Sir, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I want to make the facts available to anyone interested, and so I feel compelled to post a factual response.
: Popular Participation
: I would remind the reader that participation in elections in the old Soviet Union were quite high; close to 98% or so. Not voting in said elections had been made illegal by law, of course, and these laws I have heard carried substantial penalties. The old Soviet system also had single party elections, a tradition the Sandanistas followed until forced otherwise via U.N insistence and supervision. The Sandanistas then promptly lost.
FACT: Seven parties participated in the 1984 elections, including two to the left of the Sandinistas, which regarded them as sell-outs to teh bourgeoisie, and four to the right (including teh Conservative Party). The opposition won 36% of the vote. The fascist Liberal Party would have participated, except for the fact that the US paid them not to; it promptly said that the elections were unfair because the fascists did not participate. Talk about being two-faced... To argue that the Sandinistas were a one-party state, is, to be charitable, like arguing that the earth revolves around the moon.
Incidentally, the United States was a one-party democracy, governed effectively by a multi-faction Democratic Republican (later "Democrat" Party), between the fall of the Federalists and the creation of teh Republican Party in the 1850s. One-party democracy is certainly conceivable. In fact, however, teh Sandinistas were a multiparty democracy.
: The ‘voluntary’ nature of elections in a country run by the Sandanistas, or any other communist junta, is always suspect.
According to you perhaps. Your opinions are not necessarily objective fact (nor are mine, of course) unless we back them up with EVIDENCE.
:I seem to remember mines being laid around election areas in El Salvador by Sandanista sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ - must have been more disinformation from the right-wing media organs of the U.S.
Indeed. I'm glad you recognize the fascist nature of the mainstream media.
: Range of Political Choice
: Again, I repeat: the elections in Nicaragua were run with only communists participating, until the intervention of the U.N., backed by forces from the United States. After that, of course, the variety was quite admirable. The locals certainly agreed.
FACT: See above. The 1984 elections were considered the freest and fairest in Latin American history, by all objective observers. Your statement has no objective validity. The 1990 elections, by teh way, were neither fair nor democratic, because tehy were held under duress from teh US- threats of continued terror, etc.. As such, they should be declared invalid. Ortega is STILL the rightful ruler of all Nicaraguans, not teh fascist Aleman and certainly not that @#!$%#@ Chamorro.
: Access to the Ballot
: I remember libertarians getting their candidate on the ballot fairly often in my home state; the ‘Greens’ also managed to get their allotted signatures. In any case, I have always found the big, empty write-in space useful for expressing my own alternative, when none of the aspirants suited my tastes. Thus, in a sense, anyone can ‘get on the ballot’ in the U.S.
FACT: See Parenti on teh intimidation of communists, etc.
: Incidentally, electorial rules of this sort are meant to prevent politically motivated fanatics from swamping a poorly populated area with a ‘majority rule’ of the moment. The old cattle-barons were notorious for this tactic; I also recollect a certain guru and his followers … I wouldn’t put it past the communists to use similar techniques, and thus I am in favor of these special rules, as are most of the electorate. As we are a democratic country, these rules are thus the law.
Sounds like a good recipe fro "tyranny of the majority". Should lynchings be legal if 51% support them?
: Accessibility to the Electorate
: You cannot be serious. Do you really believe that candidates got ‘equal time’ in the likes of La Barricada? Do you know that the Chamorro’s paper, La Prenza, was surpressed by the Sandanistas? Please. (Equal time, on ‘state-run’ radio … Indeed!)
FACT: I certainly do know it. I know teh reasons why, as well. Ms. Chamorro was interviewed by Salman Rushdie in the '80s, who described her as a liar, a charlatan and an elitist aristocrat. She deserves no sympathy from the citizens of a democratic nation. Her newspaper openly took money from a declared enemy of Nicaragua, supported terrorists in a time of war, and made it its goal to spread panic and civil disorder, She deserved everything she got. La Prensa deserved to be shut down.
: Absence of Coercion
: Leftist usually get ‘coerced’ when they incite riots. This is of course what the purpose of the riot is all about. Left-wing activists have similarly been ‘coerced’ for making bombs, planning bank robberies and assassinations (of which one Ms. Davis is quite notorious), and other such ‘publicity stunts’.
: As for the Nicaraguans: I seem to remember a failed attempt at genocide, directed at the Miskito indians in 1980. They subsequently turned from their luke-warm support for the regime to outright hostility. I have been told that the indians ‘deserved it’ …
FACT: See Parenti, or any other expert, on the nonexistent genocide of the Miskitos.
I have to leave, I'll finish this later.