Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘transparency

Woodstock and May 68 (France): Any links?

Posted on October 8, 2010

Woodstock turned out to be the free musical event of the century and gathered a million of youth and young parents with their kids for three days:  It was organized in a nation of plenty and economic growth and a savage, genocidal war in Vietnam.  

The US was training astronauts to land on the moon and the war in Vietnam was harvesting 200 US soldiers every day.  

The youth in France, and particularly in Paris, took to the streets and occupied schools, universities, manufactures for an entire week.  France was in a State of plenty; and “Law and Order” policy was firmly established.  Transparency of the power system in both countries was lacking.

Youth and the newer generations were worried of carrying on their life as their parents did:  It seemed pretty boring and pointless to working for just acquiring consumers goods.  

Youth needed an alternative for their future and a way out of what to do of these internal conditions of plenty and security.  

In both events, youth motto was: “Love is everything.  We need to be free to love and be loved.  Yes for peace and no for war”  

In a sense, morality and law and order to the youth were no longer necessary.  They want to be liberated of  the shackles of the moral “value set” that society was chaining them in. That’s how they perceived the political and social situation then, and their feeling was on target:  Change and reforms were not being felt as technology was.

(Actually, the Beat generation a decade ago set the stage for this new phase)

Men, lawyers and investors, organized Woodstock; but it was the women who ran the show and kept the peace; marijuana and a few other drugs helped.

It was not supposed to rain in that summer event but it poured; people enjoyed sliding in the muddy inclines.  Many soldiers returning from the front in bad mental and physical conditions joined the party:  They were in states of shock and diminished as individuals. 

The mood at war was different from the mood of fraternity, compassion, respect for the other during the musical event:  They experienced extremes in mood swings.

People who purchased tickets, before the event turned free, could gather in front of the large stage. Most attending visitors parked on the hills surrounding the show:  They saw little ants singing and bouncing on the stage but they had their own music in the caravans and vans and tents.

They had their own supply of drugs and favorite music.  They could feel at peace alone even among million.  Masses were no longer of any threat; they could deal with their own internal demons in a gathering of like-minded association.

I lack statistics on the casualties during Woodstock such as injuries, sicknesses…but it is amazing that the event went on for three days in relative peace and very few official policing.  

Most of the youth had no plans of action for their future; they had not the slightest idea where the next location will be or how their life will unfold.  

Many converged to San Francisco, particularly to Ashbury Heights.  The young women had a better grasp of how their individual social stand could transform and empower family and community.

Transparency of the democratic system and reforms were very much in the mind of the newer generation but the detailed programs and future activities were not planned.  It was the real step forward in mankind history instead of the so-called “giant step” of Armstrong on the moon.

In the Paris revolt of May 68, women were the most vocal and most active in the organization and demonstrations:  They were revolting for serious freedom to womanhood in the customs and traditions of society.  Laws were to be more specific on gender equality in duties, rights, and responsibilities and opportunities in the workplace and be effectively applied.

At that age of seemingly confused plan of actions, many claimed that joining for music sake and this impulse of being there in the gathering of crowds was a show of unity of youth spirit around the world.

Youth refuses to miss a togetherness event.  It is this power of gathering that worried the power-to-be: The various interpretations of the meaning of these demonstrations were beside the point.

It was a big party with deep lucidity:  banners read “Run, comrade, run.  The old world is chasing after you.”  

Youth was taking a reprieve by running joyously, a week of total freedom, running as fast as he could, knowing that the old world will invariably catch up with him.   Karl Marx said:  “When history repeats its cycles, the next time around is a farce.”  

Spring of 68 was a sympathetic and spontaneous farce; it was an innovating and creative revolt with no arms.

It was a spring of movable fair, an all free-invited party.  It was a movable feast for sharing ideas and desires for justice, peace, liberty, and pleasure.

There were plenty of generosity and compassion:  Youth was feeling bored of the old world system of unjust order, capitalism, petrified ideologies and dogmas.  It was a humongous fair where affluent lifestyle in the western States of plenty hide the miseries of the lowest classes living in shantytowns.

It was in a period for the third world struggling to emerge from the slavery stage of colonialism.  Spring fairs in the western world spread to most nations where the partying lasted and lasted.

The virus of the movable feast reached countries with old systems destroyed by the colonial powers:  The newer power systems were unstable and mostly haphazard to come chasing after mass movable fairs. 

Spring of 68 crossed to Lebanon and lasted 5 years and emerged on a civil war that lasted 13 years and produced 300 thousand casualties (10% of the population!)

You don’ t need to have a unified purpose to ge together; just youth assembling.  

Large assembling of wolves is good enough a show of force to giving the best impulse to political parties for figuring out the major problems in the political structure ideology.  

The awareness of the problems, after the show of “peaceful force”, can make a difference even if the demonstration was not united behind a clear banner of intent for specific reforms.  

Invariably, a few reforms are imposed.  Getting on the streets beats sitting in isolation, eating our hearts out in bitterness and confusion.

The next phase of modernity began after this successful big party.  Moral values were reviewed and adapted to new realities because ancient fears changed qualitatively:  Laws of pure obedience were submitted to a new reflecting generation. 

Ethics of giving more weight to values than laws was supposed to be the normal extension to morality. The foundations were set for the remaining of this most violent century.

Though the trend for launching pre-emptive wars around the world were in the planning and executed with determination: Let blood reach the knees in the nascent underdeveloped States and south America.

A “Transparent accounting”. Away from biased Elite Class “Net profit legal” laws?

Transparent accounting: Based on revenue and posted 9 years ago,

This is one of my Daydream ideas.

Revenue is the one item in the balance sheet that No corporation is about to cheat on, Not even gang and drug criminal organizations cheat on it. Why?

You cannot have a balance sheet or working statement or any other accounting gimmick without accurate revenue

Board of director members take their cuts directly from the total revenue.

They know how much the company is generating in gross profit, excluding side revenues and under the table bonuses and favors…

For example, the percentage on the revenue for their First cut, ahead of time, must correspond to 50% of the gross profit, and then all other “cost/expense” items can be changed to correspond to the expected net profit.

Even without the huge amount of data, financial and economical data, companies in each particular line of business have an appreciation of the gross profit before the legal year starts, based on the previous revenue and very accurate forecasting

Every item in the balance sheet is known as a percentage of the revenue.

You change a percentage and you know what the managers should be doing as consequences: Fire employees and how many, reduce facility costs, save on energy, training, quality of spare parts, inspection, quality control,…

Actually, all the accounting standards and accounting schools and degrees awarded to graduates are Not meant to fine-tune the accounting records of anything. 

Mostly, these degrees are to know and apply the laws “legal cheating” that benefit the Elite Classes in a society.

The government and the corporations have no need for all the accurate numbers and inspection of records and papers: They know the revenue and the proper percentage on the revenue that each item is measured accordingly.

Government can as easily and more accurately get the taxes on revenue, instead of waiting for the gross profit computation, and saving the citizens the exacerbation of enacting loopholes as large as the State of Montana.

If the financial and business communities consider the tax rate on revenue high or exaggerated, they can lobby to simply reduce the rate of the percentage on the revenue…What’s the big deal?

Is transparency anathema to governing?

Should government persist on creating more mysterious laws than the citizens are ready to swallow?

Is governing meant to constantly resume the financial emulation of cult organizations with code-names, secrecy, childish gimmick…?

Why the top 1% of corporations have to skim 20% of total revenue for example, then rearrange all the items in the balance sheet, so that the workers and employees sweat out negotiating on a better minimum wage?

Who is taking advantages of the small prints as footnotes in the balance sheet and other accounting gimmicks?

Why should the nation needs expert on how to comprehend the meaning of the footnotes, if transparency is the goal in transactions?

Occupy Wall Street protests should demand that accounting ratios should be transparent on a special accounting sheet:  Citizens must know how much the top 1% are actually paid, how much the middle management is paid, and how much the rank-and-file of workers are paid as a proportion of the total revenue…

Actually, who is generating the profit if Not the workers and employees, and who is making the economy grow, and who is defending the interests of the top 1%?

Occupy Wall Street protests task is to demand transparency in all financial undertaking, starting with a transparent accounting.

I am confused and got a few well-formulated questions

On chemical weapons and transparency

Chemical weapons were first used by the colonial powers starting in WWI by Germany. The USA used chemical weapons extensively on Korea and China in the 50’s, then Orange defoliating gases in Viet Nam… They supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and were heavily used during Iran/Iraq war that lasted 8 years .

I am confused. First question: Were chemical weapons been used in Al Ghouta? Yes or No? I was not in the battle field, and neither were you. How do you interpret whatever you got in information and what are your rationals for lack of facts?

I am confused. Second question: If chemical weapons were used, why when the battle of Al Ghouta was over and all Islamic factions relocated by buses to Edlib and Jarablos without mentioning or suffering from chemical consequences?

I am confused. Third question: The colonial powers repeatedly disseminated the plausibility of usage of chemical weapons in Al Ghouta before the re-conquest started. The battle finished and no news of usage of chemical weapons were announced until the last couple of days when the war was over.

I am confused. Fourth question: We all felt that the colonial powers expected the Islamic factions to use the chemical weapons they were supplied with against either the Syrian army or the civilians inside Al Ghouta to provide excuses for the powers to intervene. Nothing happened. Had the colonial power failed to coordinate their strikes before the battle and now, as they are ready, they need to vent their frustrations from the failed 2013 threat?

I am confused. Fifth question: Why the White Helmets working with Islamic factions and trained by England and USA to fabricate videos persist on taking video of children, and only children? If chemical weapons were used, the most probable injured parties should be the fighters huddled inside their tunnels in order to vent them out.

Why No videos of these supposedly gassed terrorists  were not taken for the common people to watch? Actually, many of these video were taken in Afghanistan and displayed as happening in Syria.

I am confused. Sixth question: Why USA and France persist on attacking and striking the Syrian people under any excuse? Is it because their plans failed and they need some kind of revenge? And this latest determination to strike, is it a tactics to let the unconvinced people believe that chemical weapons were indeed used?

Lebanon PM, Sa3d Hariri said that the projects submitted to “Paris 4” conference were discussed with all the political parties and that dozen of meeting with the World Bank and IMF were convened to fine tune the feasibility of the projects and number of work-hours (150 million, which were translated into 90,000 new jobs opening every year for the coming 10 years). 

And that the difference in opinion with the political parties relate to which districts should have priorities. 

I am confused:

Question #1: Why this lack of transparency toward the Lebanese community? Why they were Not shared with us? Question #2: were these projects shared with the civil organizations?

INEFFECTIVE ELECTION MONITORING IN LEBANON HIGHLIGHTS URGENT NEED FOR INDEPENDENT BODY

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

In the wake of recent Parliamentary elections in Lebanon, Transparency International calls for an independent electoral supervisory commission and dramatic improvements in the election monitoring process to prevent cabinet ministers from abusing their power when running for Parliament. (Which effectively took place with minister of interior running in the election)

From the current administration, 16 out of 30 cabinet ministers ran for Parliament.

On Sunday, 6 May, 2018 voters in Lebanon took part in the first Parliamentary elections in nine years.

As part of the electoral process, a new Lebanese law permitted cabinet ministers to run for Parliament while still holding office, an unusual allowance that did not apply to other public officials, who were required to first resign their posts.

The new law set a considerably high spending ceiling for political candidates, allowing them to spend large amounts of funds on campaign activities.

Preliminary results show that 12 ministers won. The list includes the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, and the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, the latter of whom is directly involved in managing the electoral process. This would be a clear-cut conflict of interest, according to Transparency International.

“A level playing field is essential for fair and democratic elections. It is crucial to guarantee that official candidates do not abuse public resources for partisan purposes,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International.

“Electoral authorities shall be independent to assure the integrity of the whole electoral process, which includes the disclosure and accountability of political finances, campaign rules, information for voters, voting procedures, vote counting and proclamation of winners. Fair, equal and free elections are the basis of democratic legitimacy.”

During the recent elections, the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), the national chapter of Transparency International, conducted field observations in key electoral districts to observe the electoral process. The organisation found a series of electoral law violations and examples of mismanagement, including those related to campaign advertisements and the use of public facilities and institutions in electoral activities.

In addition, LTA, which closely follows the performance of the Supervisory Commission for Elections (SCE), the country’s primary electoral supervisory body, also expressed concerns with the commission’s significant lack of independence from government influence and its limited resources.(The chief of this commission declared that the law didn’t provide it with any latitude for control, except in advertising)

“Throughout the elections, LTA has actively pushed for greater transparency from the SCE and the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities,” states Badri el Meouchi, chairman of LTA.  “However, the SCE is currently operating with such inefficiency and poor transparency that they’ve introduced an unfair advantage for candidates and hindered the ability for civil society to monitor the electoral process.”

Specifically, LTA discovered a lack of transparency in the way the SCE operates, particularly its failure to publish financial reports from candidates.

In some cases, guidance outlining what candidates could and couldn’t do was delayed or only clarified weeks after candidates launched their campaigns.

In addition, although the SCE is legally tasked with the role of improving voter education, in actuality, all efforts were executed by the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities only a few weeks before the elections.

As a result, a significant number of votes were ultimately rejected due to voter errors on pre-printed ballots.(About 40,000. There are claims that instead of a blank vote that would increase the cut-off line in favor of the traditional leaders, they preferred to express their displeasure with a cancelled vote)

Transparency International and LTA call on the government of Lebanon to significantly improve transparency around campaign financing and regulations, including communicating about relevant spending ceilings for each district, publishing financial reports and account information from candidates running for office and making the voting results from every polling station publicly available.

LTA calls on the government of Lebanon to prohibit incumbent government ministers from running for future Parliamentary elections.

For any press enquiries please contact

Jen Pollakusky/Michael Hornsby
E: press@transparency.org
T: +49 30 3438 20 666

Do you need to change anything in Lebanon? Are Lebanon’s youth in political parties waiving off reforms?

Who needs change?

Are Lebanon’s youth in political parties waiving off reforms within their parties?

For decades, Lebanese politics has been ruled by a small group of men.  The obvious question is “why not get some fresh faces in government”?

How can you bring fresh faces in government if the political parties have no incentives for bringing fresh faces within their ranks?

This seemed to be the underlying subtext of a United Nations report on youth in politics, released earlier this week to a small audience at Parliament’s third floor auditorium.
Though many youth are active in parties, few are given decison-making positions, the report found.

The political parties also lack transparency, with budgets and political platforms either secret or nonexistent.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the report found most Lebanese political parties do not even hold elections.

 posted:
The report, which was carried about on behalf of the UNDP by governance consultants Beyond Development and Reform, recommended term limits for party leaders as a possible way to see new faces in leadership positions–and to chart a path toward future growth.

“What will happen when the leader is gone,” posed BRD consultant Carmen Geha.
But many of those in attendance, including youth representatives from Lebanon’s dominant parities, balked at the suggestion of term limits for their leaders.

Tashnag’s Bakradonian

“Who are you to force a change in leadership,” asked Ashod Bakradonian, representative from the Armenian Tashnag party.

“This is an internal issue. We should be able to keep our leaders for as long as we want.”
“You are so right,” said the representative from Hezbollah. “We want the Sayyed,” he added, in a reference to Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayer Hassan Nasrallah. (Time to split the political leader from the spiritual leader?)

If someone has a problem with the leadership, they should change parties, he explained– a comment echoed by the others.

Youssef Bassam from Hezbollah’s youth delegation

It was one of the few moments of agreement among the partisan youth representatives, who frequently mocked one another throughout the two hour session.
Another recommendation called for a free access to information law. Following the civil war, television licensing had been restricted largely to groups associated with the parties in power, thus leaving a gap in objective reporting on government and party affairs.

When the question of transparency came up, some joked about seeing transparency in Hezbollah’s military wing. The Hezbollah member answered: “We are all the military wing.”
When the moderator explained some parties didn’t respect the rights of women–others suggested there were parties that didn’t respect rights of the army.

The report also revealed that some parties have not even been officially registered with the government.
“Raise your hand Youssef,” a delegate who did not identify himself sitting with the March 14 members shouted out, pointing at the Hezbollah representative.
“We were registered in 1992,” Youssef shot back.

Despite this penchant for rules, the accuser spent most of the time playing games on his phone, pausing for the occasional snicker.

Other representatives, such as those from the Kateab party, argued that Lebanon lacked political culture and identity– impediments to reform. But the same participants also rejected a recommendation to  mandate all Lebanese parties have a minimum 1% membership in every qada (district/county), which could force the factions to be more inclusive and less territorial.

“Look at him,” one pointed toward the Armenian delegate. “He’s not Arab, why should we force him to be Arab?”
“Are you guys joking or speaking seriously,” Gilbert Doumit a consultant with BRD asked the delegates, urging a return to the study recommendations.
“Power corrupts. There should be a ceiling for power,” he said.

Others in the room rejected dealing with Lebanese parties altogether.
“We cannot build a political future on a false foundations,” a representative from Min Ajel El Joumhouryia (For the Sake of the Republic) commented. The new political group was part of efforts to occupy downtown Beirut earlier this year, protesting the postponement of elections and the lack of accountability for MPs.

A delegate from Min Ajal El Joumouriya rejects the party system

But a Syrian Baath party representative countered, warning the new movements not to sideline official parties, “who had sacrificed many martyrs for this country.”
I guess we’ll need martyrs to get recognized,” the Joumhouriya member murmured quietly.

Of all the incumbent parties present only one conceded the need for change.
“I would like better youth representation in my party,” Marada representative Rebecca Hosary said, to applause from the audience.

But after we wrapped up, one of the UN delegates felt ill about the general atmosphere. “It makes you want to cry,” the representative said of the constant bickering and rude interruptions–the general lack of listening to the other side.

Moderator Carmen Geha had at one point noted that the room served as a microcosm of the political atmosphere at large. Rather than focus on local representation, the delegates argued fiercely over foreign policy issues.
Perhaps this hints at the heart of the matter.

The study had found that many youth join parties based on family or sectarian ties, rather than actual policies or positions on issues that affect the citizenry.
I would add existential fears to that.

How does one reconcile with a mindset perpetually at fear of the other–enough to support the same leader indefinitely (and cynically so), to avoid the perceived danger of appearing divided and weak before the enemy?
Is it even possible to work with an existing system that uses fear of your fellow citizens as political currency?

Note: From my experience, elections within political parties for leaders are done by consensus. Otherwise, the current leader is re-elected. It does not matter how fair and convoluted the election laws are, the end result is to bring back old faces, and in few instances “a la Poutine and his side kick”… I was amazed lately that one of the oldest and most historic political parties re-elected its 95 year-old leader…

How Globalization can function adequately for the poorer countries? 

            Globalization is functioning according unilateral “rules of the games” in international institutions. Joseph Stieglitz, Nobel Prize for economics, had written a book in 2002 “The great disillusion” where he critiques the function and ideology of the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.  I have already published reviews in two parts of the book.

 This post focuses on Stiglitz’s recommendations for the international institutions (supposed to be public institutions) to reform in order to give a chance for Globalization to effectively comes to the rescue of the developing States. Thus, in order for world economy and financial stability be the norm then, three urgent reforms are needed.

            First, the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization have to focus on collective global problems that require collective participation.  For example, when global market economy is not running satisfactorily; when one State harms others and gets away with it (no indemnization procedures) then there are over production of certain commodities and under production of others. We have to tackle defense spending that does not generate any public benefits. 

For example, public education sectors must be financed by international institutions since private sectors have failed to consider that urgent facet in states’ economy.  For example, we have the environment, oceans, atmosphere, CO2 emissions and the other harmful gases, sanitary challenges and discharges, clean water sources, diffusion of contagious diseases, famine, and natural calamities are becoming global problems that require global resolutions and cooperation.  All the global problems are interrelated: poverty leads to degraded environment and deforestation which in return increases poverty.  There are financial interventions that are beneficial locally in reducing local pollution.

            Second, the mode of governance such as control, management, decision-making and administration of international institutions has to be drastically reformed.  The economic and financial interests of developed States have established unilateral set of rules and regulations on how to be applied globally without any serious input from the concerned parties in the developing countries. Developing States were targeted for hegemony behaviors. For example, in the IMF administration it is the finance ministers of the developed States and their central banks governors who are presiding as decision makers. In the World Trade Organization it is the ministers of commerce in the developed countries that run the show: they have particular perspective in matters of global trade.  Who has the right of vote in these international institutions? The poor States and the workers have no representatives in these institutions to offer pertinent alternative feedback as to their difficult situations. The voting rules and representation around the table of decision makers have to be reformed drastically.  The fact is that the IMF is rich because it is the developing countries that are reimbursing their debts at high interest rates.

            At least, reforms in the structures of official direction in the IMF and WB can help in the short-term. For example, African delegates should be allowed to participate and be listened to even if they still cannot vote. Participation in meetings can aid the developing State representatives gather pertinent information and intelligence on world problems may partially fill the gap in intelligence dissemination. The IMF and WB should invest in developing “think tanks” institutions in the developing countries in order for their representative to be at par with ongoing discussions.

            Third, transparency within the international institutions administrations have to be made public since they are public. Public pressures should be directed toward greater transparency in management and decision processes; on time data should be available for the concerned parties and not only for the multinationals and the developed State governments. There is urgent need to open the working environment to independent and free press and researchers of developing countries.  Transparency is best catalyst to encouraging democratic tendencies in developing States and fair availability of information in a timely fashion.

            Thus, favoritism in behavior and focus on the interests of the richer States must be examined and expressed by the public before conditions escalate to global problems. As deliberations in international institutions become accessed directly to larger audiences, instead of being held in closed chambers, then the environmental challenges and the interests of the poorer sections in world societies will be heard and discussed openly. The current decision processes are not critiqued and analyzed by the public on a timely manner: it is generally too late to critique wrong decisions before they are applied.  Public access to timely information and intelligence would pressure the IMF and WB to reconsider their debatable economic assumptions and ideology; so far, what is decided is restricted on “what is good to the financial institutions”. 

Mass protests in World Forums were mainly targeting the secrecy and opacity of the decision processes. So far, the disseminated information by the current structures of the international institutions is viewed with great suspicion by the poor States; so far, reforms were lukewarm and basically the kind of talked intent for reforms but not effective in practice.

How Globalization can function adequately for the poorer countries? (Mar. 24, 2010)

            Joseph Stieglitz, Nobel Prize for economics, had written a book in 2002 “The great disillusion” where he critiques the function and ideological unilateral rules of the games of the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.  I already published reviews in two parts of the book; this post focuses on Stiglitz’s recommendations for the international institutions (supposed to be public institutions) to reform in order to give a chance for Globalization to coming effectively to the rescue of the developing States. Thus, in order for world economy and financial stability be the norm then three urgent reforms are needed.

            First, the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization have to focus on collective global problems that require collective participation.  For example, when global market economy is not running satisfactorily; when one State harms others and gets away with it (no indemnisation procedures) then there are over production of certain commodities and under production of others. We have to tackle defense spending that does not generate any public benefits.  For example, public education sectors must be financed by international institutions since private sectors have failed to consider that urgent facet in states’ economy.  For example, we have the environment, oceans, atmosphere, CO2 emissions and the other harmful gases, sanitary challenges and discharges, clean water sources, diffusion of contagious diseases, famine, and natural calamities are becoming global problems that require global resolutions and cooperation.  All the global problems are interrelated: poverty leads to degraded environment and deforestation which in return increases poverty.  There are financial interventions that are beneficial locally in reducing local pollution.

            Second, the mode of governance such as control, management, decision making and administration of international institutions has to be drastically reformed.  The economic and financial interests of developed States have established unilateral set of rules and regulations on how to be applied globally without any serious input from the concerned parties in the developing countries. Developing States were targeted for hegemony behaviors. For example, in the IMF administration it is the finance ministers of the developed States and their central banks governors who are presiding as decision makers. In the World Trade Organization it is the ministers of commerce in the developed countries that run the show: they have particular perspective in matters of global trade.  Who has the right of vote in these international institutions? The poor States and the workers have no representatives in these institutions to offer pertinent alternative feedback as to their difficult situations. The voting rules and representation around the table of decision makers have to be reformed drastically.  The fact is that the IMF is rich because it is the developing countries that are reimbursing their debts at high interest rates.

            At least, reforms in the structures of official direction in the IMF and WB can help in the short term. For example, African delegates should be allowed to participate and be listened to even if they still cannot vote. Participation in meetings can aid the developing State representatives gather pertinent information and intelligence on world problems may partially fill the gap in intelligence dissemination. The IMF and WB should invest in developing “think tanks” institutions in the developing countries in order for their representative to be at par with ongoing discussions.

            Third, transparency within the international institutions administrations have to be made public since they are public. Public pressures should be directed toward greater transparency in management and decision processes; on time data should be available for the concerned parties and not only for the multinationals and the developed State governments. There is urgent need to open the working environment to independent and free press and researchers of developing countries.  Transparency is best catalyst to encouraging democratic tendencies in developing States and fair availability of information in a timely fashion.

            Thus, favoritism in behavior and focus on the interests of the richer States must be examined and expressed by the public before conditions escalate to global problems. As deliberations in international institutions become accessed directly to larger audiences, instead of being held in closed chambers, then the environmental challenges and the interests of the poorer sections in world societies will be heard and discussed openly. The current decision processes are not critiqued and analyzed by the public on a timely manner: it is generally too late to critique wrong decisions before they are applied.  Public access to timely information and intelligence would pressure the IMF and WB to reconsider their debatable economic assumptions and ideology; so far, what is decided is restricted on “what is good to the financial institutions”.  Mass protests in World Forums were mainly targeting the secrecy and opacity of the decision processes. So far, the disseminated information by the current structures of the international institutions is viewed with great suspicion by the poor States; so far, reforms were lukewarm and basically the kind of talked intent for reforms but not effective in practice.

Obama-metrics: First year performance; (Jan. 28, 2010)

            Bill Adair (Pulitzer Prize) published the Obama program that included 510 promises. Promises being executed are 240 promises, 86 promises were kept, 26 were compromised, and 62 were blocked by the oppositions.

            First, let me present a run down of the major promises according to the previous categories.

            For promises being executed we have the following:

Creating 5 million “green jobs”

Restraining eavesdropping without authorization

Shutting down Guantanamo prison center

Stopping the usage of torture

Creating CO2 emission market

Creating a universal health plan that added 30 million more citizen benefiting of coverage

Setting up new financial regulations

Repealing the tax cut for the higher incomes

Reducing nuclear arms reserves in a verifiable manner

Re-enforcing anti trust laws that favor consumers

Reducing oil consumption of 35% by 2030

Securing borders by increasing personnel

            For promises kept we may mention

Sending two supplementary brigades to Afghanistan (30,000 soldiers)

Creating a fund to prevent further real estates foreclosures

Reforming prison terms to clear prison overpopulation

            For promises compromised we have

Creating a tax credit of $500 for employees

Requiring transparency in the process of budgetary credit by Deputies in Parliament

            For promises blocked

Extending citizenship to immigrant with no work permit

            For promises betrayed

Hardening regulations in the Administration on conflict of interests between public carriers and private jobs


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