Daily Politics Blog – How to Find a Good One

So you are interested in the world of politics but do not know where to find a good daily politics blog. In this article I will provide you with the best method for finding the blogs you want to read. I will not tell you what to read, I will tell you how to find a political blog you want to read -one that suits your specific tastes.

If you know essentially nothing about the world of political blogging you should understand a few things right off the bat.

Firstly, a daily politics blog can come in one of two forms. The first type is the kind most people probably think a political blog looks like. It is the “personal blog”. It is made by one individual. The second type is the corporate type. It is like a company as it has several writers or “contributors” who make up the daily blog into what is very similar to an online newspaper.

Secondly, the thing you need to know right away upon entering the politics blog universe is that the vast majority of political blogs are biased or at least “lean” one way or another -they are opinionated news. There are however many politics blogs that take a non-partisan or neutral approach to their blogging. Remember, this kind of blog might be articulating a point of view just like partisan blogs.

Finally, the most important thing to do, in my opinion, is to do research on the political blogs you start reading. If the blog is a personal one try to understand where they are coming from. If the blog is a corporate one look them up on Wikipedia. See who owns them and possibly which way they “lean” (left or right for instance).

Alright, so now that you are schooled in spotting blog types and their content you can start searching for a great daily politics blog.

I suggest you immediately figure out what kinds of political blogs you want to follow before you start following them. You should have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish by reading a blog online. Are you trying to educate yourself? Are you looking for other people who will articulate your shared positions on politics? Or maybe you want to act like a media analyst by looking at daily politics blogs on both sides of the political spectrum!

Whatever you are looking for and wherever you might be on the political spectrum, there is really only one final step to finding a great blog you can follow every day and it involves Google.

Search Google for the words “politics blog” (or blogs) or “political blogs” (or blogs) while combining a word that specifies exactly what kind of material you want to see. For example, if you are a life long Republican in the United States you might want to put “conservative” or “Republican” in front of politics blog. If you are a centrist you might want to type “moderate” or “centrist” at the beginning. What you put in addition to the first words is up to you and will depend on your political views.

Using Google is the best way for newbies to get settled in to the political blogging world as the first page results are usually the more established personal and corporate blogs. Since so many mainly personal political blogs die in their first year (people just stop writing), using Google is the ideal first step. Keep in mind you can use other search engines but Google superior in my humble opinion.

Happy reading!

 

Online Political Science Degree – Be A Success – Make A Change

After successfully completing an online political science degree from an accredited university or school, political science majors see world events from various perspectives. There are those who pursue this degree in hopes of launching a political or civil service career. However, there are various other career options.

You can be a high school teacher, college professor, campaign manager, legislative aid, agency specialist, state legislator, district attorney, legislative attorney, consultant, lobbyist, press secretary or even a judge. With these job options, the salary and benefits you can receive is definitely more than sufficient.

Since most voters usually decide at the spur of the moment, political science students learn how to research on context, particularly about different governments which have either failed or thrived in their social agendas. Political Science students concentrate on specific areas of politics such as international relations or the local government.

It is a sad fact that there are politicians who don’t really understand minor to major issues which their constituents are facing. To resolve this, they rely on a team of expert consultants and analysts which can fill in gaps for their election platforms. With knowledge on these specializations, students are able to build a track record of research. Later on, they can use these in gaining expertise on their chosen fields.

Whether it’s an on-campus or online political science degree program, most universities and colleges encourage their students to participate in their specific department. They require their students to complete short certificate programs or to commit to a lifelong career via a PhD in their chose specialty. There are various political science degree programs you can choose from depending on your level of education and background.

If you are a working professional or a student and you were not able to complete your undergraduate degrees in Political Science, you still have a chance to enhance your skills via an online certificate program or through an associate’s degree. With a certificate program, you can build crucial skills in certain specialty areas. Working professionals can use these certificate programs in providing addition expertise so that they can qualify for career moves or promotions.

With an associate’s degree, students become exposed to career opportunities in public service. Then again, many are reconsidering this option because competition is tough. As a result, online universities and colleges encourage their applicants to roll over their course credits and consider a master’s degree program or a full 4-year online Political Science degree program.

When it comes to a master’s degree in Political Science, you can use your life experiences as well as your previous undergraduate work in exploring deeper issues in politics and influence. This is a great way in deepening your understanding of the political structure and its noted influence on both domestic as well as international policies. Niche fields like nonprofit law, public policy, administrative theory, regulatory policy and labor management relations fall into play in these graduate programs.

If you are only aiming for a part-time degree, you can earn credits by completing a 2 to 5 year online Political Science degree program. This way, you can land in a career as a civil servant or as a campaign worker.

Then again, if you want to advance further and you are thinking of pursuing a Political Science doctorate degree, this is the best way to increase your chances of becoming leaders of private research foundations or tenured faculty members. Through an online Political Science degree, you can focus on deeper topics like transnational & comparative politics and policy; public administration; policy analysis and administration; justice politics and policy; as well as American politics and policy.

An online political science degree program is your best bet to succeeding in Political Science careers. This is the best and most effective way to learn certain skills and characteristics which can help you in your chosen field. This includes the efficiency in oral presentation; a more thorough understanding of the American political system; strong written communication skills; comprehensive yet accurate research skills; a better understanding of international politics & policy; as well as more effective interview skills & techniques.

To become certified as a teacher, you need to meet both local and state requirements. You may need to pursue continuous or additional education in order to maintain your eligibility. If you are applying at a federal agency, you would need to pass a complex entry exam before you can get a personal interview.

Thus, during the interview, you may even be required to join in role playing exercises. For a civil servant position, you would succumb to a rigorous background check. This means, if you have something to hide, you would need to divulge your incriminating and embarrassing information during the early part of the interview.

Once you pass the substance or drug abuse test as well as the background check, you can get a low level security clearance. As you advance to higher profile projects, you will also earn higher clearance levels.

 

Where Now For European Political Parties?

Political parties perform important roles in European societies. Parties are institutions in which citizens with similar political views organise, develop political programmes and actively participate in the political process. They are vital for democracy because parties offer the most clear-cut political choices that are put to the electorate. Parties are also recruitment organisations, through which parliamentarians and members of government are sourced. Even though the latter functions are important, the general effectiveness of parties is closely linked to the first characteristic: their societal embeddedness – the main channel between a party and citizens. And in this respect, political parties have been declining dramatically.

The demise of political parties is not a new phenomenon. Since at least the 1980s, parties in all established European democracies have suffered massive membership losses to the point where they only retain a very limited capacity to engage citizens. The societal anchor of political parties is seriously threatened. Vernon Bogdanor wrote in 2006 that ‘the story of the rise and fall of the mass political party is one of the great unwritten books of our time’. So why do I pick this rather old problem up again in 2009? Not because I want to write the obituary of the mass political party but because we can now see where the development of political parties might lead us. This potential new future became apparent during the US Presidential campaign.

Additionally to his remarkable personal qualities, Barack Obama – during the Democratic primaries, the Presidential campaign and now even as sitting President – has been extremely successful in using new communication technologies to connect directly with citizens. Through the use of social networking tools, online video messaging and almost real time updates on what was happening on the campaign trail – and by making many of these tools available to his supporters too – he was able to create a community that was not only prepared to vote for him but willing to organise and campaign on the local level. He was able to create a political movement he can now build upon.

The construction of this movement was above all possible because new communication techniques offered a way of being actively involved in the campaign for change. But if you look behind the technical tools you notice that Barack Obama’s campaign was able to recreate old – rather than create new – characteristics that traditional European parties, especially left-of-centre parties, have lost over the years: a sense of community and belonging.

Let us take the oldest social democratic party in the world as an example: the German SPD. When the party was founded in 1863, its backbone was educational leagues founded to educate workers. The cultural and community aspect was therefore not just a by-product but very much the founding principle of the party. Being a social democrat was not a question of membership in an organisation but rather a way of life. The identity of the party was reinforced by the large variety of social democratic newspapers and publications that contributed to this distinct culture. The cultural underpinnings of political parties were also evident elsewhere and it seems that it has been especially this attribute, that used to provide the closest link to society, that has declined most dramatically in recent decades.

It was argued that because of social and ideological changes in societies in the second half of the twentieth century, mass parties – rather homogenous constructs – developed into catch-all parties that attempted to integrate the diversifying political views and social backgrounds of citizens under the umbrella of the same party. Today, many parties look like what political scientists call ‘professional-electoral parties’. Such parties are organisations that have a highly centralised leadership and are focussed on winning votes and offices. They have largely abandoned the cultural heritage of traditional political parties. ‘Professional-electoral party’ is also the closest typology for US political parties, which are practically committees to fight elections without much activity between ballots. They are very candidate centred and lack organisational leadership.

So what is new that could show the way political parties could go from here? What has changed during the Obama campaign? In a nutshell, Barack Obama has managed to recreate the community aspects of old mass parties and integrate them into a professional-electoral party. In the contemporary context, however, culture does not mean a certain way of living but rather being part of a community based on a charismatic political leader, new political ideas and a desire for grassroots activism. The creation of this new culture in the Obama campaign has only been possible by the use of new media. So after it has transformed the economy and the way we communicate with each other, is the information, communication and technology (ICT) revolution now fundamentally changing the political process too? I think there are strong arguments in favour of this and Barack Obama’s success is evidence.

What does this mean for European parties? The socio-economic circumstances and ideological believes of citizens have indeed changed dramatically since the foundation of early European parties, political activism has however not disappeared. The success of single-issue movements such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International and the Globalisation critics of Attac clearly shows the enduring desire for political activism. Some of these movements have even grown into political parties in their own right, for instance the German Greens or – with a rather different political agenda – the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

So the first ingredient – desire for political activism – is still there. But how can it be used? European parties have tried for decades to open their structures to social movements and to use societal activism for their party purposes. They have all been largely unsuccessful so far because their strategies were unclear and their own structures often too rigid. Waking up to the potential of new technologies and the experience of the Obama campaign however makes it a necessity to try again – and to try harder. After all, the only alternative seems to be further decline. Initial steps to use new technologies have been taken but more needs to be done. Europe in general is clearly behind the US in terms of internet integration in everyday life including politics. But this can also be an opportunity for the party that comes up first with a successful mix of technologies for the European context.

The second ingredient is political ideas that can capture and motivate people. The current economic crisis has opened a window of opportunity for a new politics. There is a vacuum of ideas since the promise of prosperity facilitated by unfettered markets collapsed with the international banking sector. This void has not been filled yet. In Barack Obama’s case the simple promise for change was enough to create his movement. This was however only possible in the narrow window of opportunity at the beginning of the economic crisis and in the specific context of US politics. If his movement is to become sustainable he needs to bring in new positive ideas. President Obama has understood this and has kept the close link to his followers even after assuming office. The way in which he encouraged living room discussions about his economic stimulus package across the US was a remarkable move and combined the desire for activism with political content. The sense of belonging and potential for activism created by a ‘I received an email from the President’ moment should not be underestimated.

The last ingredient in the mix is charismatic leadership. Early attempts of online campaigning in Europe have shown that it is very difficult to build mass participation in a political online campaign if there is not an appealing political figure at the top. Parties as such seem to be rather inappropriate vehicles for such campaigns. Identification becomes much easier if people are involved. So if the European political culture develops in the direction set out in the United States, it is likely that politics becomes more personalised and centred around political ideas represented by certain politicians.

Political parties have been declining for decades without finding a way to stop their downfall. The ICT revolution is here to stay and has already transformed many areas of our lives. The Obama campaign in the US has broken new ground and is certainly an important example to watch. But the question is how these developments can be worked into European party politics. A simple ‘copy and paste’ will not work. But the revitalisation of political culture and activism using new technologies is the most promising opportunity on offer to change the fate of political parties. Given the alternative, it is certainly worth trying.

 

Haiti’s Political Parties-Why So Many

Over two hundred years have passed since its Independence, and Haiti remains trailing behind the developing world. Now that we have entered a new and strange phase in Haiti, perhaps the lowest ever, from sporadic kidnappings, murders, to a society of lawlessness, should we sit and wait for solutions from a dubious International Community? Or should we be seeking our own solutions to our existing problems? The country that used to be the model for freedom lovers now finds itself in a different kind of a struggle, a struggle where poverty, public safety, education and unemployment become the core enemy of its inhabitants. What should we do to eradicate Haiti’s rampant problems? Where should we begin? Or should we even bother? Others, including myself, would argue that, amongst other things, Haiti’s political party system is a menace to its political stability. Thus, we cannot turn our backs on Haiti. We must help control and reduce the problems of Haiti.

The land of Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Mackandal, after all, my land has amassed so much unsolved political mysteries that I frequently wonder where to start in the process of solving its dilemmas. Though I find it difficult to pinpoint the real reasons behind Haiti’s troubles, to not attempt to seek possible solutions is adding to its misery. I would say that one of the reasons why Haiti is trailing behind the developing world is the weakness of its political party system. In fact, it seems that Haiti’s political party system has greatly contributed to its current stalemate.

Following the fall of President Jean-Claude Duvalier, political parties have mushroomed throughout the country. Haitian “leaders” from all over the world, especially from the U.S, France and Canada invaded the streets of Port-au-Prince hoping to succeed Duvalier. It was a “marathon” to the presidency. Such an attitude was then understandable for there was a vacuum in the Haitian political system. However, I’m afraid that it continues till today. To mock the people, the word on the streets of Haiti was then “no more presidents for life”. While the “leaders” are calling for changes and “saying” no to president for life, they are elected for life within their own political parties. Isn’t this ironic? We can take RDNP/Lesly F. Manigat, MDN/Hubert Deronceray, and KONAKOM/Victor Benoit as examples of leaders who are elected for life within their political parties. It is a presidential ego that is driving them so blindly that nobody seems to notice the outcry of the Haitians to the political party system. The truth is such that these “leaders” would take a five years sabbatical from the public after losing a presidential election, however, if there’s a coup d’état, they would resurface hoping to be offered the presidency.

I truly am certain that these “leaders’” sole purpose is winning a presidential election. There is no evidence to support the contrary. These aforementioned “leaders” could have been remarkable lawmakers or great mayors but, in Haiti, there is a myth about the presidency. One has to become president to prove his patriotism or to prove what he can do for the Republic. Having said this, I would argue that political party reform is necessary and must take place in Haiti for we cannot let such a weak and poorly organized system decide on the future of the country. I mention the future of the country because; I believe that, the well-being of Haiti is fundamentally rest on the direction taken by its political party system. It is also true for long term political stability to take place in Haiti. In fact, long term political stability in Haiti is contingent upon a complete political party reform. The current system is problematic and an invitation to voting flaws and chaos as it has been proven to be so. The question becomes why so many Parties?

There are more than sixty-seven political parties in a country of approximately eight and a half million souls. This is a staggering number that tends to grow daily. Though successfully organized, the last presidential election in Haiti proved the weakness of the political parties to compete. Among 34 candidates running for the office of the presidency in February 2006, 33 of them ranked on the bottom 13% of the vote tallied. What this is suggesting is that a win for President Preval could very well be a loss for Haiti, that is to say, in the absence of a strong political process, the winner is deemed to be irrelevant. Because of so many candidates, the political process becomes a joke and, quite frankly, most Haitians are not willing to laugh at Haiti’s sadness; and so they would stay home and not participate in the electoral process. As such, the legitimacy of the vote will always be questioned. Whereas, has there been a three to four political party system, the electorates would have had a greater influence in choosing the highest authority figure of the land.

As Haiti tries to get back on track, with the new elected government of Preval/Alexis, there isn’t a better time to challenge the political party system of Haiti. This government should make political party reform one of its priorities in order for political stability to take place in Haiti. Sadly, in Haiti, if one disagrees with all of the existing political parties, he will gather a few friends, sometimes reactionaries, and form his political party. This practice is unacceptable and it must be stopped. Most of Haiti’s political parties are frankly what is known to be organization of peers and associates rather than political parties. We must set a clear difference between a political party and an organization of gangsters. A political party entails broad wisdom instead of the savoir-faire of a few narrow minded individuals whose sole purposes are trying to earn a living and winning a presidential election. When engaging in politics is no longer viewed as a way of earning a living, the number of Haiti’s political parties will be dramatically declined. What I’m suggesting here is that, when life becomes unbearable in Haiti, one forms a political party as a way of dealing with the hardship of life. This practice cannot be continued for it will ruin the country to the point of no return and we must therefore call for a complete political party reform in Haiti.

An alternative could be a Three Grand National Political Party System. As I attempt to address the problem of Haiti’s political party system, I would suggest the following 3 parties as an alternative to the current brouhaha:

1- LAVALAS

2- CONVERGENCE DEMOCRATIC

3- INDEPENDENT (including the group of 184)

As the principle political actors of Haiti, both LAVALAS and the CONVERGENCE DEMOCRATIC have proven to be well known, competitive and dominant. What is left to do is naming an Independent party. I would further argue that the group of 184 is perfectly fit to become the Independent party of Haiti. With these changes in place, Haitian “leaders” would be forced to depersonalize the political parties and work together by putting forth concrete ideas to better their respective parties. It would be excited to see Haitian “leaders” competing with each others in primaries within their own parties, wouldn’t it? At one point, when the Convergence Democratic emerged, I have sensed a change in the direction of the political party system in Haiti; but the vision of this group was far from what I propose above for the idea behind it was not for the love of Haiti but the hatred of Aristide. Anyone who followed Haitian’s politics of the past decade would concur that these 3 political entities combined would easily claim about 85% of the Haitian electorates, thus any other parties would be seen as a lesser figure in Haitian politics.

Is such a proposition realistic in Haiti? Some of us would be apt to argue that Haitians are not capable of working together for they are not trustworthy when it comes to defending the interest of Haiti. Nevertheless, I believe that we can go beyond our misgivings of each others and work together in the interest of Haiti. Should it be exactly my proposition? Absolutely not, but we must agree that Haiti’s political party system is in a dire need for reform.

Political party reform is a necessary endeavor that sooner or later must take place in Haiti seeing that the consequences of it not taking place are greater than we could imagine. The road to a political party reform in Haiti is not at all trouble-free; however, we cannot afford standing, hoping for a miracle from outsiders, while the country is draining away. Haiti is loudly crying for help and it will take courage, discipline, leadership, responsibility and sacrifices to meet its needs. As citizens of this lost paradise, it is our civic duty to put aside our political differences, come forward and launch a crusade behind political party reform in Haiti. We must fearlessly and vehemently come together and demand that our political party system be reformed, and to do the contrary, is simply saying “hell” to the spirits of our ancestors.

 

The National News Media Outlets That Can Be Deemed As Political Organizations

In today’s politics it’s not the national news media that reports the story in a truthful manner of voice that reflects reality but moreover it’s the political organizations that own their own personal national news media outlets and release its own version of a political story through the national media outlet under its control. Political organizations will take a trending political story and alter it to their liking and can pretty much sway the public either minor or major to a positive outcome for their candidates.

A political organization national news outlet will display habits of cutting out small segments of a full taping to pick and choose what is going to be broadcast. The spoken words of the political organizations news anchor will alter a word or two of the person being reported on and create the altered meaning that meets the desired political thought. Some of what happens in politics is meaningless, produce blunders or what is meant as spoken is taken out of context to fit a political parties viewpoint.

A political organization that does not own its own media circle is doomed. With the internet age upon us the word of mouth is mighty but the reach is less. News organizations have a constitutional right to advertise events in the public domain but nothing stops the news organizations from broadcasting the events with alterations. There are defamation laws but in the news world if you can’t find proof of who actually created the slander you can’t win the suit. Most news organizations factor in lawsuits in their financial overhead but hide the source as best as possible. As long as the domino affect gets the altered version of the story into the public a retraction can be done the next day in a three second time period very few people will hear ending any lawsuit.

Many national news outlets report stories that voice reality in a true sense but they are not on the top tier of media reach. These lower media reach news outlets are predominantly internet based and require reading. Searching them out is a task unless you know someone that can point them out because there’s also an overshadowing amount of out of reality news outlets that are political organizations for a political party that produce media in a way that isn’t clear to tell them apart with the little one or two word alterations that change the meanings to fit the narrative.

The top tier media news outlets that are listen to media with greater reach are political organizations without a doubt. There’s one listen to news outlet in the top tier that is better than most and is seen to be a political organization also but only by the opposition that is politically owned. The one non politically owned news station showcases the opposition opinion of the news networks that are indeed owned. This single top tier news outlet has not yet appeared to be politically owned due to the reporting on stories that their opposition news broadcasters do not and are of great concern to the public.

There’s cable news and public airwaves broadcasting. Most politically owned news media outlets broadcast on both cable and public airwaves. The public airwaves are dominated by the politically owned news media outlets giving them a step up over their opposition non politically owned news media outlets. Millions of people do not subscribe to cable and cannot view the one news broadcaster that isn’t owned by a political party. There’s virtually millions of low income voters that don’t get to listen to all political viewpoints and only form their opinions from the politically owned news media that dominates the public airwaves. Public airwaves are also controlled by the political party that is elected into control of the government.

Can you even believe that some of these well known news networks and media outlets are actually political organizations as PAC’s are? Start believing because as slow as a snail is the news media in the United States isn’t fighting each other for top stories anymore but morphing into political entities. They fight each other as political organizations that cater to their supporters only. The debates are one anchor making a statement about another anchor on the opposition news network and then a minor retaliation makes its way into the attacked anchors broadcast about the anchor attacker.

Use to be the news networks were one fine family on different networks all trying to get to the top stories before the other and get a scoop. The days of the past produced some highly regarded news anchors and reporters who got the scoop or went out on assignment in a ravaged country. Nowadays it’s just old reporters with the ways of yesterday in their minds that haven’t made the change over to today. Today there are political scoops everywhere, true conspiracies, crime and foreign intrigue stories ripe for the picking and very few reporters and news anchors that work for the news media political organizations that are grabbing the headlines and broadcasting them in a truthful voice. If they do broadcast a story that is trending they only broadcast it for a few seconds with no depth or they twist it to fit their political ideology.

Yesterdays world of getting accurate news from reporters out to make a name for themselves through getting the scoop is almost over. Today it’s just programmed news anchors and reporters pushing a political agenda and if a reality doesn’t fit their political agenda the story gets manipulated and taken out of correct context to steer public thought.

News reporters that are known to be apart of these news media outlets that are in fact political organizations rarely ever achieve factual political news through investigation due to the fact that once it’s found out a reporter is from a politically owned news media outlet they get shut out from retrieving relevant information because nobody wants their truth spun to fit the ideology of the political news organization.

When a news anchor or reporter has to cater to the thought of the CEO and/or the board of directors political ideology there can be no correct broadcasting of the news. The executive staff of politically owned news media outlets strive to find news anchors and reporters that are of the same political outlook rejecting staff that will broadcast and report without a personal political viewpoint.

Some news networks have pure opinion shows and that’s alright as long as the show is advertised to be opinion. Most of the opinions on these news networks that are political organizations really try to steer public thought to their ideology and the only thing that can be said is, “Viewer Beware”.

Social media is a completely different faction of broadcasting news stories that doesn’t involve news anchors or reporters. Social media is just groups of individual people expressing opinion and looking for accurate news and when they find it spreading it around. There’s some bunk news stories that take hold but not many except in the social groups that cling to ideology and follow news stories that are produced by politically owned news networks.

In these days of big news media and politics if a political party does not have its, “Owned Media” they will struggle to get their message out past the political parties that do own their political organization news media outlets. The news media outlets of today can without a doubt be seen as political organizations owned by politicians that have risen up to be apart of large groups and control the political party. Many of these politically owned national media outlets donate huge amounts of cash to the political party they are owned by. You could say these news media outlets own the political party and in actuality this may becoming the truth but at this time it’s the political party that owns the news media outlets.