Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

December 19, 2007

Consumer democracy : Transport for London

Ken Livingstone is a classic example of a "left-wing" politician with right-wing policies. Under his guise as a progressive thinker he has evolved TFL (Transport for London) to a massive ticket collection machine.

To his credit ticket collection has not only increased but the majority of TFL is now working on collecting tickets and issuing fines. This has resulted in great monetary gains for his track record and the organisation.

However you need to ask yourself the following 10 questions to see if his term has had a real effect on the poor business travellers:
  1. Are trains and buses running better?
  2. Have platform services improved?
  3. Are you getting to work faster and safer?
  4. When you need help, do you find staff to help you at stations?
  5. Do you feel like an appreciated customer when your ticket is checked several times on multiple locations on a single journey?
  6. Do you find a seat when you travel?
  7. Is sweating, pushing people and cursing still part of daily routine?
  8. Do you feel you are getting value for money?
  9. Has the price for your ticket decreased?
  10. Do you like using TFL to get to work or would you prefer any other method instead?
If the results are positive then you should consult your doctor... :)
Otherwise please realise that apart from ultra-modern ticket machines, ticket police that treat you like a criminal and more ticket collection offices, there is hardly anything better (if not worse) about transport in London.

Thanks Ken.


December 03, 2007

George Papandreou survives election loss

The leader of the Pan Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in Greece has survived failure to win the elections and continues to remain party president and opposition leader in the Greek parliament. His track record as Foreign Affairs minister was good, however since taking the position of party leader he has lost three national elections. His party reforms have been inconsistent and his new way of making politics incomprehensible to most Greeks.

Despite all that, party delegates as well as the general public (this is a worldwide first, as anyone who registers as a friend or party member can vote) elected him again into PASOK's presidaency.
Many argued that this is due to the old political family's brand name. Other because they think it will pay off in the future.

Many though still feel that he has yet to strike a chord of support with the majority of the Greek electorate.