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Not So Fast!

June 18, 2015

We prefer a (representational) democracy because that form of government is designed to make possible, and encourage, awareness by all persons of their best interests, and to make it possible for them to actively support officers of government who will serve those interests (and oppose those who don’t).

TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for American participation in international trade among Pacific countries, is being considered by Congress with so much secrecy that it undermines our democracy. For instance the bill itself is very lengthy and written in very technical language, and yet, even a United States Senator, while allowed to read it (in a guarded room), is not allowed to have a technical assistant or to take notes. Obviously the procedure is designed to keep the contents of the bill secret (until it is too late).

Apparently the bill has been written to a great degree by representatives of the very large corporations who will benefit if the bill is passed. But how can we know?

How can we, citizens, possibly know whose interests will be served, or whether our best interests will be subverted by an act of our own government?

Furthermore, President Obama is asking Congress to give him special (since 2002) Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “Fast Track” authority.

From Wikipedia: “The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster.”

In practice, with “Fast Track” authority, a President can negotiate trade agreements with greatly reduced public knowledge or exercise of our best interests through actions by our representatives.

Why are we allowing that to happen?

Democracy, anyone?

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