Democracy or competitive autocracy of men: USA, Turkey, Philippines? Women focus group deliberates.



“People should know that their democracies are being converted or have vanished,” says a women’s think tank assembled this past summer to sit on a forum from seven countries to conjugate and deliberate on a range of complex issues that face global families and how women can make a difference in:

  1. cleaning up the planet and reining in climate change;
  2. cope with the trend away from democracy to dictatorships or competitive authoritarianism; and
  3. fight COVID-19.

by Melissa Hemingway and Micheal John


In this installment, the women’s think tank was asked to pick three or a different number of nations at their discretion that while claiming to be, and appearing to be democracies, have slipped into the realm of either competitive authoritarians or dictatorships.

The women picked:

  1. Turkey as a full blown dictatorship;
  2. Philippines as an authoritative regime; and
  3. America as an incipient competitive authoritarian nation.

America


Voter suppression is done in America by closing polling stations in the areas of ethnic minorities where people statistically vote for Democrat candidates. Voter suppression is also accomplished by purging regions from the vote roster without telling the public where the people need to re-register.

Republican state governments have been on a tear, ripping up democratic processes that allow ethnic voters at the polls. They claim election irregularities and breaches of election security that sound very racist because they pertain to segregated communities of Black and Brown voters.

Over 30 new pieces of American State legislation this year suppress voting of specific communities. Those tactics include narrowing the opportunity and making it harder to cast a ballot in the mails;  and imposing harsher voter identification designed to eliminate certain communities from voting.

Osman Kavala pictured at the EU Parliament in 2014. Photo: DPA

Much of the world want this man released from Prison. Here is why in a statement from the US Embassy to Recep Erdogan.
Today marks four years since the ongoing detention of Osman Kavala began. The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system.
Together, the embassies of Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey’s international obligations and domestic laws. Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release.
Photo Credit: Osman Kavala pictured at the EU Parliament in 2014. Photo: DPA
Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

There are actually fewer democracies in the world than what are claimed: USA, Turkey, Philippines are not democracies.

In the case of the United States, the problems lie in a cult following known as Trumpism or “The Donald Trump MAGA Militia“, a movement that has swept across at least 33 Republican governed US States resulting in such pervasive meddling with election laws that the USA has become a “White Supremacy Autocracy” in a de facto sense, suggests the women’s forum.


Philippines


“In the case of the Philippines and Turkey,” says the women’s forum, “both nations have been run by dictators who have exploited a competitive authoritarian system in what is known in convoluted terms as a constitutional presidency republic, to create dictatorships that rely on weaponized courts and paramilitary forces that murder or cause forced disappearance of opponents or critics, which is the quintessential mark of dictatorships throughout history.”

“The Philippines is scheduled to have an election in the spring of 2022, which many fear will not actually happen in the democratic sense of the word. The candidates include a bevy of hopeless hopefuls and two candidates backed by an alleged criminal regime responsible allegedly for the mass murder of  “more than 29,000 Filipinos” according to biostatisticians tracking unexpected and excess deaths in the Philippines from Singapore using far more sophisticated methods than those employed in 2019 to determine the number of excess deaths now being used by the International Criminal Court,” say the women.

 


Turkey


“Turkey has a quasi-religious Islamic caliphate that runs the nation with Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the helm as President since March 2003. Each year, Mr. Erdogan becomes bolder in his imposition of his will on the country’s legal system. People are thrown in prison because President Erdogan does not like them,” they said.

“Mr. Osman Kavala is one example recently that has caused a stir.”

On 18 October 2021, FPMag received a press release from the US Embassy in Turkey that was, in content, claiming to be representative of nearly a dozen nations which later spoke out for their selves and confirmed the statement that follows.

“Today marks four years since the ongoing detention of Osman Kavala began. The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system.”

“Together, the embassies of Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey’s international obligations and domestic laws. Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release.”

A follow up investigation of Mr. Osman Kavala’s matter was conducted by Israeli correspondent and security analyst, Simon Baldock, and an assistant. The outcome had a three-part summary.

  1. “Mr. Osman Kavala was technically tried three times for the same matter, each time being acquitted. But in Turkish law, once being tried and acquitted Osman Kavala  should have been released,” says the report.
  2. “Mr. Osman Kavala was denied a fair and immediate trial from the outset and the drift and delay process of Recep Tayyip Erdogan mismanaging the case from the topmost authority in the land caused massive confusion among his subordinates among prosecutors and judges who had no hope of proving the case; and
  3. “Osman Kavala could not possibly have commit the crimes the Erdogan government is claiming but by all measures is a de facto unofficial grass-roots opposition voice to the Recep Tayyip Erdogan regime.”
  • Point number three adds further ammunition to the women’s forum argument that Turkey is most certainly not a democracy.

Autocrats are often figuratively shooting themselves in their feet, like Rodrigo Duterte bragging about killing people, showing TV cameras lists of people he wants killed;  and Recep Erdogan freaking out and demanding his foreign affairs minister declare PNG all the Ambassadors who have decried the persecution and wrongful imprisonment of Mr. Osman Kavala.

 


The women’s forum was asked, “How do competitive autocracies maintain the authoritative dynasty in power?”


  • “They use the trappings of state from a position of power to quash all laws that impede their executive orders and to also enhance their authority to arbitrarily create new laws and remove opposition elements;
  • “Take over the judiciary; and
  • “Usurp legislative bodies or disable the authority of legislative bodies like Nicolás Maduro did in Venezuela, to create his dictatorship.
  • “Use mass manipulations through controlled media that cheat the vote using the psychographic analysis techniques that were developed in warfare laboratories during the Cold War with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact on one side and the West’s North Atlantic Alliance on the other.”

Turkey, the Philippines and to a lesser degree because it is in an incipient stage of failure, the United States of America, are three countries that claim to be democracies but they are not fitting the definition of democracy, particularly the one that says: “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

“Democracy is supposed to be a system of government by the ‘whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through fairly elected representatives of the entire population’, as defined by the Oxford dictionary and similarly by several other academic sources,” said the women’s forum report.

  1. “Did the three countries’ democracy exist at one time but commit suicide at one point? Yes.
  2. “Were their democracies fair? Yes although the Philippines has a weak history as a democratic nation.
  3. “Were their democracies functional and beneficial. Yes.
  4. “How many women leaders have they elected? Only the Philippines has had women leaders, two. Hati Cirpan was the leader of a political party in Turkey, in 1993, which led the parliament in numbers hence she became a titular Prime Minister under the President. That is likely why the Prime Minister’s office was abolished in Turkey in 2018 under Recep Erdogan.
  5. “How many women did these nations vote to be  selected as Secretary General of the United Nations? None.
  6. “How many women were ever Secretary General of the United Nations? None.”

 If democracy requires that government be conducted with representational parity, where are the women leaders in the G20? NATO? Could this be why there are so many Wars today?

Click to enlarge image.

2020 G20 SUmmit

Chaired by King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the 2020 G20 Leaders’ Summit was to be held on the 21 – 22 of November 2020. It was originally due to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia but moved online. Official G20 Photograph

Suppression of the Media is a device used in Turkey and the Philippines.

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa: The importance of journalists who take considerable risks to bring people the truth in countries where this involves going up against authoritarian governments has been recognized by the Nobel committee’s decision to award the 2021 peace prize to Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia.
In announcing the award, the Nobel committee called the pair “representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal”. They said Ressa had used her online news organisation, Rappler, to “expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines”. Citing “Thorn in Duterte butt gets Nobel Peace Prize

Video below: When the public is enlisted or compelled to turn in their neighbours for a “kill list” in order to avoid detention

and

when local government officials are appointed by the Duterte dictatorship and no longer elected. This has gone on in the Philippines since July 2016, supported by America, which according to the women’s forum, “has left the Philippines far distant from ever being a democracy again and likely a target for occupation again should kinetic war break out in the regions of the Asian Seas.”



Suppression of Political Opposition. In this case the Opposition Senator Leila de Lima, a global Shero, three years running,  has been in Duterte’s jail for years.

Opposition Senator Leila De Lima

In her own words, Opposition Senator Leila De Lima is defiant in defence of Filipinos human rights. Photo Credit: Twitter account of @SenLeiladeLima

Judicial Harassment of Official Opposition opposed by most governments around the world.

The following is a statement issued by the entirety of (ASEAN) the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the beginning of 2021 in the matter of imprisoned Opposition Senator Leila de Lima.

“On the fourth anniversary of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima’s prolonged imprisonment, parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia today expressed their collective solidarity with her and renewed their call for her immediate and unconditional release.

“It should never be a crime to challenge the authorities or hold them to account. This is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy and ensures that those in power are kept in check,” said Wong Chen, a member of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) and Malaysian lawmaker. “Senator de Lima’s detention represents the worrying state of democracy region-wide and the rise of authoritarianism, which we must work relentlessly to push back against to protect fundamental freedoms.” 

“Senator de Lima has been one of the most vocal critics of President Duterte’s deadly anti-drugs policy, and has remained in detention since her arrest on 24 February 2017 for alleged drug trafficking charges. Prior to her arrest, she launched a Senate investigation into extrajudicial killings under the current administration. Her legal proceedings have also faced significant delays and at least six judges have withdrawn from hearing her case.”


“It’s as if these people don’t count: women, children, the poor, the poorly educated, the credulous, and the drama junkies addicted to hatred,” concluded the women’s forum.

“Their so-called votes can be had using social media and muck-raking catch phrases like, “I can’t breathe” or “A total witch hunt.”  Or other phrases like “Stop the steal”, “The election is rigged,” or “The media is a disgrace.”

Does this leave the intelligent voter at home, not voting out of disgust? If so, who is deciding elections?