsurges in different parts of the world to lack of participatory democracy and justice.

She observed that without true democracy, social stability and peace cannot be durable.

The premier was addressing the inaugural ceremony of an international seminar on People's Empowerment and Development at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital.


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China opens secret leadership conclave

Chinese President Hu JintaoBeijing, Aug. 5.─ The Chinese Communist party's top officials have convened a secretive conclave in the seaside town of Beidaihe to finalise plans to hand power to a new generation of leaders after the most serious crisis to hit the party in years.

President Hu Jintao and other top leaders arrived in the resort on Friday, according to three people familiar with the meeting. At the 18th party congress later this year, the party will unveil the slate of leaders who will run China for the next decade.

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