voice for democracy

From grassroots to lawmaker: A glimpse of China's 'whole-process democracy' – Yahoo Finance

BEIJING, Oct. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The notion of Chinese democracy is not the same as that in the West. The political system in China is more about consensus building within a greater voice rather than the protracted bargaining to arrive at decisions common in the West.
The country's application of democratic principles follows an approach Chinese President Xi Jinping has termed "whole-process people's democracy." The concept was put forward about two years ago, during Xi's visit to a civic center in Shanghai.
Based on people's congress system, the "whole-process people's democracy" enables the Chinese people to broadly and continuously participate in the day-to-day political activities at all levels, including democratic elections, political consultation, decision-making and oversight.
The story of Chinese lawmaker Liu Li gives a glimpse into how China's whole-process democracy operates.
A foot masseuse's way up to China's top legislature
Liu, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) China's top legislature, has fought her way to the influential position from the grassroots.
She was born in a poor rural family in Yingshang, a small county in east China's Anhui Province. She quit school at the age of 14 and worked to support the education of her four siblings.
After leaving home penniless, she went to Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province to work as a waitress and nanny before finding a job as an apprentice in a foot massage center in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province.
Her humble background didn't stop her charitable giving. Liu dropped out of school, but she didn't want others to be like her. From 2006 to 2010, she sponsored over 100 students.
Liu's goodwill made her a national celebrity. She was called "the most beautiful foot masseuse in China" and later became a representative for migrant workers and the rural population in China's top legislative body.
In 2012, Liu was elected as a deputy to the local legislature in Xiamen and became an NPC deputy in 2013. A year later, she moved back to Anhui, where she runs a foot massage parlor and a community center for seniors. She was elected as a deputy for the 13th NPC.
'Democracy is not for decoration'
Unlike legislators in the West who make a career of politics, China's NPC deputies, like Liu, work part-time, and many of them are ordinary citizens from all walks of life, including farmers, factory workers, craftsmen, and even street cleaners.
At the annual full session, NPC deputies review and vote on important legal documents and personnel changes, including electing China's president and vice president every five years and submitting motions and proposals.
Liu's proposals have focused on disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly, children and migrant workers. In 2018, Liu proposed establishing local "one-stop" help centers to investigate child sexual abuse cases to the NPC. Her proposal was addressed by the NPC and measures were adopted.
Prosecution authorities in Anhui's Dingyuan County took the lead and set up a juvenile legal education center to handle such cases and minimize the negative impact on children during investigations. Now, there are 15 such centers in the province.
Liu's suggestions originated from close contact with local communities. When the NPC is not in session, she visits fellow migrant workers' homes and collects their opinions online. She also listens to comments on society from her clients who come from all walks of life.
Liu's story is only one example of how grassroots deputies respond to people's needs and how people's congresses contribute to China's "whole-process democracy." As Xi observed, "Democracy is not an ornament to be used for decoration; it is to be used to solve the problems that the people want to solve."
There are five levels of people's congresses. The deputies are elected by their respective constituencies, either directly or indirectly. NPC deputies are elected by the people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. At the lower levels of township and county, deputies to people's congresses are elected directly by voters, accounting for a majority of deputies at all levels. They elect deputies to people's congresses of cities, who in turn elect deputies at the provincial level.
In 2019, there were a total of 2.67 million deputies of people's congresses of all levels, including 590,000 at the county-level, and 1.94 million at the township level. Deputies at the two levels accounted for 95 percent of the total number.
"If the people are awakened only for voting but enter a dormant period soon after, if they are given a song and dance during campaigning but have no say after the election, or if they are favored during canvassing but are left out in the cold after the election, such a democracy is not a true democracy," Xi has said.
The prospect of a new “billionaires tax” is dawning while the chances dim for income tax and capital gains rate hikes on the rich. The tax would apply to households worth at least $1 billion, or with three straight years of income over $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has been working on the topic for years, it remains to be seen what specifically will be proposed for a spending bill that can’t afford any Democratic defectors.
Here's how to maximize the Social Security benefits you receive and minimize the taxes you pay on them.
In the last batch, people got close to $1,700 back, on average.
Every time I have been to Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump has been a gracious host to my family, and we have wonderful memories of our times there. Further, the U.S. economy under President Trump was clearly better than it is today. Accordingly, it came as little surprise to me that Digital World Acquisition (DWAC) exploded after it announced a deal with an entity called Trump Media & Technology Group.
(Bloomberg) — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he sees a sustained threat of markedly higher inflation.Most Read from BloombergCities' Answer to Sprawl? Go Wild.Hamburg Is at the Heart of Germany’s Growing Dilemma Over ChinaWhy Americans and Britons Are Rushing to Buy Idyllic Homes in ItalyOne of California’s Wealthiest Counties Could Run Out of Water Next SummerThe Top Money Maker at Deutsche Bank Reaps Billions From SingaporeWhile some of the forces pushing up prices are li
One of the big questions for policy makers and traders alike is whether the people who have left the workforce will, at some later point, jump back in.
(Bloomberg) — Oil erased gains after hitting $85 a barrel for the first time since 2014 with traders focused on upcoming talks between Iran and the European Union that may lead to a revival of a 2015 nuclear deal. Most Read from BloombergCities' Answer to Sprawl? Go Wild.Hamburg Is at the Heart of Germany’s Growing Dilemma Over ChinaWhy Americans and Britons Are Rushing to Buy Idyllic Homes in ItalyOne of California’s Wealthiest Counties Could Run Out of Water Next SummerThe Top Money Maker at
The remains of Cefolia, 50, who went missing in August 2000, were found at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien.
The former guy had a meltdown over his once-favorite network for running ads critical of him.
The founder of "Cowboys for Trump" may be moseying along on his lonesome.
Minneapolis’ first cop to be convicted of murder may regain his freedom sooner than anticipated. In an unprecedented turn of events, a Minnesota judge re-sentenced […]
Both pensions and Social Security provide an income stream to retirees, but they differ widely on how they're structured and funded. Learn the differences.
Relatives of more than two dozen American hostages and wrongful detainees held overseas told President Joe Biden in a letter on Monday that they questioned his administration's commitment to bringing their loved ones home. In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, the family members complained that the administration seemed to be getting “bogged down in burdensome processes or policy debates that keep our loved ones from coming home and keep us uninformed of what you can and cannot do to help us.” The letter reflects growing concerns within the hostage community that the Biden administration's foreign policy agenda does not prioritize the release of hostages, and that legal and political actions have complicated rather than advanced efforts to get captives released.
Yellen said lawmakers are considering a "billionaires tax" to help pay for Biden's social safety net and climate change bill.
New York City store clerks teamed up to thwart a would-be robbery, beating the suspect to the ground with their fists in an incident that was captured by security cameras in the store.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) -Turkey's lira performed a volte face and bonds bounced back from multi-month lows after President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed statements on Monday from several Western embassies, paving the way for the de-escalation of a diplomatic row. The lira had tumbled as much as 2.4% to a record low early in the day after Erdogan said on Saturday he had told his foreign ministry to expel the ambassadors of the United States and nine other Western countries for demanding the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala. Though the currency pulled back from the brink after Erdogan made comments on his way to a cabinet meeting called to discuss the rift.
HOUSTON (Reuters) -Locked-out workers at Exxon Mobil Corp's Beaumont, Texas, refinery will vote between Nov. 12 and Dec. 22 in a mail-in ballot on whether to remove the United Steelworkers union (USW) from representing them, according to the company and union. The U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will send out the ballots on Nov. 12 to workers represented by USW Local 13-243 at the refinery and adjoining lubricants blending and packaging plant, according to Exxon and the union.
On Sunday, "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" examined police officers who are refusing to follow COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Two sources are communicating with House investigators and detailed a stunning series of allegations to Rolling Stone, including a promise of a “blanket pardon” from the Oval Office
(Bloomberg) — A South Korean court fined Samsung Electronics Co. Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee 70 million won ($60,000) for his illegal substance use, dealing another legal blow to the de-facto head of the country’s biggest company. Most Read from BloombergCities' Answer to Sprawl? Go Wild.Hamburg Is at the Heart of Germany’s Growing Dilemma Over ChinaWhy Americans and Britons Are Rushing to Buy Idyllic Homes in ItalyOne of California’s Wealthiest Counties Could Run Out of Water Next SummerThe Top M