V.P. Cheney's speech on democracy -Lithuania 2006

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V.P. Cheney's speech on democracy -Lithuania 2006

Postby Liberator » Thu May 04, 2006 5:37 pm

May I bring your attention to this well written speech that V.P. Cheney gave in Lithuania recently and particularly adressed it to the former tyrannical republic's of Central and Eastern Europe who are today joining the democratic nations.
In his speech the U.S. V.P. points out that Belarus is today the last dictatorship remaining in Europe and that the U.S. stands with the people of Belarus in their fight for democracy.
Furthermore he goes on to criticize the Russian government for being against reform and treating its people unfairly.

In reference to the thread on Monarchy vs Republic I would just like to state that if DEMOCRACY is implemented in any given country then its system of governance does not matter MUCH. I say MUCH because I ardently believe that in countries like Iran, with its rich culture, history and multi ethnical background (one people -Iranian - though coming from subgroups - Kurds, Lor, Azari...) as well as non-Iranian people that inhabit this ancient land (Turkmen...) the monarchial system plays a great role in preserving the culture, history, and unity of this nation.

What should be of top priority for us today is not Monarchy or Republic but it should be DEMOCRACY, the system of governance our people want for the continued prosperity of our motherland comes second.

You can read the full article here:

http://www.iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news ... &d=04&a=16



There is no single model of democracy; our systems vary according to the unique traditions of our countries, the languages we speak, and the events and the heroes of our history.
Yet healthy, self-governing, forward-looking societies have the same basic strengths. Democracy starts with citizens casting their votes, but that is only the beginning. Elections must be fair, and regular, and truly competitive. Men and women must be free to speak their minds -- and here a simple test is proposed by the former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky: "Can a person walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm? If he can, then that person is living in a free society. If not, it's a fear society."

In a free society, political parties must be able to function without harassment. Candidates must be able to seek resources and votes in a spirit of competition, not a climate of anxiety. There must be an active, independent news media to keep citizens informed, and to make possible the free exchange of ideas and debate. And election results must yield the voluntary and orderly transfer of power.

In a democracy, the state itself has only limited authority over the lives of its citizens, because the true strength of a nation is found in the institutions of civil society -- the family, communities of worship, voluntary associations, and free enterprise. Each person is entitled to freedom of conscience -- not merely the right to hold a religious belief, but to practice that belief and to share it with others. Citizens deserve basic guarantees of equal treatment under the law, and minority groups should be safe from oppression. Protecting civil society and upholding individual freedom requires the rule of law -- and that is at the very heart of government's reason for being. Government meets this obligation by ensuring an independent judiciary, a professional legal establishment, and honest, competent law enforcement.

When power is accountable and the rule of law is secure, people have the confidence they need to start businesses, invest capital, and plan for the future. And here again, the state has a limited but an essential role: to create the conditions for growth and wealth creation throughout the economy.

In times of economic transition, there can be a temptation to make policies that bring short-term benefits -- whether price controls, protectionism, or state ownership. But the experience of our world -- demonstrated by nations on every continent -- proves that closed and overregulated systems only hinder progress and pull a nation down. Long-term growth depends on the free market, because the engine of prosperity is the private sector. In a successful democracy, therefore, government must protect property rights; promote competition; encourage fair and open trade with other nations; and levy taxes that raise revenue without punishing work, savings, investment, and entrepreneurship.

Leaders must also persevere in fighting the two greatest enemies of economic progress -- bureaucratic roadblocks and official corruption. If the private sector is to thrive and to generate jobs, then entrepreneurs must be free to start companies, to hire workers, and do business without unreasonable interference or favoritism. And the only way for an economy to consistently attract commerce and investment is to root out corruption at every level, and to require openness, transparency, and accountability in the systems of business and government.

In all these ways, democracies -- both old and new -- can follow a course to political stability and economic prosperity. I am not here to say that the practice of democracy is easy. In my own country, at the time of our founding, some 20 percent of our people lived and worked in bondage. Those chains were broken only after a devastating civil war, and another century passed before fundamental rights were guaranteed to all of our citizens. As an American I cannot claim that our country is perfect. But we have learned through hard experience that nothing is more important than proclaiming an ideal of freedom, equality, and justice -- and, despite difficulties, always reaching for that ideal. There is no question that every ounce of effort in such a cause is repaid in national unity, in peaceful progress, and, above all, in greater opportunity and dignity in people's lives.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" -J.F.K
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Postby whatmeworry? » Wed May 10, 2006 1:19 pm

You've got to be kidding me...
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