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Governance, EU-elections and the Algarve

Governance, EU-elections and the AlgarvePoliticians use the word 'governance' with different meanings, but with the same goal, to simplify the adoption of draft laws and legal practices to impose the will of their rule.

Now this is very similar to dictatorship or oligarchy (where power rests with a small number of people).

The EU increasing resembles an oligarchy which gives the impression of good work through dissemination of information and actual lobbying.  This lobbying is carried out by powerful corporations or employers' associations, often by public relations bureau working for just one or two companies. These act by influencing opinion makers, such as politicians, journalists and columnists. Politicians or ormer politicians and their family members work with their lawyers in ministries to influence the drafting of bills, decrees and rules that regulate us. There are some consultants who work for governments and define precisely what will be done by public-servants. There are others that create the software that facilitates or hinders the implementation of each law at the wish of large private clients.

This version of representative democracy is increasingly distant from the Greek concept of government by the people for the people with congregations in each city where all free men could express their thoughts on topics vital to the community. Today the very word 'rule' is intertwined with the power in the Cabinet of passing a bill with the unspoken promise of approve later bills of these same colleagues.

It costs about €250,000 to elect a Member of Parliament or Congress in small countries, may be half a million in the larger. MPs and parties need increasingly the support of lobbyists; so more and more MPs, with few exceptions, really represent the interests of lobbyists more than that of their voters.

Once, in the US, I went to dinner at a professional club, with the presence of a congressman. He got five minutes to speak, while many members had 4-5 min. each. In the end the president briefed the congressman what he should say, as a representative of that group in Washington.

Actual representation of constituents implies that there can be no blind loyalty to the party when MPs vote, which contrasts with the concept of good governance. But it is faithful to the concept of demos-cracy, i.e. governance by the people - in this case via those who truly represent their constituents.

The parliament as the Greek agora voting system had the disadvantage of representing only free men. But, in the Old Testament, the head of the family should not decide or vote without hearing the views of his wives, adult offspring and slaves and consider the best for his plants, soil and water resources. For none of this really belonged to him, it is all given by God for his management. Like everything in life decisions could harm one side or the other, but to meet everyone's needs by listen and thinking without preconceptions made him a natural leader.

What do we have these days? The maximum use of the media, social networks, mobile phones and other paraphernalia to confuse the mind of the citizen while focussing on interests the powerful, i.e. the citizen works as a slave without thinking and spends the money left after eating and housing to acquire superfluous major brands which sometimes even are harmful to consumers.

This type of democracy ends up with lobbying by those big banks which lend to governments to build pharaonic works at absurd costs, while opinion leaders stand by and watch. Local banks also profit from the financing of these works, with global banks financing the local banks and the mega construction corporations.

Governments pay billions for scientists and specialists in economics, geology, agriculture, meteorology, sociology, etc to predict the future and beware of problems, but do nothing to prevent them. Cycles repeat themselves, errors are repeated and preventable tragedies are always paid for by citizens.

The economic power, mainly through the media, increasingly instills values like 'sex + money' in all strata of the community. This way the people in power don't care. We no longer trust the congressmen. In the previous elections to the European Parliament less than half of the electors cast a vote. What can they do for us? Can they tell the Troika these austerity measures will kill most of the jobs in the Algarve?

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