Can a Legistor Cross Carpet and Still Keep His Seat Under Nigerian Law?


Our chief concern here is to discuss the legal consequences of the current spate of party defection by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC). We shall leave the task of recounting Nigeria's history on carpet crossing to historians and shall not be bordered by it. We shall also not allow ourselves to be drawn into arguments as to the morality / propriety of carpet crossing.

The media is awash with the news of the defection of 37 PDP members of the House of Representatives to the APC. Already, five PDP governors have dumped the party for the APC. The collapse of the PDP as the ruling party in Nigeria and as Africa's biggest political party seems imminent as unconfirmed reports say that twenty-two senators are planning to also dump the party for the APC.

Nigerian law on carpet crossing begins and ends with the provisions of Sections 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These sections provide that:

"A member of the Senate or House of Representatives or State House of Assembly shall not vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if being a person whose election into the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which the House was elected.

Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member of a merger of two or more political parties by one of which he was previously sponsored. "

It is interesting to note that unlike the purport of above provisions, Sections 135 and 180 of the said Constitution which provides for circumstances under which the President or his Vice, and a Governor or his Deputy could cease to hold office does not mention party defection as a ground for vacating or ceasing to hold office.

From the above provisions therefore, Nigerian law on carpet crossing could be summarized as follows:

1. A Legislator in Nigeria could lose or vacate his seat in parliament if he defects from the party that sponsored him into the Legislative House to another party.

2. A Nigerian Governor, Deputy Governor, President or Vice President can not vacate or cease to hold office for defecting from the political party that sponsored him into office to another.

3. Before a Legislator in Nigeria could be made to lose his seat in parliament for defecting to a party other than the one that sponsored him into the House, the principal officer of that Legislative House (the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Speaker of the State House of Assembly as the case may be) or a member of that Legislative House must first present evidence satisfactory to the Legislative House concerned that a member has defected from the political party that sponsored him into the House to another political party and has by operation of law vacated his seat in Parliament.

4. It follows from the above that if there is no satisfactory evidence presented to the Legislative House on a member's defection, the member who is alleged to have defected can still retain his seat. He will however continue to be known and addressed as a member of the party that sponsored him into the House.

5. A Legislator in Nigerian can cross carpet to a party other than the one that sponsored him into the House and still keep his seat if he can prove that his defection was as a result of a division within his former party.

6. Also, a Legislator in Nigeria will not lose / vacate his seat even though he has defected from the party sponsored him to another party if he can prove that his membership of a new party is as a result of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

The position that while a Legislator in Nigeria is liable to lose his seat in parliament for cross carpeting to another party, the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor is not liable and can not be forced to vacate or cease to hold office for the same reason was endorsed by the Nigerian Supreme Court in the case of AGF V. Atiku Abubarkar (2007) 4 SC (pt.11) 62 where the issue before the court was whether the Vice President's defection from the PDP (on whose platform he was elected into office) to the Action Congress of Nigeria (aCN) meant that he had automatically vacated and ceased to hold that office.

The Supreme Court held that it is only Legislators that are liable to vacate their seats in parliament for defection to a different party from the one that sponsored them into office. The supreme held that the constitution does not envisage or provide for the vacation / cessation of the office of the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor for defection from the party that sponsored them into office to another party. The Apex court held therefore that Vice-President Atiku Abubarkar was entitled to keep and / or in office even though he had effected from the PDP to the ACN.

Again, the position that a legislator may lose his seat in parliament for cross carpeting to another political party has been affirmed by the court in some decisions. For instance, the Federal High Court of Nigeria sitting in Akure in the case of Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde v. The Ondo State House of Assembly & Ors. sacked Mr. Abegunde, a House of Representatives member representing Akure North and South, Ondo State for defecting from the Labour Party to the ACN. Mr Abegunde had been elected into the House under the auspices of the Labour Party in the April 2011 General Elections. He however, defected to the ACN during the currency of the tenure of the House. The court held that Mr Abegunde had vacated his seat and ceased to be a member of the House by operation of law. This decision was affirmed and upheld by the Court of Appea in Re Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde v. The Ondo State House of Assembly & Ors. (2014) LPELR-23683 (CA), Appeal No.CA/AK/110/2012.

Again, in the case of Hon. Michael Dapialong v. Chief (Dr) Joseph Chibi Dariye, Appeal No. SC 39/2007 the Supreme Court took judicial notice of the fact that between 25th and 26th July, 2006, fourteen members of the twenty-four members of the Plateau State House of Assembly including the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker thereof defected from the PDP platform on whose they were elected to the House in 2009 to the Advanced Congress of d Democrats (ACD) as a result of which the said 14 members were held to have vacated their seats by operation of law.

Relying on the Supreme Court decision in AGF V. Atiku Aburbakar therefore, we can safely conclude that the five PDP Governors that had defected to the APC can validly do so without being liable to vacate or cease to hold their offices. This is because the Constitution simply does not penalize the President, Vice President, a Governor or Deputy Governor who dumps the party that sponsored him into office for another party. Also, unlike Legislators, these members of the executive arm of Government are not required to proffer explanations or reasons to justify defection.

However, some persons have argued that even though the Constitution does not penalize defection by Governors, the Supreme Court decision in Rotimi Amaechi v INEC Appeal No. SC 525/2007 could be relied upon to effect the vacation from office of Governors who defect from the parties that sponsored them into office to another political party before the expiration of their tenure. Acording Mr Dan Nwayanwu, Chairman of the Labour Party of Nigeria, the Supreme Court's dictum in Amaechi's Case to the effect that it is the political party and not the candidate for which the electorate cast their votes could be interpreted and applied to mean that Governors who get elected into office only to dump the party that sponsored them into office for another party should vacate or cease to hold office upon defection.

Mr Dan Nwamyawu in an interview granted to Sunday Trust Newspapers in 2007 advocated that Governors who defect to parties other than the ones that sponsored them into office should be kicked out of office on the basis of the decision in Amaechi v. INEC. We humbly disagree with this position. This is because the Constitution does not impose any penalty or legal disability on carpet crossing by Governors. Secondly, the Supreme Court in Amaechi's Case did not decide the issue of the consequence of a Governor's defection from his party. Rather, the question in Amaechi's case was whether a person who did not contest an election could be heard to challenge an election or be declared as Governor. The decision in AGF V. Atiku Abubarka for all intents and purposes remains the authoritative exposition of the law on party defection in Nigeria.

It is by now beyond doubt that the five PDP governors who had defected to the APC are entitled to do so without any attendant penalty or legal disability. But can the same be said of the 37 members of the House of Representatives members who have defected to the APC? Can they validly dump the PDP for the APC without losing their seat in parliament?

By a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, titled 'Communication of Change of Political Party' and dated the 18tth December, 2013, the 37 defecting Federal Lawmakers explained that their defection from the PDP to the APC was as a result of the internal crisis within the PDP. The Lawmakers also premised their defection from the PDP to the APC on the fact that the PDP has broken into two factions: the New PDP and the Old PDP. The so-called New PDP consisting of the dissatisfied and disgruntled members of the party, the majority of whom have defected to the APC.

It is to be recalled that in Agundade's case, he had argued that given the internal crisis, division and factionalization within the Labour Party, he was entitled by virtue of the proviso in Section 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution to defect from the Labour Party to the aCN without losing or having to vacate his seat in the House. The court however ruled that since he could not prove division or factionalization within the Labour Party, he was not entitled to keep or retain his seat after he decamped to the ACN. That he vacated his seat upon defection to the ACN by operation of law.

The proviso to the provisions of Section 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution are to the effect that although a Legislator would ordinarily lose his seat if he defects to a party different from the one that sponsored him into the Legislative House, he is entitled to keep his seat if he can prove that:

1. He defected to a new party as a result of division within the party that sponsored him into the house.

2. His membership of the new party is as a result of the merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.

Before we proceed to examine whether the internal crisis rocking the PDP falls within the proviso to Sections 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution, it is pertinent to determine what constitutes division in a political party. The constitution does not define word "division". The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, 6th Edition, defines division as a disagreement or difference in opinion or way of life etc especially between members of a society or an organization.

According to Professor Okey Okon of the South Central University, California, USA, division could arise from:

1. Ideological differences and
2. Organizational differences.

Organizational differences denote conflict, division, crisis etc arising as a result of the way and manner the party is run, operated or managed. In fact, all conflicts and crises arising from the management and operation of the organic structure of the political party fall under the category of organizational differences. Conflict, division or crises arising from organizational differences bordering on such issues as internal democracy mechanism of the party, conduct of primaries election, funding, election of principal officers of the party, adoption of candidates as party flag bearer for election, handling of party finances , planning and execution of election campaign strategies etc come under organizational differences.

It is a notorious fact that the PDP has from inception been bedeviled by internal crises caused by the occurrence of undemocratic practices within the party. The defecting 37 Federal Legislators have alleged that their defection from the PDP to APC was as a result of division and internal crises within the party and that they are entitled to keep their seats in parliament. We do not know the particulars of the alleged division or crises within the PDP but if their allegations are true then they are entitled to keep their seats in parliament.

We shall now turn our attention to the issue of whether ideological differences constitute division as to entitle a defecting legislator to retain his seat in parliament. Ideological differences relates to conflict, disagreement, crisis or division arising from a conflict between a party member's ideas, beliefs, conviction, principles, philosophy or policy with those of his political party. When a member disagrees with his party's ideas, policies, programs, philosophy or principles on socio- political or economic issues does this disenchantment or disagreement with his party entitle him to defect to another party without having to lose / vacate his seat in parliament? Does this conflict or disagreement with his party constitute division as envisaged by the proviso in Sections 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution?

Professor Okey Okon is of the opinion that ideological differences constitute division within the meaning of Sections 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution and at such empowers a Legislator to defect to another party without losing his seat whenever he disagrees with the policy and philosophy of his party. According to the learned Professor, ideological differences are a form of division which should justify a legislator to defect to another party without having to lose or vacate his seat. He opined that any interpretation of the law to exclude ideological difference as constituting division is erroneous. The learned Professor further posits that failure to treat ideological differences as division will deprive Legislators of the sense of safety and protection they need to stand up for what they believe in. He held that such a narrow reading of the law will provide perverse incentives for Legislators to emphasize compliance at the expense of principles and conviction to expediency.

We however beg to disagree with this position. With due respect to the learned professor, the proviso to Section 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution can not be objectively interpreted to mean that whenever a legislator disagrees with the policy or philosophy of his party on socio-economic political or other issues he can dump his party for another party and still retain his seat in parliament. Such an interpretation of the law can not be the intendment of the drafters of the Constitution. It is important to note that the relevant provision reads … "As a result of a division in the political party" … This shows clearly that what the law envisages is a situation where there is a conflict or disagreement within the party that leads to internal crisis or instability in the party. In other words, ideological differences alone can not justify defection.

However, for ideological differences to justify defection, they must be of such magnitude and intensity as to lead to crisis, instability, factionalization and conflict within the party. The Noscitur Associis rule of construction of statutes states that the company a word keeps suggests its meaning. The word "division" as used in Sections 68 (1) (g) and 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution are accompanied by the words "merger" and "factions" which words denotes a change or alteration in the organic structure of a political party. We therefore agree with Professor Okey to the extent that ideological differences can constitute division which can justify defection only when such differences are of such magnitude and intensity as to lead to instability or crises within the party. A mere difference in opinion or belief will not suffice to justify defection.

Indeed, legislators do not have to defect to a new party to express or hold opinions or views contrary to those favoured by their party unless of course doing so would result and actually results to instability and crisis / conflict within the party. It is submitted that to allow defection merely on the ground that a legislator disagrees with the policies or ideological position of his party on certain socio-economic cum political or moral issues would defeat the intention of the framers of the constitution. The constitution clearly intends to discourage and penalize legislators for defection except on rare and exceptional circumstances. Making mere differences in opinion and belief a ground for political defection would provide legislators an excuse for political prostitution.

It is interesting to note that the 37 defecting legislators have also sought to justify their defection on the ground that the PDP was divided into two political parties; the old PDP and the new PDP which consist of the defecting and disgruntled member. They alleged that the new PDP has formally merged with the APC. We are of the opinion that if these allegations are true then the 37 defecting legislators are entitled to so defect without having to lose their seats. It is pertinent to note that the PDP has obtained a court order declaring the so-called new PDP illegal and restraining its members from parading themselves as PDP members. The question that arises from this development is, what is the legal effect of this order on the rights of these defecting legislators to keep their seats. It is our humble opinion that the court order has no effect whatsoever on the rights of the defecting legislators to keep their seats. The order merely prohibits the use of the name PDP by the defecting faction. It does not mean that the defecting faction is an illegal group because they are not a group of criminals or bandit.

Indeed, Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to freedom of association. The court order therefore can not operate to deprive or in any way prejudice the defecting members' entitlement to keep their seats.

The PDP has reacted to the defection of its member, especially the 37 Federal lawmakers by saying that any member of the party that renounces its membership of PDP shall be made to vacate his seat. There are also reports in the media that the PDP has gone to court to obtain a declaration for the vacation of the seats and offices of the defecting legislators and five governors. Let's keep our fingers crossed as we watch the drama unfold.


Source by Henry Medua Isiekwe

Scene at the Election Booths


Election is a common feature in the continued governance of any state and any country. This is a moot point especially in democratic countries – where people elect their own government. For in a democracy, the government is supposed to be "of the people, for the people and by the people". So much so good. Everywhere we can guess that elections could be more or less on similar patterns. The country is divided into smaller units of constituencies and each constituency has scores or hundreds of booths.

An election booth is the place which is specified and notified by the government for people to come and cast their votes. The booth is manned by officers of the working government to see that all goes well. The workers of each political parties involved in the elections are also stationed at the both. There duty is to see the there is no cheating taking place at the elections both.
An election booth in India appears to be a site of mixed feelings and mixed occurrences. It is more of a miniature battlefield all set with guntoting police and army on the prowl. At the booth, the officers stationed appear to be like mice in a lion's den. No one knows when there may be a poaching crowd come to capture the booth, when there will be rigging at the booth and when there may be a firing spree to cap it all.

The serpentine queues at booths go to indicate quite a lot about the people. All types of people, old and young, men and women, interested and disinterested, pour in at the booth. Some seem to have come with first and one time curiosity to see what it is like at the booth, some coming with a vengeance to rout the reigning government, while a lot others coming just because others are coming.

In India the election booths provide a colourful scenario, in keeping with the variety that exists in the country itself.

At the polling booth, behind the closed door where the boxes are kept is a scene of utter disgust and shabby lethargic performance. It appears that on the one hand officers inside are too lethargic to be true to their task, while on the other hand one can smell the air of fear within the four walls of the room. Officers on duty appear to be on tenterhooks, for they do not know when there will be an emergence of nonsense. They do not know when a person who comes in to cast his / her vote may try to exploit the situation and create hullabaloo.

Elections are conducted in every country and electorate and election booths also must be existing everywhere, but the scene at an election booth in India is unmatched. Outside, the booth there appears to be an area as if earmarked to become a battle arena, and inside the booth, it is both the calm of eternity and silence of a graveyard.

When the booth gives this appearance, there could be little to expect from the results. The results coming out of so much gloom and danger can not be indicative of anything other than gloom or danger.


Source by Arun K

The Case For a Zero Party System


Upon travelling to the Black Hills of South Dakota and seeing Mount Rushmore for the first time, Gutzon Borglum proclaimed, "America will march along that skyline."

Between the years of 1927 and 1941 Borglum sculpted and blasted away at that mountain, along with 400 workers, and finally realized that vision. There they were, the gigantic sculpted faces of 4 great presidents-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, and after that last blast of dynamite on October 31, 1941, that mountain came to life.

And since this is my little blog universe, and because I can (which is as good a reason as any), I'm going to sprinkle some magic dust and say the magic words, and tell you that mountain of blasted and sculpted granite literally came to life on that cold Halloween morning. George Washington, squinting in the autumn sun as it rose over the majestic Black Hills and filled the sky with dazzling orange and purple hues, turned to Thomas Jefferson, and while remembering his Farewell Address to America written on another fall day in 1796, squawked:

"Damn it Tom, I freaking told you so!"

Thomas Jefferson, you see, was the founder of the Democratic-Republican party, a party created in response to Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Party, and the two party system of American government was born. It was born, however, much to President Washington's chagrin.

How was it that what has been characterized by our Constitution as a "perfect union" of thirteen colonies, was first organized and led by a president who not only refused to affiliate himself with a political party, but who also warned his contemporaries against the dangers of splintering that very union into a partisan-system of government?

In September, 1796 George Washington, with a quill and feather pen while sitting in his study, wrote a farewell address to the American people. A draft of the letter was initially started in 1792 after the end of his first term in office, but as the newly formed republic began fragmenting and dividing into Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, President Washington was coaxed into serving another term (and he ran unopposed) in the hopes that he could hold this union together.

The address was later revised in 1796 with the help of Alexander Hamilton. It warned of the grave dangers associated with a representative government being divided into a partisan political process. This is what the only president who was never identified by a party wrote about partisan politics:

"It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration …. agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one … against another … it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption … thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another. "

I do not know about you, but reading that sends chills up my spine.

What was it that Washington was so afraid of?

Well, unless you've been in a coma over the last 214 years, the answer to that question should be rather obvious.

We operate our government through two political parties who, rather than being beholden to their constituents, are beholden to their corporate and special interest masters. Rather than being beholden to the core philosophies that they purport to espouse, their primary focus is to gain power and maintain and increase the power they get.

THAT is precisely what Washington was afraid of.

"It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration … agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one …. against another …."

You said if brother!

A socialist, fascist, communist, liberal president, born in Kenya, who practices Islam on the sly, as he plots the downfall of America with a Baptist minister from Chicago. He's an African Adolph Hitler, I tell ya ', who wants to send grandma to a death panel and put that old bat down. Plus he smokes cigarettes. You want proof? That bastard just rammed down our throats a health care plan that Mitt Romney implemented in Massachusetts, the House Republicans tried to pass in 1993, and Richard Nixon advocated for while he was president of the United States.

Did you say the President lied about cheating on his wife? Here's what we need to do – shut government down, assemble both Houses of Congress together, spend tens of millions of tax payer dollars investigating what "is" is, and impeach the son of a bitch!

THAT is precisely what Washington was afraid of.

"It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption … thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."

NAFTA, NATO, UN, Kyoto, Copenhagen, China, Citizens United vs. FEC, 737 US military basis across the globe, 2,500,000 US personnel serving across the planet, the international privately owned Federal Reserve which controls our monetary policy.

THAT is precisely what Washington was afraid of.

(And that noise you just heard was him smacking Thomas Jefferson upside the head-go to South Dakota and you will hear and see it for yourself).

Enough said. We're screwed.

We've lost ourselves. Our parties do not stand for anything anymore. They pretend to stand for substantive things, but they really do not. They're doing what George Washington said they would do-they "agitate the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms" in attempting to cling to power. That's their sole function. They ceased to govern and began to rule. After all, governing demands accountability to those being governed, while ruling requires only propaganda and servitude by those being ruled.

I know I tend to pick on Republicans far more than I pick on Democrats, but that's because I probably identify most closely with Republican core philosophies as more a part of my own core philosophies, and I feel like I've been absolutely jilted and abandoned by a party that rarely practices what it preaches. Think about what we've been sold in terms of traditional conservatism:

1) small government;
2) low taxes;
3) state's rights;
4) laissez faire foreign policy and isolationism; and
5) fiscal responsibility.

Now think of what has been given to us:

1) the Patriot Act;
2) abortion restrictions;
3) ban on gay marriage;
4) a $ 2.4 trillion Iraq war;
5) a military-industrial complex culminating in more than $ 1 trillion a year in military spending;
6) maintenance of over 700 overseas military bases;
7) insistence on overturning marijuana decriminalization in states that pass it;
8) an income tax base that allocates more than half of its intake to maintaining defense spending;
9) government monitoring of book purchases;
10) warrantless wiretaps;
11) corporate takeover of our electoral process through Citizens United vs. FEC … and on and on. It seems that every opportunity Republicans get, they are looking to intrude on our private lives, create a "Big Brother" government which violates our civil liberties, and expand our military while expanding our debt to pay for it, which requires more taxes.

What the hell happened to this party?

This is the party that had to be dragged into World War II. This was the party that preached global isolationism. This was a party that preached no government intrusion into your private affairs. Now they're in my bedroom, taking my weed, sending me to war, building military bases all over God's green earth, and making me pay for it all, while claiming there's no money left for me to see a freaking doctor!


The Republican party has been bought and paid for-that's what happened. And it's a lot easier to buy and pay for a party that is continuously in a struggle to maintain its hold on power than it is to buy out individuals on a one on one basis that have to answer to constituents. These men and women do not answer to you and me-they answer to Exxon / Mobile, Halliburton, and Chase Bank. They will placate their constituents with rhetoric and diversion that we've come to know as "partisanship," in order to funnel more money to their corporate masters.

Of course in an attempt to create a façade that they are operating true to their core philosophies, they'll use those same core philosophies as a convenient excuse to oppose something politically when it suits their corporate masters' interest-for example health care reform is conveniently not fiscally responsible, but juxtapose that fiscal irresponsibility argument with the complete silence on fiscal responsibility when it comes to defense spending, and you see the absurdity that is the Republican party.

Democrats are equally divorced from their core values ​​incidentally. The "Civil Rights" Party was completely silent on the Patriot Act, and could not have been more accommodating when it made its way into passage in lightening speed through Congress. They were completely silent on the Iraq war, voicing no objection to George Bush's bogus claims of Iraqi 9/11 connections and non-existent WMD's. They got us locked up into Vietnam-that was a mess created by two Democratic administrations and an appeasement of the same defense industry master that controls Republicans. Democrats are equally in bed with the military-industrial complex, just as the Republicans are and pass a budget every year that allocates over a trillion dollars for defense expenditures. In all fairness though, their hypocrisy seems to be a bit more measured than that of Republicans. But make no mistake, they have their masters too, and many of them are the same masters the Republicans have and both parties routinely answer to them.

I keep hearing that we need a third party in this country.

What the hell for? Typical American reaction, you see two bad things, now let's add another bad thing to it in the hope that things will improve.

All I need is another group of boobs that play slave to corporate America. All I need is another party that advertises a philosophy and abandons it to hold on to power. That'll fix things all right!

No sir. Give me a man or a woman that will answer to their core philosophies and constituents and not tie themselves to a bogus party line that will keep him or her in power so long as they continue to tow that line.

Washington's co-author in his farewell address, Alexander Hamilton wrote, "The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority. "

The consent of the people. Not the consent of the party, nor the consent of lobbyists and special interest groups. Not the consent of foreign countries, and foreign banks. But the consent of the people.

How will America achieve this? In the same manner that Gutzon Borglum envisioned that America will march along a new skyline in which a national monument was carved into the face of a granite mountain with powerful dynamite blasts and the elegant hand of a sculptor with his chisel. Like Borglum, we need to blast away this old mountain of partisan-politics and carefully sculpt a vision of America that was first conceived by our founding fathers and born through our Constitution, and then march along that new skyline.

America was not founded under an ideology of partisanship. The literal fabric from which this country was born-the Constitution of the United States-was not created with such an ideology in mind.

There are practical considerations to make when abandoning the party structure of government to be sure, but other countries have done it. Future articles will explore how that can be accomplished. Indeed I am in the process of writing a book that addresses this issue in great detail. However the purpose of this article is to allow you to envision a country without partisanship, and realize that this was precisely the intent of the founding fathers when this country was formed.

Our country was designed to be non-partisan.

The preamble to the Constitution opens with: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …"

… Not "we the People of the Republican or Democratic Party in order to form a more imperfect Division."

Division and partisanship lead to entitlement and elitism. Division and partisanship lead to loyalty to party rather than loyalty to country.

It's time to revert to what the Constitution of the United States intended for us, the People of the United States, to do-create a more perfect Union. It's time for us to abandon this "enfeebled" partisan structure of ruling which does nothing more than kindle animosity and get back to the business of governing-with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

It's time again to march along that skyline and forge an America in the vision of what our founding fathers had in mind when they first drafted that Constitution and created this undivided, non-partisan, perfect Union.


Source by Gus Bridi

Market Entrepreneurs and Political Entrepreneurs


What is an entrepreneur? Well, in the United States of America there are two types of very successful entrepreneurs. There is the market entrepreneur and there is the political entrepreneur. The market entrepreneur makes money in the free market by delivering the lowest prices and the best quality and service to its customers and the consumer. The market entrepreneur wins markets and beats out the competition because they are better and more efficient.

The political entrepreneur uses the influence with government through various methods such as lobbying, political campaign contributions and networking with government bureaucrats to either win government contracts and make money or use this influence to get the government to make new rules and regulations and he is industry.

The political entrepreneur will also use his influence to get government bureaucratic regulatory bodies at all levels of government to attack his competition. There is a big difference in market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, genuine Capitalism getting clobbered by political entrepreneurs coaxing government agencies to constantly attack market entrepreneurs.

The economy and the free market and capitalism for that matter works better with the most efficient companies compete on a level playing field where the consumer and the buyer votes with their dollar for the best products and services at the best possible prices. There is nothing wrong with capitalism there is only something wrong with the way it is applied in United States of America. It could be done a lot better.


Source by Lance Winslow

Literature Review – A Play of Giants By Wole Soyinka


The play, a Play of Giants, was written by Wole Soyinka to present a savage portrait of a group of dictatorial African leaders at bay in an embassy in New York City, United Nations. The play was purposely written to show the resemblance between the recent historical characters / African leaders and long or one time leaders in Africa who were known for their authoritarian or tyrannical rule and these include: Macias Nguema (late) of Equatorial Guinea, Jean Basptiste Bokassa of the Central African Republic, Mobutu Sese Koko of Congo Kinshasa and the Hero of heroes, the Field Marshal El-Haji Dr. Idi Amin of Uganda.

The play started with three of the dictatorial African leaders, Kamini, Kasco and Gunema who are planning to get a life-size group sculpture of the 'crowned heads' in their likeness. They have the intentions of making their statues part of other statues that would be placed at the UN stair passage. Their discussion on power and governance was interrupted by the presence of the Chairman of the Bugara Central Bank who brought the news of the refusal of the World Bank to grant Bugara country the demanded loan based on the ground of unsatisfied conditions to which the Bugaran President, Life President Dr. Kamini, responded that the Chairman should go back and agree to whatsoever conditions put forward by the World Bank even at the expense of the Bugaran people's body and soul.

However, the Chairman response to the President as touching the printing of the Bugaran currency by its Central Bank, saying that such printing would make no difference to 'toilet paper' made him to be severely punished by flushing the toilet on his head at the feet of the dictators.

The leaders further went on with their discussions when the Ambassador came in to inform them about his idea on where to place the leaders' statue. They all agreed to this and went on with their power discussion emphasizing on the importance of voodoo. This conversation was closely followed by the issue of the speech to be read, who to get it prepared, who to edit it and the importance of reading it to the hearing of the leaders present before the final or actual reading at the UN.

The sculptor was the next victim in the hand of Kamini who dealt badly with him through the hand of the Task Force Specials for saying that Kamini's statue does not worth being at the face of currency but rather sit in Madame Tussaud Chambers of Horrors.

The fourth leader joined the scene at the later end of part one, General Barra Tuboum of Nbangi – Guela, who Kamini called Alexander the Great. After short discussion on rebellion and war, the Honourable Mayor of Hyacombe and his party came in preceded by Professor Betey; his arrival changed the point of discussion to imperialist conspiracy, calling themselves names like Alexander, Napoleon and all sort. The Mayor came with golden keys.

The second part was opened with launch organized by Kamini for other African leaders with the Secretary-General introduced, who is a top civil servant, who missed the dreaded anger of Kamini when he said that the sculpture suppose to be statuettes, small in size and put on shelves like that of Beethoven, Shakespeare or Lenin and later distributed in copies. The sculptor was seen with bandages all over from head to toe, the handiwork of Kamini TF Specials.

Further conversation continued as two Russian and American delegates each arrived at little interval before Betey ran in alarming that coup has been staged in Bugara. Not long after, TF Specials were asked to position the weapon including missiles of Bugara to be used in destroying UN, fueled by the news that the Secretary-General has escaped and the believe that the delegates have hand in the coup. This was followed by the aggression of some people who ganged up outside the embassy, ​​protesting (singing) that Kamini should leave (handover).

The play ended with shout from Kamini: Fire! Fire !! Fire !!!


Source by Oluwanisola Seun

Intimate Fundraising Events – Parlor Meetings, Political Fundraisers and Investment Parties


Great ideas often lead to big things, but somewhere along the way investments and fundraising are often required. Non-profits, political causes, and commercial startups all need cash to expand and grow. Although many groups may dream of a mega grant or super venture capitalist, support from small donors and individual investors are often the foundation from which all things grow.

One of the most successful ways of attracting these individuals is through small gatherings. These "house parties" are a popular and successful way to raise money for nonprofits, political functions, and business ventures. Although the reasons for these gatherings are always to raise funds, the purpose for the money creates subtle differences in the structure and style of the events.

Let's take a look at all three types of events and see how they vary.

Nonprofit events are called by many names including a parlor meeting, house meeting, house party, or round up. The purpose can vary from funding for social programs or religious organizations, support for the arts, humanitarian outreach, environmental awareness or assistance for dozens of other charitable causes.

• These small charitable parlor meetings are usually hosted by two or more people commonly referred to as co-chairs.

• Successful house parties need two or more months advance notice.

• As a practice, the host does not ask for money. Instead, one of the co-chairs or the featured speaker will speak about funding needs and the benefits of supporting the organization or cause.

• One popular way to increase donations is to offer matching dollars. This is a popular incentive. A major funder agrees to make a specific donation as long as his or her amount is matched by other supporters.

Political Fundraising can be focused on a single candidate, group of candidates, or local political party. Small group fundraising accounts for a significant amount of dollars for both minor and major candidates.

• Political house parties usually begin with a committee led by a chair. In most cases, all the members are responsible for bringing in guests.

• The purpose should be defined. There can be more than one goal, but each goal should be very clear.

• Unless it is a general fundraiser, a target audience should be defined at the beginning. Food, location, and activities should be geared to target audience.

Investor Meetings also go by several names including networking house parties or Angel events.

• Although these small parties are often held in homes, informal settings in business or prestigious locations are also OK.

• Incentives, perks and well known speakers are often used to attract attendees.

• A few commercial groups are available to organize events.

Although the three types of small events have some differences, successful events share many of the same elements.

1. Prestigious location – Private homes are fine, and sometimes the best choice. Setting the event in a prominent neighborhood or in a notable home can attract guests and set a financial tone.

2. Organizers set a realistic financial goal with a specific amount they plan to raise.

3. The budget should be set in early planning and should be paid for in advance. (Dealing with last minute fees or unpaid bills creates a negative atmosphere.) A flawless event reflects on the organization, candidate, or company.

4. Leadership should be clear and defined. Jobs and roles need to be written down and understood by all members of the team.

5. Time management is very important. If the event is listed as two hours, do not run over time. Running overtime makes potential donors angry.

6. Aggressively Market target audience. Make sure to budget for marketing campaign which may include personal contacts, mailed invites, direct mail, and entertainer contacts.

7. Thank you letters (or calls) should be sent to all attendees who attended parlor meetings or investment parties, whether they immediately invested or not.


Source by Rivka C Willick

Fiscal Policy and the Challenging Economic Environment


In the face of the increasingly alarming global economic crisis, the Philippine government, as the institutional embodiment of the sovereign authority of the Filipino people, is challenged to fulfill its constitutional mandate to protect the general welfare.

Debates over what government must do to save the economy are happening almost everywhere, from public offices and school classrooms to wet markets and barber shops. It is argued that it is through its fiscal administrative power that government attempts to resuscitate the dying economy.

Public fiscal administration generally refers to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies and decisions on taxation and revenue administration; resource allocation, budgeting and public expenditure; public borrowings and debt management; and accounting and auditing (Briones 1983: 2).

The hope of seeing real economic progress seems to be dependent on the success of the whole fiscal policy process. Fiscal policy derives its meaning and direction from the people's aspirations and goals which are said to be embodied in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan.

"The basic task of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan … is to fight poverty and build prosperity for the greatest number of the Filipino people. We must open up economic opportunities, maintain socio-political stability, and promote good stewardship-all to ensure a better quality of life for all our citizens. We will focus on strategic measures and activities that will spur economic growth and create jobs. This can only be done with a common purpose to put our economic house back in working order "(Arroyo 2004 ).

But the big question is: how does government carry out its fiscal administrative function to really cushion the Filipinos from the adverse effects of the onrushing global financial crisis?

The Fiscal Policy as a Political Process

Lying at the heart of public fiscal administration are the fiscal policies shaped by the socio-economic and political interaction of internal and external policy environment. Internal policy environment includes the decision-making agencies of government such as Congress, the Office of the President and its support agencies, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, and the Commission on Audit, among others. Internal environment also includes the private sector, interest groups, non-government organizations and people's organizations in the society.

The external policy environment, on the other hand, encompasses foreign interest groups composed of international financial institutions like the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Asian Development Bank, among others. Moreover, external policy environment includes the international agreements and economic cooperation such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia and the Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and institutions that extend Official Development Assistance (ODA), among others (Cuaresma 1996: 46).

Professor Leonor Briones of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance claims that "these foreign interest groups prefer to maintain a low profile in local fiscal politics. They do not have to come out in the open anyway-the WB-IMF has regular consultations with Philippine officials due to the enormity of the Philippine public debt; the MNC's [multinational corporations] are represented by local dummies, and the foreign creditors by their Filipino proxies. In the open political contest, these foreign interest groups express their preferences by financially supporting their politicians. Where the local technocrats and bureaucrats are more significant in fiscal policy administration, they attempt to influence their nomination and appointment. " (Briones 1983: 97)

This only means that the financial health of the country is at the mercy of the international financial creditors and policy bodies that issue our fiscal prescription. While it is often argued by scholars that the field of public administration must not be political in its very nature, fiscal administration as its sub-field is not free from political maneuvering as it is operating within the political system.

From the scholarly view of Professor Briones, fiscal policy has four major functions: (1) the allocation function, (2) the distribution function, (3) the stabilization function, and (4) the development function.

The major fiscal instrument in the allocation function of fiscal policy is the national budget. In general, a national budget is the financial plan of the government for a given fiscal year, which shows what its resources are, and how they will be generated and used over the fiscal period. The budget is the government's key instrument for promoting its socio-economic objectives. The government budget also refers to the income, expenditures and sources of borrowings of the national government that are used to achieve national objectives, strategies and programs.

In developing countries like the Philippines, gaps between the rich and the poor are insurmountable. Thus, distribution of income and wealth is a serious problem. The distribution function might have serious implications for tax and expenditure policies. Recently, a report came out saying that the Department of Finance (DOF) planned to jack up the sales tax or value added tax (VAT) to 15 percent from the current level of 12 percent to raise much-needed revenue to plug the country's ballooning budget deficit which hit a record P298.5 billion last year (Agcaoili 2010).

The report makes the fiscal debates even more heated as the issue of stability, another function of fiscal policy, is now the subject of concern. Often, government resorts to increasing taxes to have the means of public spending or avoid budget deficit. But it is known to many the myriad tradeoffs it can create.

People often hear in the news the fiscal plans created by government all in the name of "development," another function of fiscal policy. Perhaps, this word is the most overused, if not abused, word in the political arena.

Development is multi-faceted. The word itself is nice to the ear. But it is a "very expensive commodity" in the words of Professor Briones. In order to translate development into reality, financing is, of course, needed. In harmony with other measures, fiscal policies are expected to generate resources in order to finance development activities (Briones 1983: 55). In loan-dependent countries like the Philippines, generating resources means borrowing more and paying even more.

Over one third of our national budget goes to debt servicing. With the widening fiscal deficit, the national government's debt now amounts to P4.42 trillion, accounting for more than half of its GDP and more than three times the government revenues if creditors were to call the debts in. The Philippines relies heavily on domestic and foreign borrowings to bridge its fiscal gap, which is expected to hit a record P325 billion this year (abs-cbnNEWScom).

The Challenging Economic Environment

Borrow more. Tax more. Pay more. It is a vicious cycle. It is without a doubt that the Philippines, the then mighty tiger in Asia, has transformed into a desperate pussycat roared by the giant financial institutions to which we are heavily indebted. The Filipino people become victims of immoral and debilitating conditionalities imposed by the IMF and the international financial oligarchy.

The economic situation becomes even more difficult as the world is facing what many economists describe as the worst economic crisis in history. The credit crisis in the US has accelerated the rate of financial meltdown all over the world, making the international lending institutions more eager than ever to force heavily indebted countries like the Philippines to extract a pound of flesh from their people. The national government's total indebtedness has ballooned as a result of sudden and sharp currency depreciation during this critical time of global economic uncertainties.

In response to minimizing the impact of the global economic downturn, the Philippine government embarks on measures aimed at stimulating positive performance in all sectors of society. Former Socioeconomic Sec. Ralph G. Recto, for example, proposed stimulus package intended to keep the economy afloat. As a consequence, Economic Resiliency Plan (ERP) was put in place to supposedly manage to sustain economic growth by fiscal policy adjustments alongside the implementation of pump-priming programs and vital projects and activities.

The former NEDA Chief simply argues that the government intends to battle the present crisis by increasing spending through what he calls stimulus package-a fiscal and monetary strategy that is very Keynesian in nature. The ERP basically entails "ensuring resources through better revenue collection; enhancement of cash liquidity, access to credit and low interest rates; and more effective spending. It seeks to ensure stable growth, save and create jobs, provide assistance to the most vulnerable sectors, ensure low and stable prices, and improve competitiveness in preparation for the global economic rebound "(Recto 2009).

This stimulus package, however, is a mere pain reliever. It does not cure the cancer, which is the crisis itself. A major surgery operation, therefore, is needed.

Think out of the Box: A Fiscal Strategy for the General welfare

"There's life after the IMF."

These are the words of then President Nestor Kirchner of Argentina when he defied the predatory financial institutions that imposed belt-tightening measures on his people.

The newly elected Philippine President Noynoy Aquino must do the same. He must have the courage to disassociate himself from the deceptive legacy of "honor all debts" policy of his mother. The traditional government action plan for debt management such as bond exchanges, maximizing the use of ODA, guarantees for GOCCs, and more borrowings, will not create lasting economic growth.

The Philippines, as an independent nation, with all dignity and courage, must therefore declare a moratorium on foreign debt payments. This will allow our country enough time to rebuild and expand our productive physical economy.

Through this fiscal strategy, the country can channel huge amount of its annual budget, instead to debt servicing, towards effective educational system, efficient healthcare system, and sustainable scientific research centers focused on food production, health maintenance, and industry. Consequently, this will encourage real investment into agro-industrial and manufacturing sectors and ensure a genuine path towards development.

To seriously participate in the global effort to save the world's economy, the Philippine government should join the growing worldwide call for a new financial system of fixed exchange rates. This new financial system is said to put an end to the financial tsunami hitting practically all nations in the world today. Proposals are made by the Governments of Italy, Argentina, Malaysia and a growing number of countries, institutions, statesmen and patriots aiming at changing the global financial structure based on the tradition of the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1945 (Philippine LaRouche Society 2004)

The issue of fiscal policy amid global crisis is indeed a very complex and thought-provoking issue. The crisis, which we now face as a nation, requires intelligent understanding of the problem and courageous act to do what is right for the benefit of the present and future Filipino generations.


Source by Marlou Mumar

The Dilemma of Finding an Alternative: Sine Die and Status Quo


The theory of alternative option emanates from failure of the existing practice and is a popular approach in all walks of life. The alternative option leads to changes, development and continuity. But finding the alternative is not an easy thing because the alternative has to be better than the previous failed one. The option is agreed to only when its viability is tested as better, if not the best. The universe is searching for option in every spectrum of life; broken homes, dilapidated administration, degraded environment, deplete resources and so on. The universal dilemma is the viable becoming unviable in due course of time. In other words, even if the option is viable, it becomes enviable and stays on Sine Die till another option is found again. Until then, the Status Quo is to be maintained.

In a poorly governed state, the entire state machinery and various factions of political party unanimously denounced its Chief Minister for bleeding the state near to death out of extreme corruption and nepotism. The demand for change of leadership for nearly a year by all political parties did not receive response from the high command at the centre. Some believed that the corrupt Chief Minister took his booty and filled the coffer of the center to urge for status quo while some rationalized that the centre deferred the decision Sine Die in the absence of an alternative leadership. The acceptable answer is that the Sine Die decision making process led to a Status Quo because there was no alternative leader. It was felt that appointing another leader would lead to the same unviable position and hence helping maintain the Status Quo would also mean enriching the central coffer. The Chief Minister was allowed to fill the central coffer because there was no one to replace him.

In the same fashion, many felt that the Congress rule government in India derailed governance internally and externally, promotes corruption and nepotism and the Prime Minister is a mere puppet. The criticism fades away in the absence of an alternative viable group to win the people. The Status Quo is a compulsion and will continue Sine Die until another viable group challenges the Status Quo.


Source by Margaret TC Gangte

The Seven Blunders Of the World, and How We Are Teaching Them to Our Children


Recently a colleague sent me a short list titled The Seven Blunders of the World. The list was attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, who was supposed to have scribbled them in a note to his grandson shortly before his assassination in 1948.

Regardless of the source, this list is very profound and provides a lot of food for thought. The list of blunders is:

1. Wealth without work.

2. Pleasure without conscience.

3. Knowledge without character.

4. Commerce without morality.

5. Science without humanity.

6. Worship without sacrifice.

7. Politics without principle.

The application of this list is easily understood when applied to our society around us, but it also can give us some insights into what teens who are struggling are learning from parents, schools and other adults. My question is, "Is this what we are teaching our children?" Many of these blunders can explain the problems these teens are having. For example:

1. Wealth without work. For some time, young people have been referred to as the "entitled" generation. That is, many of them receive almost everything they want without any effort on their part. Many parents (and our society) seem so focused on providing everything they can for their children, and protecting them from anything that may make them feel bad, that children are deprived of learning how to handle failure or overcoming challenges. Thus, in a very real sense, these children's experience is "Wealth without work" and are unprepared for adulthood.

2. Pleasure without conscience. The mantra made popular in the 1960s, "If it feels good, do it!" seems to have become institutionalized in our society, especially among the young. Having fun, feeling good right now and the Peter Pan attitude of never having to grow up, is a common attitude despite the longer term consequences. Movies and popular sitcoms usually glorify what is fun, glossing over unpleasant consequences like unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, inability to get a job or the harm from shallow relationships. News programs at times touches on these consequences, but those consequences are rarely shown to relate to earlier irresponsibility. If having fun harms or disappoints others, the frequent attitude by many young people is "That's their problem and has nothing to do with me!" Too many young people are learning this stunted lesson that immediate pleasure is the only value. Schools perpetuate this through valuing only high scores on tests and ignoring any character implications of how the high scores are obtained.

3. Knowledge without character. The expressed goal by many educators and politicians is for every person to have a college degree. We have a system of higher education with a quality that attracts students from all over the world. The knowledge passed on in our Colleges has helped fuel an amazing growth in scientific knowledge and standard of living. But, except for adding a few courses in ethics in recent years, it seems we are teaching knowledge by itself without much consideration about the purpose of obtaining all that knowledge except for the self satisfying idea of ​​"getting a better job." The lesson to our students is that knowledge by itself is what is important and applying character values ​​is of little importance.

4. Commerce without morality. "Whatever it takes!" is a legitimate motivator. However, this slogan is all too often taken to mean there are no boundaries. As an example, the recent recession was cooked up in Washington DC and Wall Street providing a role model to young people that success is obtained by misrepresentation, spin, hiding the real agenda and empty promises. Often the person who tries to provide a legitimate valuable service or product, if successful, is suspected of doing something underhanded to achieve success. The person with the most money, no matter how obtained, is glorified, teaching young people that the only consideration is acquiring lots of money, and adding morality to business is for suckers. In schools, the person who has the highest test scores is glorified, and little consideration is made of how he / she got those scores.

5. Science without humanity. It seems like we almost worship science. In a dispute, if someone can make the claim that their perspective is "scientific," their argument almost always carries the day. Science is usually seen as the engine of progress, and what follows from that is if scientists are capable of doing something, then they should simply do it. Any other considerations, like if a course of action is humane, tends to get lost. The arguments and decisions as to whether we should do something that is scientifically possible tends to be passed on to legislative bodies, where politics, vote counting and political considerations tend to carry the day. What we are teaching our children is that the main question is if we can do it, rather than if we should. It goes even further. On some issues we have so much faith in the ability of scientists to accomplish what we want, we tend to adopt governmental policies on the faith that scientists will progress at the speed we want, as if they can do miracles. Schools tend to perpetuate both these concepts, by curricula emphasizing knowledge without serious concern on ethical issues, and teaching to political visions without questioning their feasibility.

6. Worship without sacrifice. Worship is usually spoke of in religious or spiritual terms, and teaches that we should orient our lives to that faith / belief. This automatically assumes a sacrifice of some of our lives to that belief. However, many people have got into the habit of professing a religious belief, but comfortably reserving that for Sunday mornings, not letting it interfere with the rest of our lives. What we teach our children is that religious worship is not all that important and not worth sacrificing our ambitions or comforts.

7. Politics without principle. Can an honest person survive in politics? Most thoughtful people who watch politics fairly closely would be doubtful. We see people of modest means get elected, and by the time their political career is over are millionaires. We see people accused of wrong-doing and we do not know if the accused or accuser are most at fault. We hear of voter fraud, and of secret unsavory deals made in our legislative bodies. Millions of people are outraged in general at our political process, but confused as to who is at fault. So many wind up simply blaming all politicians. Or, others buy into somebody's agenda as to who to blame, thus perpetuating the problem. How can our children see all this and believe there are very many politicians, and their supporters, who are acting on principle?

There is little any one of us can do to change these attitudes in society, but we can influence what schools are teaching, and maybe even counter some of these blunders. There are many private emotional growth or therapeutic boarding schools I work with that take character education seriously. Actually, one of the most therapeutic elements successful schools adopt is to teach character as a healing influence. That is, the best way to help a struggling teen is to teach the opposite of these blunders by how the teachers and other staff act, as well as by words. There is no good reason our public schools can not do this also. Some are, and that is one of the important reasons they are successful.


Source by Lon W Woodbury

Global Warming Hyperbole


They call Global Warming skeptics "anti-science." The term is a misnomer, however, because the skeptics are not actually against science, they are merely skeptical of the claims of its believers. Here are some reasons for their skepticism:

• Apocalyptic forecasts. Future climate forecasts for virtually every region in the world tend to be apocalyptic in nature. If you live in a dry area, it will only get drier. Areas of tremendous precipitation will only get rainier. More flooding will inundate areas prone to flooding; more heavy winter snowfalls will blanket areas traditionally hit with heavy winter snowfalls. Even in the short-term, nothing ever improves. You might assume that growing seasons in Siberia or Canada might lengthen due to warming, and they might receive bountiful harvests for a few decades. Perhaps the Sahara Desert will receive more rain and transform into a more hospitable savannah. Such changes are never predicted. Instead, we hear nothing but catastrophic scenarios. In my opinion, this is intentionally designed to frighten the public into action. It is understandable for politicians to engage in such hyperbole since most politicians tend to stretch or exaggerate the truth but scientists should be above spewing pseudoscience.

• Scientific neutrality. Scientists claim to be neutral, speak only the truth, and are above personal politics. Ironically, this can not be the case, since I have heard scientists who accept Climate Change label scientists who question Climate Change as dishonest or tools of Big Oil or Big Tobacco (yes, Big Tobacco! They just can not kill enough children with their cigarettes, so now they want to destroy the entire planet!). Skeptics sometimes point to a late snowstorm or cold spell as evidence against Global Warming. Climatologists, meteorologists, and other scientists denounce such evidence, explaining that one atypical storm or weather event does not disprove a climate theory. They are correct. Unusual local or regional weather incidents and climate are not necessarily connected. In addition, Climate Change will transpire over decades, and may not be observable over a season, a year, or even several years. However, when defenders of Climate Change use that very same storm as evidence to confirm their scientific beliefs, the scientific community is eerily silent. An impartial and honest scientist would be as quick to denounce the latter claim as well as the former. However, their silence, along with the apocalyptic scenarios mentioned above, demonstrates that many scientists are as inconsistent and biased as the skeptical scientists and non-scientists they condemn.

• Climate Change is responsible for everything. Whether it is Tropical Storm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, or a brutal winter blizzard, all are attributed to Climate Change. A cool day in the middle of summer? A warm day in the middle of winter? Sleet? Wind? Freezing rain? There is no need to accept unseasonable weather, blame God, or even indict "Mother Earth", because Climate Change is the real perpetrator. Some also attribute tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic activity to Climate Change. Apparently, none of these "natural events" ever occurred before man-induced (anthropogenic) Climate Change. Incidentally, this all-encompassing culpability is the reason they altered the name from Global Warming to Climate Change. It allows its promoters to blame any "act of God", unwelcome weather, or abnormally cold weather on man's activities.

• Storm damage and lost lives. Every blizzard, hurricane, or major storm takes a tragic toll on human life. Everyone grieves for the loss of life, and we should continue to do all we can to minimize these seemingly senseless deaths. However, all claims that storms are becoming costlier and deadlier is deceptive. Real estate in general is worth more today than it was decades ago. Buildings and structures also cost more, and construction often takes place in precarious areas, such as flood zones, near earthquake fault lines, or even below sea level near the ocean. In addition, population has increased significantly in a very short time. In the last fifty years, the US alone gained over 120 million more people; Canada and Australia's population has virtually doubled; the UK added nearly 10 million people; China and India's populations have swelled by over 600 million each; and the world has added over 4.5 billion MORE people. Any large storm will impose larger monetary damages and tragically take more lives, simply because the cost of real estate has increased and the world's population has grown.

• Carbon footprint. It is the epitome of hypocrisy when the wealthy fly private jets to global warming conferences, eco-conscious celebrities are chauffeured in gas-guzzling limousines to movie openings and award ceremonies, and performing artists fly and truckload staff and equipment from city to city on a worldwide tour, all the while preaching ecological platitudes during their performances. Perhaps when they heat, cool, and light their mansions with genuine renewable energy sources, and walk, ride bikes, or at least carpool to their destinations, skeptics will begin to believe. Whatever happened to leading by example? Imagine a rally to save a local park from development. Celebrities, politicians, and other speakers lament what would be the loss of pristine beauty. They call for the community to come together and do whatever it takes to save the park. After the rally ends, paper bags, empty water bottles, plastic bags, flyers, and other assorted debris litter the park. Would anyone really believe that the speakers and their supporters were serious? And why is it acceptable to exclude the rich and famous from practicing what they preach, simply by virtue of their position?

• Carbon Credits. This brings us to carbon credits. Paying a company to invest in green energy might be a sound investment; using that investment as an excuse to continue a carbon-profligate lifestyle is duplicitous. Many Climate Change leaders claim to be "carbon neutral" simply because they purchased carbon credits. The easiest way to see if this works is by asking a simple question. What if everyone bought carbon credits, technically became carbon neutral, but continued to live in disregard to their lifestyle? Clearly, this would accomplish very little in fighting Climate Change. We do not possess the technology for the entire world or even entire nations to become carbon neutral. Carbon credits are a way for very rich people to "buy" their way out of altering their lifestyles. This gives the impression of real sacrifice for the cause, and allows them to continue to denounce those who remain skeptical of Climate Change. During the American Civil War, the wealthy avoided fighting in the battles by paying a fee or finding a substitute. They may have contributed to the cause but everyone knows they did not participate in the actual fighting.

• Kyoto Treaty. During the Clinton Administration, the Kyoto Treaty failed to secure even a single vote in the US Senate. Among its many proposals, the Kyoto Protocol attempted to set worldwide standard carbon emissions. Not even "environmental senators" voted for it. Nearly all global greenhouse emission proposals exclude China (the largest "carbon polluter" country) and India, the two most populous countries in the world. The argument against their inclusion is primarily economics. Emission cuts will cripple their economies, leading to an increase in poverty. If this is true for China and India's economies, it is also true for other countries as well. In addition, proponents argue that those two countries, and Third World or Developing countries, should be exempted, because they did not cause the problem. Culpability lies with the Western industrial countries. Even if this is true, exempting countries from emissions only worsens the problem, since they will continue to emit greenhouse gasses. Is the goal to assuage our Western guilt or save the planet?

• Satellite evidence. Large storms recorded from weather satellites are visually impressive. Experts point to video of huge storms and claim that their enormous size reflects the impact of Climate Change. They make a similar argument with Arctic sea ice. Through satellites, we can now accurately measure the summer meltback of ice each year, and science can confirm that the polar ice cap has shrunk in the past few decades. However, while these observations might indicate a change in climate, according to NASA, the first successful Geosynchronous Satellite was launched in 1964. Polar satellites did not exist until the 1970s. We simply do not possess any satellite data before that time. Thus, from a climate perspective, most of this scientific information and observation, while valid, is very recent.

• Al Gore. It certainly does not help a scientific movement when the person most associated with that undertaking is a politician. No doubt, people hold different opinions about the politics and personality of former Vice President Al Gore. But what is not debatable is that he possesses no scientific training. I would also argue that he does not understand scientific argument or method, and it is unparalleled chutzpah when he questions the scientific expertise of those who disagree with him. If having a former politician like Al Gore as the face of fighting Climate Change does not bother you, then imagine that face is Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, John Howard, Stephen Harper, or even Sarah Palin.

• Transfer of Wealth. It also does not help the cause of Climate Change when there is official discussion at the international level about the transfer of wealth from the wealthy countries to the poorer countries. Remember, the stated objective of Climate Change fighters is to lower carbon emissions worldwide. That goal is sensible and desirable. However, transferring money from one group to another is social engineering, and once again an attempt to placate Western guilt. It certainly has little to do with lowering world carbon emissions.


Source by Jim Schicatano