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February 01, 2005
    The disputed results of the last two presidential races have caused many across the political spectrum to focus their attention and activism on the functioning of representative democracy in the US. But does the root of the problem lie with the Bush administration or the electoral process itself? Shahid Buttar takes a look.

Some refer to George Bush as a "polarizing" president, as if to hide the embarrassing fact that most the country considers him either incompetent or corrupt. The Bush White House is indeed belligerent, short-sighted, and profoundly threatening to many of our country's fundamental political values – including the separation of church and state, and due process of law.

February 01, 2005
    The faith of Miami-Dade County voters in the electoral system – especially within black communities ­­– has been shaken by a history of disenfranchisement.

While not the only means of civic engagement, voting is the most wide-scale and popular method of political participation. A critical piece of ensuring the broadest participation of voters is securing the public's confidence that every citizen can vote and that each vote is counted. Yet, almost 4 decades after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the silencing of votes continues.

The 2000 elections were overtly criminal. One out of three Florida black votes (26,000 votes) were thrown out. Florida's Secretary of State paid a private company $4 million to remove primarily black voters from the voting rolls.

February 01, 2005
    The demonstrations that surrounded the Republican National Convention (RNC) this past summer were the largest counter convention protests since the two major parties first started holding them way back in 1832 and 1856 respectively.

Half a million people took to the streets on August 29th against 'The Bush Agenda' in a march organized by United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ).

February 01, 2005
    Many progressives were initially stunned by the margin of the recent Bush victory in the popular vote. While the Republican right has long held the advantage in the corporate media and the political establishment, few realized or expected their success in an arena traditionally dominated by the unions or the Democrats: grassroots organizing.
February 01, 2005
    The US occupation of Iraq is passing through a critical stage that may very well decide its fate. The November attack on Fallujah was intended to cripple the Iraqi resistance enough to clear the way for the January 30 elections. Instead it may have inflamed the insurgency and alienated the Sunni population, casting doubt on the legitimacy of any new Iraqi government. Who is the resistance and can it be overcome? What is the state of the occupation going into the elections and can a legitimate government be created under foreign occupation? Rami El-Amine asked several commentators for their views.

Juan Cole is professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan and author of Sacred Space and Holy War.