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The main film features interviews and views from Australians, Canadians, the French, and others, as they explain how their systems work.
See

Here are a few shorts based off the research from Considering Democracy.  They are quick bits of information, each running around one minute. The main film fills in the details and gives personal stories, reactions and beauty from around the world. They can also be found at the links below.

http://youtube.com/user/consideringdemocracy
http://democracy.blip.tv
http://dailymotion.com/consideringdemocracy

Here's the trailer. Scroll down to see other clips.

Disclaimer: Each section ends with a question. The question is not an end in itself, but something to think about.


Work and Vacation Time - Part 1
Let's define the change!  Now before making rash decisions, let's think about this.  As I've been talking to people who have legislated, mandatory vacation time and have learned that there is rational behind the process.  A lot of countries actually got it after WW2 when they were rebuilding their economies.  It can have a positive impact on the economy. Ahhh... to be able to relax on a warm beach somewhere. Just something to think about.

The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.

- Marcus Aurelius


Healthcare - Part 2
Something else to think about... It's pretty handy how people in other countries pay into their Medicare system and get healthcare. Oddly, the majority of people who pay into healthcare in the U.S. don't get coverage. Perhaps that's something that could be changed.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

- Aristotle


Media - Part 3
Have you ever had not-so-nice thoughts our news? I asked a French person to record an hour of their news because I wanted to see what type of 'sponsorship' or commercials their news had. He looked at me with pity and explained that they don't have commercials because it might taint the nature of the news. Just something to think about...

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.  When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.

- Edward R. Murrow

The link below will take you to a recent analysis of the U.S. news:
http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/248


Foreign Policy - Part 4
What do you think of our foreign policy? We are spending a huge portion, of our treasury on foreign policy issues, at the same time that our economy is not doing so well.

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force… Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

- George Washington

Think! It's fun

Our nation is somewhat sad, but we’re angry.  There’s a certain level of blood lust, but we won’t let it drive our reaction.  We’re steady, clear-eyed and patient, but pretty soon we’ll have to start displaying scalps.

- George W. Bush

Intermission

Here's an interview that taken on the Fall 08 screening tour.


Foreign Aid - Part 5
Just something to consider... If the economy continues to go in the same direction, perhaps we could look at the process of grant allocation. Instead of giving weaponry grants to other countries, perhaps we could fund education in the United States.

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.

- Edward Everell


Political Finance - Part 6
While regular citizens contributed in great numbers to the recent elections, corporate funding and individuals connected to the corporate world (including the financial, insurance and defense giants) will continue to plow money into campaigns. This is based on the notion that corporations have personhood rights. Should corporations have more rights than humans? (Good thing that the U.S. Constitution can be reinterpreted. It has happened before.)


Our country is now geared toward an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria in an incessant propaganda of fear.

- General Douglas MacArthur

Lobbying and Legislation - Part 7

Let's remember that we do live in a representative democracy in the United States, and also keep in mind exactly who our representatives are supposed to represent. While we vote them into office, when they go to Washington D.C. it seems as if a lot of representatives undergo a brain/ethics transplant. Instead of having a brain transplant, it is more likely that they are starting to bend to the unrelenting corporate lobbying process that they are subjected to. As we think about defining the change, the ability of multinational corporations to lobby and create policy is something to keep in mind.

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.

- George Orwell

The link below will take you to see lobbyist Stephen Payne ask for money in order to gain access to Dick Cheney and others, in return for a rather large donation to the proposed Bush Library.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article4322684.ece


The Revolving Door - Part 8

Perhaps part of the corruption of the American system is caused by the phenomena of the Revolving Door. Should corporations and private contractors be able to hire our former representatives and exploit the relationships that they built during their tenure in public service? It seems that this might be a danger to both free market capitalism and the contracting process, possibly setting up systems where contracts are given to businesses that don't do a good job - they just happen to be well connected. Yikes! (The first step is to know about it. The second step is about talking to others and the third step would be to look for solutions. It can happen.)

Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.

- Abbie Hoffman


Once at a video host site, you can email videos to others in order to get people thinking and talking about these issues as we get closer to the elections. You can even email them to your politicians! Even better, think of your own questions, create a quick short and extend the discussion.

http://youtube.com/user/consideringdemocracy
They are also at http://democracy.blip.tv
And also at http://dailymotion.com/consideringdemocracy

Here's another place to go look for interesting thought provoking media.

http://mediathatmatters.org

To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public.

- Noam Chomsky

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Copyright 2008 A Girl with a Camera Productions