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Amber Why is it that no one listens to young people’s opinions? Ellen Personally, I believe that the reason many young people’s opinions aren’t valued is that older people tend to brush them off due to a lack of experience. Amber Everyone’s opinion matters. Adults tell the youth that they are the future yet they don’t want to hear what they have to say. It doesn’t make any sense. Ellen Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Respect for other’s opinions has to go both ways, and telling younger people to respect an older person’s opinions while not taking them seriously when they express their own isn’t the way to go about anything, especially politics. This can discourage young people and can sometimes drive them away from getting involved. Amber Young people getting involved in politics is what has helped spark revolutions throughout history. Everyone should encourage it. If people discourage young people from getting involved then you get disinterested adults. Ellen Going back on what I said earlier, telling young people that their opinions are lesser to older people’s because of a lack of experience is somewhat contradictory. If a young person doesn’t have experience in politics and is brushed off when they talk about it, then they ultimately won’t be able to gain that necessary experience. Amber Having a conversation is how everyone involved learns. It doesn’t work if only one side is talking. Young, old and everyone in between will benefit by sharing their opinions with each other. Ellen And that’s exactly what VER is intended to do. By giving young people chances to share their views with the world and be listened to, it opens up the conversation and gives everyone a chance to learn from each other.


VER Discussion


The Importance of Trust and Loyalty in Leadership


Blind Loyalty


They say Love Makes You Blind, but Loyalty in Politics May do the Same


Whatever it Takes — The Unpractical Guide on How to Keep Your Voters Loyal


Loyalty: a Thing of the Past




In Defence of the Alt-Right


No. 56


The Room Where it Happens and Why it’s Important


Community Voing Loyalty


Loyalty to Harmful Traditions


Citizens Without Voices


Why Stay Loyal to What You Believe?


Words or Bonds?


How Loyalty to Ideology Shapes British Politics


American Dream


The Congress Party — A Mockery in the Making


Neither Here, Nor There... Perhaps Everywhere


Let’s face it: no matter how great you are as a leader, without loyalty, you’ll never be able to achieve your goal. Your clear vision of the future, amazing communication, ability to take a stand, and, of course, your well-skilled team, won’t stand a chance if people aren’t loyal to you. So, how do we attain loyalty? Well, one of the biggest factors that are necessary to attain loyalty is trust. When I say trust, I do not mean followers blindly trusting a leader. That trust is not easy to attain. Being trustworthy in positions of leadership is absolutely vital and cannot be ignored. In the same way, trust is a two way street. If you do not trust your team, your team will never trust you and without trust, loyalty cannot magically appear. Trustworthiness. It’s something that we all look for in the people we associate with. A significant constituent of the Emotional Quotient (EQ), trustworthiness can only be achieved by acting consistently, admitting your own mistakes and practicing what you preach. Let’s look at it this way: If you eat the cookies that someone spent a lot of time on, and tell them that you ate them, sure, they’ll be angry at first, but would it affect your relationship? On the other hand, if you ate the cookies, DENIED that you ate the cookies, and then they found out that you actually DID eat the cookies, they’d be even angrier. Not only that, the next time their baked goods go missing, you’d automatically become the culprit, and even if you deny it, you won’t be trusted. Well, at least based on my experiences.

“...trustworthiness can only be achieved by acting consistently, admitting your

own mistakes and practicing what you preach.”

In today’s society, our political leaders haven’t done much to gain our trust. They are increasingly inconsistent, they never own up to their mistakes and they break most of their promises. In fact, a lot of leaders don’t even bother to show us that they trust us and yet we still continue to vote them in and accept this for lack of a better option. It’s as if someone took your cookies, ate them, lied to you about it, repeated that multiple times but you still bake cookies in front of them because there’s only one oven in the house, and they know when it’s being used. For social stability, trust between the representatives and the people is a must. Establishing it is extremely important for any organization or government. Without trust and loyalty, no organization can truly achieve all its goals. Instilling trust and loyalty is vital for society today.

t extbyGabr i el l e

desi gnbyCl audi aI oni t a


I nGeor geWashi ngt on’ sf amousf ar ewel laddr ess,hewar nedoft hedanger sofpol ar i zat i on andcr eat i onofpol i t i calpar t i eswi t hi nanat i on.However ,al mosti mmedi at el yf ol l owi nghi s deat h,f oundi ngf at her sAl exanderHami l t onandThomasJef f er soncr eat edt heFeder al i st andDemocr at i cRepubl i canpar t i es,r espect i vel y .Obvi ousl y ,Amer i canpol i t i cshave ev ol vedovert heyear s,wi t hmanymor emi norpar t i espoppi ngup,al ongwi t ht he devel opmentoft het womaj orpar t i es.Peopl ehavet akenpr i dei nt hei rsi de,buti st her ea poi ntatwhi chal i neshoul dbedr awn?Today ,someAmer i cansar emaki ngdeci si onsbased of fofl oyal t yt oapar t i cul arpar t yorcandi dat e,r at hert hanf ol l owi ngt hei rownpol i t i cal compass.

Thegr eat estr i ghtt hepeopl ehol di nAmer i cai st hepowert ovot e.However ,democr acycan onl ybesuccessf uli ft hepeopl ear ei nf or med.Ot her wi se,i ti seasyf ori tt obecome i nf est edwi t hpol i t i ci anscor r upt edbygr eedandpower .Ori not herwor ds,howAmer i cai snow. I fAmer i cansf ai lt or ef l ectonwhatt heyr eal l ywantf r om t hei rcount r y ,f or m at r ue under st andi ngofwhatt heybel i eveshoul dbeexpect edoft hei rgover nment ,t heywi l lendup st uckwi t hwhat everchaot i cmesswascr eat edbyt hesegl ut t onousmonst er si nWashi ngt on. I fonei sbl i ndl yf ai t hf ult oapl at f or m,t heygi veupt hei rr i ghtt of r eet houghtandf r ee speech. I ti st hi sver yf r eedom,i ndependentt hought ,t hatal l owsAmer i caandi t speopl et of l our i sh andpr osper .I ti swhatmakesdemocr at i cpr ocesspossi bl e.Buti ft her i ghti snotact ual l y ex er ci sed,t heexpl oi t at i onoft hepeopl ebyt heoppr essi vepol i t i c alest abl i shmentwi l lnot onl yr emai n,butwor sen.

WhatAmer i cansneedt of ocusonnowi sr ecl ai mi ngt henat i onf ort hepeopl e.Nol onger shoul dweal l owf r audul entpol i t i ci ansdi ct at eourl i ves.Event houghuni t yi sneedednow mor et haneverbef or e,ourt axdol l ar sar ebei ngst ol en,ourf undament alr i ght svi ol at ed, andweour sel vesar ebecomi ngmor edi st r aughtanddi st ancedduet oadi f f er encei npol i t i cal par t i es.I fWe,t hePeopl e,ar et osaveAmer i ca,wemus tendt hi sdi scor dbet weeneach ot her . Ther ei scor r upt i ononbot hsi des.I ti st i met ost opbei ngbi asedandr eal i zeourown f l aws,openoureyesandf ul l yassesswhati st hecur r entst at eofournat i on.

Gobackt oyourr oot s;cont empl at ewhatyour eal l ybel i evei n.Andonceyou’ vef i gur edout yourmor al sandi deal s,f i ghtf ort hem.Thati swhati ssobeaut i f ulaboutt hi scount r y-you canspeakupf orwhatyoubel i evei n.Noonehasevermadehi s t or ybyst ayi ngqui et . Rebel l i on,r evol ut i on,ci vi l i zeddi sobedi ence:at t r i but est hathavepr opel l edmank i ndf or war d. Looki ngbackatAmer i canhi st or yal one,i ti scl eart hatt hi sconceptshi nest r ue.

Sogetoutt her e,nomat t erwhoyouar e,andgetpol i t i cal .Educat eyour sel faboutt he syst em,geti nvol vedi nyourcommuni t y ,pr ot estf orandpr ot ectyourval ues-vot e!I ti syour Const i t ut i onalr i ght ,butevenmor eso,yourhumanr i ghtt odoso.Andhopef ul l y ,you’ l lendup ont her i ghtsi deofhi st or y .

Theys ayl ove ma k e s y o u b l i n d . . . butl oyal t yi n pol i t i csmaydot hes ame

t extbyEmer i c

des i gnbyCl audi aI oni t a

Ther esul t soft he2017Fr enchGener alEl ect i onhavet r ansf or medFr ance’ st r adi t i onal pol i t i call andscapei nanast oni shi ngway .Bot hofFr ance’ shi st or i call ef tandr i ghtwi ng par t i esf el l af t ert hef i r stt our ,maki ngi tt hef i r stt i mesi nce1974t hatt hecent r er i ghtpar t y , TheRepubl i cans( LR) ,hadn’ tpar t i ci pat edi nt hesecondt ourofanel ect i on.TheSoci al i st Par t y( PS)r ecei vedt hewor stscor ei nt hepar t y’ shi st or y-6%.Thef ar r i ghtFr ontNat i onal ( FN)l edbyMar i neLePenmadei ti nt ot hesecondt ourbyachi evi ng23, 86%,onl yt obe oust edbyMacr on’ spar t y ,LaRépubl i queEnMar che( LREM)-cr eat edj ustoneyearagowi t havi ct or yof66. 1% t o33. 9%.

Ther esul t soft hi sgener alel ect i onhaveaf f i r medapol i t i calspl i ti nFr ance,andnotonl yhas t hel andscapechanged,butt heel ect i onhasal soc ausedt hepol i t i calal i gnmentofsome par t i ci pat i ngpol i t i ci anst ochange.Somehaveabandonedt hei rf or merpar t i esi nor dert o suppor tMacr on.Ot her s,whi l er emai ni ngamemberoft hei rf or merpar t y ,ar eout war dl y dent .Suchi st hecaseofmanyofMacr on' smi ni st er s. pl edgi ngt hei rsuppor tf ort henewpr esi Theset r ansf er soccur r ednotonl yatt hebegi nni ngbutr i ghtt hr ought ot heendoft heel ect i on andt hus,t heconceptofl oyal t yhasbeenandst i l li sunderdi scussi oni nt hedi f f er entpar t i es. Ther ei sf i ngerpoi nt i ngandt her ear ecr i esof‘ bet r ayal ! ’and‘ t r ai t or ! ’f r om bot hl ef tandr i ght . Butwhati sl oyal t yi npol i t i cs,t oapar t y?

But ,

whati sl oyal t yi npol i t i cs , t oapar t y?

Whati sl oyal t y?

‘ Fi del i t ymani f est edbyt heconductoft hecommi t ment st aken,oft her espectofr ul esof honourandofpr obi t y’ .Thi si st hesi mpl edef i ni t i onofl oyal t y .Pert hi sdef i ni t i on,l oyal t yi s f i r standf or emostaboutr ul es,r at hert hanl aws.Theser ul esar emor al ,becaus el oyal t yi sa mor alconceptwhi chi sbasedonourmor alval ues.Loyal t yi si ndeedsomet hi ngver y per sonal ,butmostoft het i me,i ti ssomet hi ngbui l twi t hanot herper sonorwi t hagr oup. Loyal t yi nvol vesani mpl i ci tcont r act-t her ei snoneedf orexpl anat i onsbecauses oci et y hasdef i nedt hem al r eady .Whent hei mpl i ci tcont r actofl oyal t yi sbr oken,wecal li t‘ bet r ayal ’ , somet hi nggener al l yext r emel yf r ownedupon. Loyal t yi ssomet hi nghi ghl yi mpor t anti nourl i vesandpar t i cul ar l yi npol i t i cswher emuchi s basedoncommi t ment s,f ai t h,suppor tandoat hs.I napol i t i calcont ext ,l oyal t yi snotan opt i onbutadut y .Ther ei saspeci f i cdef i ni t i oni nt hi sdomai n:pol i t i call oyal t yi sdef i ned as‘ f i del i t yt oapol i cy’ .I ti sacommi t mentt of ol l owapol i t i calpol i cyorphi l osophy . Thi sdef i ni t i onal sowor ksi nt hecont extofpol i t i cal par t yl oyal t y-apol i t i ci anwho hasamember shi pcar df orapar t i cul arpar t ymustf ol l owt hepar t y’ spol i ci es.But l oyal t yi npol i t i csi squi t ecompl i cat edbecauset her ear et wopar t s.Fi r st l y ,onemust bel oyalt ot hepar t y’ si deol ogyandsecondl y ,pol i t i ci ansdoi nf actsi gnacont r act whi chst at est hatt heywi l lbel oyal t ot hepar t y .Butcont r actornocont r act ,i ti s i mpossi bl ef oral lmember sofapol i t i calpar t yt oagr eeonever ysi ngl easpectandi t i snat ur alt hatmember seachhavet hei rownvi si onsandi deassur r oundi ngt hebasi c, under l yi ngf or m oft hei deol ogyt hatuni t est hem.Soi si tr i ghtf orapol i t i ci ant obe l oyalt oapar t ybutnott ohi sper sonalcommi t ment s?

Loyal t yt ot hepar t y vs . Per s onalcommi t ment s

I nFr ance,anyonecanbememberofapar t y.Accor di ngt ot hel awof1901f ort her i ghtt o f or m andj oi nassoci at i ons,al lpar t i eshavet hest at usofassoci at i ons.Thewayt hepar t yi s st r uct ur edandor gani sedi sspeci f i edbyachar t erwhi chi sl egal l yunopposabl ebuti smor al l y bi ndi ng.Thechar t erofMacr on' spar t y( LREM)st at est heval uesoft hepar t yf r om t hever y begi nni ng.The8t har t i cl est at est hat‘ t hemember soft heass oci at i onshoul dadher et ot he val ueschar t er . . .I nt hei rpubl i ci nt er vent i ons,t hemember soft heassoci at i onpl edge t hemsel vest or espectt heval uesoft heassoci at i on. . . ’ .Andi nt he9t har t i cl e:‘ Excl usi onc an bepr onounced… f ort hef ol l owi ngr easons:nonr espectoft hest at usandoft hechar t er val ues. . .Publ i cposi t i onst akenconf l i ct i ngt heai m oft heassoci at i on».Thesear t i cl es, wi t houtexpl i ci t l ysayi ngi tar edef i ni ngt henot i onofl oyal t yi nt hi sspeci f i cpar t yandi ti s si mi l art owhati st ypi cal l ydemandedofpol i t i ci ansi npar t ychar t er s.I nt her ul esofpr ocedur e oft hesoci al i stpar t y( PS) ,anar t i cl eent i t l ed‘ Loyal t yt ot hepar t y’ canbef ound.I tst i pul at es si mi l art hi ngst owhatcanbef oundi nt heLREM char t er ,buti tal soi ncl udest hatt hemember s can' tbepar tofanot herpar t yorpol i t i calgr oupandt hatt heyar eengagi ngt hemsel vest oonl y suppor tcandi dat est oel ect i veof f i cesi nvest edorsuppor t edbyt hepar t y .I nevi t abl y ,wemust comet oaconcl usi ont hatl oyal t yt oapar t ymeansabl i ndf i del i t y-youmayonl ys aywhatt he par t ywant syout osayandonl ydowhatt hepar t ywant syout odo.Consequent l y,l oyal t ycan cur t ai lt hef r eedom oft hemember s.

ManuelVal l s,soci al i st ,pr i memi ni st erofFr ançoi sHol l ande,mayorofEvr yandnowdeput y , hasl at el ypr ovi dedapr i meexampl eof‘ pol i t i calbet r ayal ’ .Dur i ngt hepr esi dent i alel ect i on, Val l sgavehi ssuppor tt oMacr oni nst eadoft hecandi dat eofhi spar t y( PS) ,Hamon.I ndoi ng so,hehasbr oken asi gnedagr eementt obackhi spar t y’ sel ect edcandi dat e.Hehas at t empt edt odef endhi msel fi nvar i ousways,butt hePShavecondemnedhi sact i onsand whathasmadehi sexper i enceal lt hemor ehumi l i at i ngi st hatLREM haveal sor ef usedhi m. Thesi t uat i onhasbot hshockedandamusedandVal l si snowper cei vedassomebodywhoi s onl youtt ol ookaf t erhi sowni nt er est s .

Ot herpol i t i ci ans,whower emember sofot herpar t i es,ar enowapar tofMacr on' smaj or i t yi n t heNat i onalAssembl y.They’ vebeencal l ed“ Macr oncompat i bl ecandi dat es” .I nt he r i ght wi ngpar t y ,TheRepubl i cans,somemember shavef or medasepar at egr oupcal l ed ‘ LesConst r uct i f s’ .LesRépubl i cai nsar eai mi ngt obet hemai npar t yi nopposi t i ont o Macr on' sgover nment ,but“LesConst r uct i f s”ar eadi ssi dentgr oupwhoar esuppor t i ng Macr on’ sgover nment .Somepol i t i ci anshavepubl i cl ycal l edt hem “ t r ai t or s”andbel i evet hat t heyoughtt obeexcl uded.Theyar econsi der edi nt hi sl i ghtbecauset heyar enotf ol l owi ng t heopposi t i onl i nechosenbyt hepar t yandmor eovert heywantt osuppor tt hosewhot he r i ghtdi dnotback. Wi t ht hei nt ent i onofconduct i ng‘ di sci pl i nar ypr oceedi ngs’ t osanct i ont hosewho‘ bet r ayed’ t hepar t y ,TheRepubl i canspl annedapol i t i calof f i cef ort he9ofJul y2017.Thef ounderof “LesConst r uct i f s” ,Thi er r ySol èr eandhi scol l eague,Fr ankRi est er ,wer epar t i cul ar l y t ar get ed.Butaf t eral ongpol i t i calof f i ce,t hepar t ywasonl yabl et ocomeupwi t ha compr omi seasasol ut i on.Thegener alsecr et ar yoft hepar t yannouncedaspeci al commi t t eei nor dert ocol l ectmor ei nf or mat i onaboutt hei nst ances,andpossi bl eexcl usi ons maybepr onouncedi naut umnf ort hosewhodi dnotabi debyt hepar t yr ul es.Atpr esent , t hosewhoar epr oMacr onar esuspendedoft hei rexecut i vedut i eswi t hi nt hepar t y .

Remai ni ngl oyalt oour ownval ues

Loyal t yi spar t i cul ar l yi mpor t antf orapar t yt osur vi veandi tpr ovi desaper cept i ont hatt he whol eoft hepar t yi smovi ngt oget heri nt hesamedi r ect i on.I fl oyal t ydi dn' texi st ,t henpol i t i cal par t i eswoul dn’ tl ast .I nasi t uat i onl i keapr esi dent i alel ect i on,wher epar t ymember sshoul dbe suppor t i ngt hei rpar t yl eaderbutar ei nst eadsuppor t i ngcandi dat esf r om ot herpar t i es,peopl e wi l lnol ongerbeabl et osenseasent i mentofcoher enceorst abi l i t yandt her ef or e,t hei rvot i ng pr ef er enceswi l lbel i kel yt ochange.I nshor t ,i ft hepar t yi sdi vi dedi t sel f ,how cani texpect uni t et hepubl i ct osuppor tt hei rcause?

Remai ni ngl oyalt oour ownval ues

Thei mpor t anceofl oyal t yi sunder est i mat edandpar t i esseem t of or gett hatt her ear et wo par t st oi t ,asal r eadydescr i bed.Thepar taboutbei ngl oyalt ot hepar t y v al uesi sof t enl ef t as i deevent houghi ti si mpor t ant .Ri ght wi ngpol i t i ci ansj oi ni ngMacr on' sgover nmenthas di r ect l ycr eat edt r oubl ei nt hepar t y .Bef or ecal l i ngt hem t r ai t or s,t her i ght wi ngpol i t i ci ans di dn' tevenwai tt oseei ft heywer egoi ngkeept heval uesoft hepar t yi nt hegover nment . Regar di ngt hi s,Thi er r ySol èr ehassai d‘ Idon' tr ecogni zemysel fi nt hi sol dwor l d,cl assi f yi ng el ect edr epr esent at i vesl i kevot i ngmachi neswhoal waysvot ef orever yt hi ngoral ways agai nstever yt hi ng.Idon' tf eelei t heri nt hemaj or i t yori nt heopposi t i on.Onl yamanf r om t her i ght ,whowant st ogetr i dofpar t i sanpost ur esbutwhowon' t ,however ,gi veabl ank chequet ot hegover nment . ’ Per hapspar t i eswi l lhavet or edef i net henot i onofl oyal t yi nt hef ut ur e.Eveni ft hepar t y syst em i sessent i alt oFr enchpol i t i call i f e,t hatdoesn' tmeanwehavet of or gett hatt heyar e si mpl yameanst oanend;t oachi evet hef i nalobj ect i vesofmaki ngpeopl e' sl i vesbet t er , ofmaki ngcount r i esbet t er ,andi fpossi bl eofmaki ngourwor l daf ai r erpl ace.

What everi t t akes

( ort heunpr act i calgui deon how t okeepyourvot er sl oyal )

t extanddes i gnbyCl audi aI oni t a

Sunf l oweroi l ,achi cken,t wopacket soff l ourandal oafofbr ead,per hapss omeeggs . No,t hi si s n’ tyouraver ages hoppi ngl i s t .Thi si swhatanel ect i onl ooksl i ke.Wel come t ot hewor l dofRomani anpol i t i cs . Fr om as hocki ng,bl oodyr evol ut i on,t omas spr ot es t s ,r evol t sandevenat t empt edcoup d’ et at s ,pol i t i csi nRomani aar et umul t uousandever changi ng.However ,t her ei sone t hi nghasr emai nedcr ys t alcl earont hes ki esoft heRomani anpol i t i call ands capef or t hepas tdecade:adomi nanceoft hes oci al i s tdemocr at i cpar t y ,SDP .Des pi t ea f as ci nat i ngas s or t mentofs candal s ,r angi ngf r om al l egat i onsofbr i ber yt opl agi ar i s m, moneyl aunder i ngandevens us pect edmur der ,t heSDPhasmanagedt omai nt ai ni t s i r ongr i pont hecount r y ,obt ai ni ngt hemaj or i t yofvot esi nal mos tal ll ocalel ect i ons , t i meaf t ert i me,yearaf t eryear .Whenconf r ont edwi t hal lt hes econt r as t i ngf act s ,one’ s i ni t i alr eact i onwoul dbe,under s t andabl y ,ofconf us i on:“ How? ”Andi ndeed,how?I t appear st hatnomat t erwhathappensundert hei rgover nance,t hes uppor ti nt hepol l s f ort heSDPr emai nsunwaver i ng.Ther ear ear guabl ys ever alf act or st hatcoul dhave cont r i but edt ot hi scont i nuouss t r eakofpol i t i cals ucces s . Tobegi nwi t h,t her ei st he“ youhel pme,I ’ l lhel pyou”ment al i t yt hathasr emai ned l oomi ngl i keadar kcl oudovert hepubl i c’ sment al i t ys i ncet heCommuni s ter a.I n Romani a,ar ound40% oft hepopul at i onl i vesi npover t y .I ft hats t at i s t i cl ooksgr i m,i t i ss t i l lnotasgr i m ast heat t i t udeofyouraver ages oci aldemocr atJ oe.Heors hes ees t hes epeopl e’ ss i t uat i onandus esi tf ort hebenef i toft hei rpar t y .Taki ngadvant ageof t hepeopl e’ sdependencyonbas i cr es our ces ,t heyof f erf r eel ydur i ngcampai gns var i ousi t ems ,f r om t heus uals t ar t erpack: “ s unf l oweroi l ,achi cken,t wopacket sof f l our ,al oafofbr eadandeggs ”t oar t i cl esofcl ot hi ngandi ns omecas es ,event echnol ogi caldevi ces .Thi si spr obabl yt hemos ti nnocentandobvi ousf or m ofbr i ber y , andi twor kswonder s .Vot er st hatf al lwi t hi nt hi spoors egmentoft hepopul at i onar e t ooof t eneagert of or getal mos tanypas tpol i t i calf ai l ur ewhenf acedwi t hdi r ect compens at i onf ort hei rs uppor t .

Ther ei sal s ot hemas s i vecont r i but i onoft hemedi at hats t r enght enst hes uppor toft he par t y .Whi l et hephenomenonof“ f akenews ”i saneweraddi t i ont ot hevocabul ar yof Amer i canpol i t i cs ,decei t f ulnewss t or i eshavebeenpoi s oni ngt heRomani anmedi af or year s .Ther ei sas t agger i ngnumberofnewschannel st hathaveacl earpol i t i calbi as f ort hes oci aldemocr at sandwon’ thes i t at et ot wi s tf act sar oundi nor dert ot ai ntt he i mageoft heoppos i t i on.Acl earexampl eoft hatwoul dbeapopul arnewschannel , Ant ena3,whi chhasal r eadybecomeahous ehol dnamef ormanyRomani ans ,andnot f orgoodr eas ons .Onnumer ousoccas i ons ,t hi snewschannelhasbeenpr ovent ohave f abr i cat eds t or i es .Fr om f al s ecl ai msr egar di ngt heacademi cpas toft heMi ni s t erof Educat i on,Dani elFuner i u,t ogoi ngasf arast ocr eat eaf akes candalaboutt he cons umpt i onofdr ugsbyr epr es ent at i vesoft heRomani anCul t ur alI ns t i t ut ei n New Yor k:t hes ear eonl yacoupl eofbewi l der i ngexampl esofwhatf akenewscan l ookl i ke.Whati st r ul yt r agi ci nt hi scas ei st hef actt hatt hes ear enotonl yr umor son obs cur ewebs i t esorpos t edbyi nt er nett r ol l s ,t hes ear edel i ber at el i est ol dona channelwi t hhundr edsoft hous andsofvi ewer sdai l y .I ti sobvi oust hats uchamedi a out l etcans hapet hemi ndsandpol i t i cals ympat hi esofi t svi ewer st oacer t ai npar t y: t her ei snot hi ngmor edanger oust hanl et t i ngs uchachannelr unwi l dwi t hi t ss t or i es . Anot hers i gni f i cantr eas onbehi ndt hepopul ar i t yoft heSDPi shypocr i s y .Thepubl i ci s of t enmucht oof or gi vi ngofper s onalmi s t akest hani ts houl dbe.Ther ehavebeen manyi ns t anceswhenvot er shaver eel ect edpol i t i ci answhohaves uf f er edt hr ough damagi ngevent s .I twoul dappeart hatt hepubl i ct endst os t i ckwi t hacer t ai n candi dat e,nomat t ert hei rpas twr ongdoi ngsi fheors hecont i nuest oadher et ot he cor edogmaoft hepar t y .MayorRober tNegoi t ai soneofmanyt ohavepr ovent hi s par adoxt obet r ue.Al t houghhewasbei ngi nves t i gat edf orf i s calf r aud,hewass t i l l r eel ect edwi t hover60% oft hevot es :acr us hi ngvi ct or y .Whats eemedt ocont i nuet o at t r actt hevot er st ohi ss i de,washi scont i nuousl oyal t yt ot hepar t yandt hes l ogan “ Changef ort hebet t er .Res pectf ort hepeopl e. ”Foral otofvot er s ,t hi swasenough. Somepol i t i ci anspl aydi r t y .Theyus ewhat evermeansneces s ar yt oachi evet hei r meansandappeart obegui dedbynomor alpr i nci pl eswheni tcomest ot aki ng advant ageoft hei rownvot er s .Theyr el yonempt ypr omi s es ,s of tf or msofbr i ber y , anddownr i ghtl i est okeept hei rpos i t i onsandr egr etnot hi ng.I ti sas ad,butt r ue r eal i t y:pol i t i csi sal otl i keagameofches s .I fyouchoos eyourmovesandmani pul at e car ef ul l y ,youcangetanywher e.

Written by Charlie Bell

Loyalty and politics have always been interlinked, likely due to the fact that politics involves people, and people regard loyalty as a positive personal quality. It would be hard to argue that loyalty isn’t important to politics at all, but there is a question of how important it is, and whether loyalty is integral to being a good politician.

Many politicians are criticised for not remaining loyal to their policies; some go back on their words, and others completely disregard their campaign promises when they’re finally voted into power. Arguably this is one of the most prominent ways in which loyalty is essential to political success; politicians who don’t remain loyal to their word often lose a lot of voters and popularity during their time in office, and then lose out immensely during re-election. In Britain, this was one of the reasons the Liberal Democrats lost so much popularity in between the 2010 and 2015 elections. Their leader, Nick Clegg, totally ignored many of their policies, and he suffered the consequences. More recently, Theresa May almost lost the 2017 elections in Britain, in part due to her inability to stick to her own policies and promises, thus angering many of her loyal voters. Surely, then, it’s indisputable that loyalty to policies leads to popularity in politics; after all, nobody wants to vote for someone who doesn’t know what they stand for. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that loyalty is essential to being a good politician, as well-liked politicians aren’t always adept politicians. In some cases, having to review the situation, be it economic or social, and

change or neglect policies, is a symbol of adaptability and versatility, and in my opinion, both of these are also important to politics, especially in times of crisis. Politicians who fail to adapt to new problems due to a conflict in loyalties are unlikely to be able to succeed at their job. This is because oftentimes, politics and government involve making difficult decisions, and doing what is right may require loyalties to be abandoned. Moreover, there is a fine line between honesty and loyalty, which sometimes becomes blurred. Just because a politician remains loyal to their original policies and views does not mean that they are being completely honest and open with their voters; it is possible to conceal things whilst still seeming transparent and this is a skill many politicians display. That being said, the reason the lines often become so blurred is because unsuccessful politicians exhibit both dishonesty and disloyalty, and the two become harder to differentiate. This, paired with the unrelenting media manipulation, leads voters to become increasingly confused about what is and isn’t true, as politicians drop policies as quickly as they pick them up, and are always bombarding us with new information at strategically chosen times.

I would argue that honesty is more important, as remaining open and clear with voters, including honesty about changes in policy, is more paramount than sticking to your guns and remaining loyal to your policies to the point where it becomes a fault. This type of honesty is often hard to find in modern politics, as many politicians treat government as a secret club, and they hide its inner workings from the general public. Politicians use the media to manipulate their supporters by strategically timing new releases of information or new introductions of laws. Some politicians even use news-less news conferences as a strategy for winning elections; they invite reporters to a press conference even if they have nothing in particular to announce, just to keep themselves relevant in the media. In addition, things are constantly being hidden from us, and it really is this lack of honesty which leads to disaster. In the recent 2017

Conversely, voter loyalty is significantly less important. Many people prefer tradition to change, and thus will continue voting the same way for much of their lives. Whilst this is potentially good for politicians, who have a reliable voter base to fall back on, it seems pointless to continue voting for a party regardless of their policies. Surely it would be much more effective to vote for the party and the candidate who best represents your views and needs, and remaining loyal to one party for most of your life can really hold you back from that. In order for representative democracy to work, people need to vote in the way that best suits them, and this can change drastically between elections, especially, as I mentioned before, if the party you last voted in failed to live up to expectations. The entire democratic system in most countries relies on voter participation and honesty, but party loyalty leads to all too familiar voting

elections, the conservative party frequently released new changes in policy during other key events, so these changes were ignored for the most part. Less recently, but still relevant, British voters chose to leave the EU after huge amounts of misinformation from the leave campaign, and even when the claims were proven incorrect, people still voted for Brexit.. Further afield, in America, Trump frequently spreads blatant lies, or “alternative facts”, whilst actually remaining loyal to his preelection promises and the wishes of his voter base. I think this is the clearest example of a politician who is both loyal and dishonest, and I still think honesty is the more important quality here. So, in this post-truth, “feelings win out over facts” era of politics, it’s clear that politicians can remain loyal to their views and policies whilst still spreading misinformation to invoke strong feelings in their voters.

patterns, and loss of faith in the electoral system (what’s the point in voting if X party always wins anyway? or I voted for Y party because I always have, but I’m unsatisfied with everything they do). In the recent UK snap election, Tony Blair encouraged voters to drop their party loyalties and vote for whichever MP was going to give them the softest brexit. Furthermore, a lack of party loyalty opens up the possibility for more unbiased discussions about politics, without having to needlessly defend a party just because of tradition. And most importantly, when voting for a party, it is essential to keep in mind that politics is about people. Your favourite party could have bad people in it just as your least favourite party can have good politicians in it. Considering the candidate is equally as important as considering their policies. Voter versatility makes healthier democracies.

Regardless of your views on loyalty in politics, it is clearly an essential quality, and it always has been. But I think in this day and age, it is not unreasonable to begin looking for more important aspects in politicians, and to begin to break away from traditional voting patterns, and move instead to a more liberated, honest democracy.

Clinton. What do you think o when you hear the name? Up until recently, southern drawls

and honey-smooth speeches paired with a nasty knack for womanizing would come to the minds of many Americans, possibly accompanying a punctuated testimony and a lie under oath. Now, in the year 2017, the Clinton name has become feminized with a bitter taste left in the mouth of her supporters. She lost: she lost to the anti-presidential candidate, and those wounds are still healing. But why? It seemed like an easy election to win in the beginning - the candidates were polar opposites and Hillary had the millennials, the feminists, and the minorities. Donald Trump was treated as a joke and those who backed him seemed just as laughable. However, as November sixth neared, people stopped laughing, and the punch line went stale. Donald Trump became the 45th consecutive male president, and the United States took two steps back in the age of walking forward. As a young woman, watching voters slip

Written by Ansley Scott

through Clinton’s fingers was devastating. I am not someone who despises Trump - I am, however, a liberal leaning high school student who wanted to say I watched the United States fully embrace the age of feminism and finally, officially, accept women in the workforce as being equal to men. I wanted to close the wage gap; I wanted to show my little sister that there’s a woman in the big chair, and that she could be there too. But now the big chair has been draped in red, and a male billionaire has taken residence. ‘Misogyny did play a part in the loss,’ says Clinton at the Women for Women International Convention in New York. Misogyny and interference with Russia, coupled with James Comey’s reopening of her email investigation just ten days before the election injured her chances of being the first female U.S President. I heard these words and couldn’t help but wonder if there was more. Distrust in her character was huge, as was the idea of a ‘protest vote’, or voting for a third party candidate because neither

the democratic or republican nominee fully fit the bill. Even her husband’s past would resurface as ammunition for conservatives. America hates cheaters - we always have, and we always will. French political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville thought he could “see the destiny of America embodied in the first Puritan who landed on those shores,” and he probably could have. Puritan values are still very apparent in today’s society. It’s the reason why schools don’t delve deeply into sex ed; it’s the reason why the American dream is to work hard to become successful. So when William J. Clinton testified in front of the nation and pounded on that podium, we wanted to believe that he really ‘didn’t have sexual relations’ with ‘Miss Lewinsky.’ Who wants to say they elected a cheater into office? When someone gets cancer, the common first thought is “Oh, that’s horrible.” But what comes next? It’s usually the why or the how. Why did they get lung cancer? They probably smoked, or didn’t get their house examined for asbestos. Why did they get liver cancer? They probably didn’t eat right, or they drank too much alcohol. We blame the victim as to not scare ourselves: if I don’t smoke, I won’t get lung cancer. If I eat right and not drink too much, I won’t get liver cancer. Could this be why one of the main arguments against Hillary was her husband’s infidelity? Is it our way of keeping scandal out of our lives through nitpicking hers, examining the scandal this way and that, trying to figure out what she did wrong so we don’t make the same mistake and suffer the same

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

consequences? Psychology professor Sherry Hamby writes about the ‘just world hypothesis’, the theory that everything that happens, happens for a reason. Americans especially ‘have a hard time with the idea that good things happen to bad people… people blame victims so they can continue to feel safe themselves.’ Voters used Bill’s infidelity as ammunition because in their minds, Hillary was at fault for being cheated on. At the Washington University in St. Louis debate, Trump picked three women out of the audience who were allegedly sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton. None of these cases were backed by substantial proof, but the message still stands: this election will be affected by Bill Clinton’s mistakes. These women shared stories of Hillary ‘threatening them’ after their encounters, trying to get them to stay quiet, though none of these stories included actual threats. These were all highly speculative. Paula Jones said that Hillary simply didn’t believe what she had to say; Kathleen Willey told of dead cats left on her porch and spooky men, but none of these accounts could be entirely traced back to Hillary. Juanita Broaddrick said Hillary came up to her with a message that had threats laced between her words, but even in a 1999 NBC News interview, she said that Clinton had never done anything to try and keep her silent. Yet still, ‘many women found it puzzling that such a strong seeming woman stayed with a husband who humiliated her by consent of cheating. But it makes a lot more sense if you consider them a pure partnership, devoted to acquiring power and money,’ writes Lisa Schiffren of the New York Daily News in an Op-Ed called ‘The case against Hillary Clinton’. Is this why women turned against one another in the election? Because they thought the Clinton marriage was simply a business deal? Or was it something much more instinctive: Was it the desire to not let their marriage melt into its own business deal? Bill Clinton’s sexual encounters may not have been the only reason Hillary lost the election, but they certainly affected the outcome. Victim-blaming stemming from our deep-rooted Puritan values, along with allegations of lying stomped Clinton’s reputation further into the dirt, and all of her supporters are still brushing the mud from their clothes.

No. 56 t ext& des i gnbyCl audi aI oni t a

Wi t hhi sout s pokennat ur eandt r ademar kgr ayhai r ,“ Li onhear t ”Koi zumiJ uni chi r o r emai nsoneoft hemos ti nf l uent i alpol i t i calper s onal i t i esofcont empor ar yJ apan, evenyear saf t ercompl et i nghi st wot er msasPr i meMi ni s t er .Dur i nghi st i mei n of f i cehehasdonet hei mpos s i bl e:r evi t al i zedt hecount r y’ ss t agnat i ngeconomy , gi venmor epowert ol ocalgover nment sands t ar t edt oal l ocat egover nment pos i t i onsbymer i t ,notf act i on.ByJ apan’ ss t andar ds ,i twasar adi calagenda.

Butj us twhoi st hi s Koi z umi ? I tmi ghtr uni nt hebl ood J uni chi r oKoi zumicomesf r om af ami l yofpol i t i ci ansandt hat ’ snos ecr et . Hi sf at her ,J un' yaKoi zumi ,wasMi ni s t erofDef ens ei nt he60’ sandamemberoft he Hous eofRepr es ent at i ves ,whi l ehi sgr andf at her ,Koi zumiMat aj i r ō,of t enni cknamed " Tat t ooMi ni s t er ”becaus eoft hebi gt at t ooonhi sbody ,wasMi ni s t erofPos t sand Tel ecommuni cat i onsi nt heTai s hōandear l yShōwaper i ods .Koi zumif i r s tbegan hi scar eeri npol i t i csi n1970whenhewashi r edass ecr et ar yt ot heMi ni s t erof Fi nance,TakeoFukada.Twoyear sl at er ,i nt hegener alel ect i onsof1972,hewas chos enasamemberoft heLowerHous ef ort he11t hKanagawadi s t r i ct ,t henj oi ned Fukuda' sf act i onwi t hi nt heLi ber alDemocr at i cPar t y( LDP) :t hebegi nni ngofa pr omi s i ngcar eer .

Li f ei nt heHous eand… zi pper s ? Koi zumievol vedqui ckl y:heobt ai nedhi sf i r s ts eni orpos ti n1979asPar l i ament ar y Vi ceMi ni s t erofFi nance,andhi sf i r s tmi ni s t er i alpos ti n1988asMi ni s t erofHeal t ha ndWel f ar e.I n1994Koi zumij oi nedt heShi ns ei ki ,anewerLDPf act i onmadeupof youngerandmor emot i vat edpar l i ament ar i ans .Hes t ar t edat t r act i ngt hepubl i c’ s at t ent i onal ongs i det woot hermember sot heShi ns ei ki :Yamas akiTakuandKat o Koi chi .Thei rt r i os oonbecameknownas“ YKK”( ar ef er encet ot hei ri ni t i al s ) ,named af t erawel l knowncompanyt hatmanuf act ur eszi pper s .

Oneyearl at er ,i n1995,Koi zumicompet edf ort hepr es i dencyoft heLDP ,andt hen agai n,i n1998,butgai nedl i t t l es uppor tonbot hoccas i ons .However ,as i l verl i ni ng appear edaf t erYamas akiandKat ower ehumi l i at edi naf ai l edat t emptt of or ceavot e ofnoconf i denceagai ns tPr i meMi ni s t erYos hi r oMor ii n2000.Thus ,Koi zumibecame t hel as tr emai ni ngcr edi bl ememberoft heYKK,whi chgavehi ml ever ageovert he youngerandmor er ef or mmi ndedwi ngoft hepar t y .

Fi xi ngt heUnf i xabl e

Thes pr i ngof2001s aw af r es hnew s t ar tf ort hewor l dofJ apanes epol i t i cs .Wi t han over whel mi ngmaj or i t y ,J uni chi r oKoi zumias cendedt oof f i cewi t hanagendaof r ef or m,r evi t al i zat i on,pr i vat i zat i onandi ncr eas eds ecur i t y .Butt hepol i t i calwat er s wer emuddy .Ami xofs candal s ,cor r upt i onandal ackofaccount abi l i t yhadt hor oughl y di s cr edi t edt hepol i t i cals ys t em,i ncl udi ngKoi zumi ’ spar t y ,t heLDP .Thecor r upt s ys t em hadpr oveni t s el ft obei ncapabl eofdeal i ngwi t ht heeconomi cs l umpt hat f ol l owedt he1990s t ockmar ketcol l aps eandnoneoft hepr i memi ni s t er st hats er ved i nt hatdecades eemedt obeabl et oi mpr ovet hes or r ys t at eoft heoncel andoft he r i s i ngSun.Al li nal l ,t hi ngswer en’ tl ooki ngt oobr i ght ,butt hatdi dnots wer ve Koi zumi ’ sconf i dencei nhi sabi l i t yt ochanget hef ut ur epr os pectoft hecount r y . However ,hemetwi t hr es i s t ance:i twast obeexpect ed,af t eral l .LDPbacker swer e uns at i s f i edwi t ht hewayi nf r as t r uct ur epr oj ect s ,s uchast her es t or at i onofhi ghways hadbeenaxedandi naddi t i ont ot hat ,t hef ai l edat t empt satpr i vat i zi ngt hepos t al s ys t em cr eat edanal ar mi ngf eel i ngofdi s uni t y .I twast heappoi nt mentofHei zō TakenakaasMi ni s t erofSt at ef orFi nanci alSer vi cesandheadoft heFSA ( Fi nanci alSer vi cesAgency)t hatki cks t ar t edt hel ongawai t edeconomi cchange. Af t ert hat ,i tf ol l owed.GDPgr owt h,hi gherur bani zat i on,i ncr eas edpr i vat i zat i on, i mpr ovedf or ei gnr el at i ons i twast hi ss er i esofs ucces s eswhi chmadeKoi zumian ext r emel ypopul arl eaderbot hwi t hi nt hecount r yandwi t hal l i eds t at es .

. . .Happi l yEverAf t er ? I nt heAut umnof2006,Koi zumiannouncedt hathewass t eppi ngdownaspr i me mi ni s t erandwoul dnotper s onal l ychoos eas ucces s or ,asot her shavei nt hepas t .He wass ucceededbyShi noAbe,whoi st hecur r entpr i memi ni s t er .Sur pr i s i ngl yenough, f orapol i t i ci anwhowasof t ent hepr es s ’f avor i t e,Koi zumidi dnotgr antas i ngl e i nt er vi ew ormadeat el evi s i onappear anceevers i ncel eavi ngof f i ce.Hedi d,however , r et ur nt ot hepubl i ceyei n2013,whenhegaveas peechaboutt heFukus hi madi s as t er , i ns i s t i ngont hei mpor t anceofbecomi nga nucl ear f r eecount r y .Thi swasqui t et he change,asdur i nghi st enur ehehadbeenapr oponentofnucl earener gy .Whenas ked abouthi ss uddenchangeofopi ni on,hes t at edt hat :“ i ti sover l yopt i mi s t i candmuch mor ei r r es pons i bl et ot hi nknucl earpowerpl ant scanbemai nt ai nedj us twi t ht he compl et i onofdi s pos alf aci l i t i es . . .Wehadf ai l edt os ecur es i t esf orf i naldi s pos aleven bef or eanacci dentoccur r ed,concl udi ngt hat" i t ' sbet t ert os pendmoneyondevel opi ng nat ur alener gyr es our ces ci t i zensar emor el i kel yt oagr eewi t ht hati deat hanus i ng s uchl ar geamount sofexpens esandener gyt oadvances uchaf eckl es spr oj ect ( asnucl earpower ) . ” I ti ss t i l lt ooear l yt ocl ear l ypi npoi ntt heext entofhi sl egacy .I ti scl ear ,however ,t hat J uni chi r oKoi zumihaspl ayedani mpor t antr ol ei nr es hapi ngJ apanandbr i ngi ngf or t h i t seconomi cpot ent i al .I ti snow Shi nzoAbewhocar r i est henew waveofpubl i c conf i dencet hatKoi zumif os t er edi nhi st enur e,butonet hi ngi scer t ai n:t her ewi l l neverbeanot herPr i meMi ni s t erqui t el i ket he“ Maver i ck”Koi zumi .


LOYALTY Written by Courtney

Every July 11th, Northern Ireland becomes a landscape of bonfires in honor of the Eleventh Night, a Unionist celebration commemorating William of Orange’s victory in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. On extreme occasions, effigies of members of the opposition party, Sinn Fein, can be seen shriveled on top of bonfires, along with the Irish flag, the Palestinian flag, and the rainbow flag of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, celebrations like these draw out the more extreme factions of NI society and reignite feelings of difference between the two communities of unionists and nationalists. In the most recent UK election, the NI population granted their votes to the two most extreme and clashing parties, weakening their chances of arriving at a middle ground. The region is very divided largely due to voters’ unrelenting attachment to familial and community-based political motivations.

The Current State of NI Politics The very nature of NI politics unfortunately benefits from community lines being redrawn every election season. Both the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein do not aim to capture votes from opposition communities and often use their campaigns to exaggerate differences between Catholic and Protestant voters in subtle ways. The DUP emphasise their constituents’ fear of Sinn Fein “destroying the union” while Sinn Fein emphasise the uncooperativeness of the DUP within the current NI government. Most of the DUP’s pamphlets aim to attack Sinn Fein and thus contain little information on actual policies; however, it is largely unnecessary for them to inform their audience in order to achieve their political goals, since they have the guaranteed vote of the Protestant population. Sinn Fein have an equal lock on the Catholic vote, which only adds to the problem -- neither side needs to lighten their platform in order to appeal to voters. Every election season ultimately comes down to a test of community loyalty, with the results of polarisation in both the ranks of government and the general population.

Northern Ireland – doomed to repeat the past? Since the formation of the Republic of Ireland and the creation of the union between NI and the UK, the rift between Protestant and Catholic communities has only become more pronounced and politically visible. After the devastating effects and violent deaths of “The Troubles” throughout the late 20th century, sectarianism has become an increasingly prominent factor in everyday life. The Troubles, a conflict over the province’s constitutional status, exacerbated tensions between unionists, who were primarily Protestant and wanted to remain part of the UK, and nationalists, who were almost exclusively Catholic and wanted a united Ireland. This issue has remained close to many citizens’ hearts, as the majority of the population continues to remember the extreme violence and pass their views on to their children. This ongoing nature of NI sectarianism has resulted in the election of parties that are simply too different to cooperate; most recently, a breakdown in talks between politicians resulted in the collapse of the NI government, with the consequence of direct rule from London since January.

Community Loyalty Community voting loyalty continues to be a problem in NI. Protestant communities overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Unionist Party, a religious, right-wing group that has recently gained prominence for aligning with the UK’s Conservative Party. Political analyst Nate Silver has compared the DUP to “circa 2004 US Republicans”. Although the majority of the Protestant population favors marriage equality and abortion, they continue to vote for the DUP -- often against their own interests -- because of its ties to their community. On the other side of the spectrum there is the Catholic electorate, which mainly votes for Sinn Fein candidates. Sinn Fein is a nationalist left-leaning party that supports minority rights and eradicating poverty; however, they often adhere to traditional Catholic doctrine in their policy, and as such they are anti-choice. Sinn Fein has controversially held strong ties to the Provisional Irish Republican Army, which has been responsible for thousands of deaths from the outset of the Troubles in the 1960s. A study by Village indicates that just under half of all Sinn Fein senior representatives in both NI and the Republic of Ireland have been Provisional IRA members, some of whom have been charged with crimes as extreme as murder. While the vast majority of Catholics would not condone terrorism, as many victims of the Troubles were Catholic themselves, they cast their votes for Sinn Fein because of the intensity of their community loyalty. In similar fashion to the apathetic DUP voters on the Unionist side, much of the Sinn Fein electorate sheds policy concerns in favor of voting in accordance with their peers. Community-based voting loyalty in NI surpasses that of many British regions. For example, the Short Strand and Newtownards Road areas of Belfast are separated by a single street and yet their voting demographics are in extremes of difference. As a result of the close quarters in which drastically different communities inhabit, violence often breaks out. Many opposing communities such as these are separated only by painted curbs and flags, but in more extreme cases “peace walls” have been erected in an attempt to reduce cross-community friction. The DUP and Sinn Fein are by far the largest elected parties in Northern Ireland and yet they both fail to attract more than 2% of the vote share from opposing communities. It has been argued that NI’s current political system only exacerbates the sectarianism that exists in the province.

The Youth Vote – Hope for the Future The outlook is not entirely bleak for NI. Despite the recurring sectarianism that is often passed down through families, many young people in NI are breaking away from their community voting trends. Neutral parties such as The Green Party of Northern Ireland and The Alliance Party are capturing youth votes as they focus on issues such as tuition fees and marriage equality. Interestingly, as Sinn Fein are generally a left-of-centre party, these neutral parties are mainly gaining votes from those with Unionist backgrounds. This spells a problem for the future of the DUP as it becomes increasingly associated with conservatism, which does not poll well with the politically active youth of NI. In the most recent assembly election, non-majority parties obtained 41% of the overall vote – this is astoundingly positive given the sectarianism that still exists in the region. An end to NI’s disruptive sectarianism and community-based political partisanship might be in the country’s future.


to harmful traditions Based on the author’s university project, where due credit was given to every source that was used. Written by Anna Sallai

Several countries on different continents have been practicing the tradition of female genital cutting (FGC) as part of their culture for hundreds of years. Members of FGC-practicing communities typically think of this custom as a way to purify the body and secure the chastity of girls and women. These same communities view uncircumcised girls as ineligible for marriage. However, practitioners of this tradition are aware of the horrible consequences that performing FGC on someone can have – so why then do they remain loyal to this custom? What makes communities all over the world cling onto such a tradition, despite the fact that it can have horrific consequences and can even result in death? Many individuals choose to remain loyal to their cultures, even when continuing to practice such harmful traditions does not necessarily seem to be ‘worth it’, especially to an outsider.

Although it is unclear how long FGC has actually been practiced, it is suggested that the tradition goes back to antiquity and is deeply rooted in the cultural practices of several African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries. According to international organizations, there are approximately 200 million girls and women living in the world today that had to go through such procedures. As reported by the World Health Organization, female genital cutting has no benefits and it harms females in many ways – the more severe the procedure, the higher the chance of both immediate and long-term complications. Before the 1990s, violence against women (VAW) was simply regarded as a domestic matter and was not supposed to be discussed in public. However, the Vienna World Conference of 1993 brought some important changes to this view. This was a significant landmark that classified “female genital mutilation” as a form of violence against women as well as protecting VAW victims under the international human rights law for the first time. Therefore, it is easy to see that legal documents - such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – do not condone such practices within the international community. Even though there are many international treaties and covenants that condemn female genital cutting, the regional treaties and laws of individual FGC-practicing countries also, technically, stand up for human rights – though there is definitely failure in their implementation. What rights does female genital cutting violate, you may ask? According to the Human Rights Watch, FGC disregards women’s and children’s rights to health, to life and physical integrity, to be free from violence, to non-discrimination, and to be free from cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. So why do people all around the world still practice FGC? The reasons why vary from one region to another and have changed over time as well. They can include a mix of sociocultural factors; some of the most commonly cited reasons include the idea that cutting increases marriageability and that it is part of raising a girl and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage. Moreover, the social pressure to conform to specific ideologies also keeps people practicing FGC, which also includes the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community. All of these can be strong motivating factors that ‘make’ people continue practicing female genital cutting despite

its horrible consequences, and it should also be taken into account that FGC is a cultural tradition that is associated with ideals of femininity and modesty, which are very important to many. In addition to these reasons that are very important to their respective communities, we must also consider that even though all of the aforementioned treaties and conventions exist, there is no way to actually enforce these laws due to the lack of personnel and resources in the FGC-practicing countries. Members of communities that hold the belief that female genital cutting should not be abolished are not going to give each other up to any existing authorities, which maintains loyalty between one another and to upholding the tradition. Moreover, most of the time FGC-practitioners are not even aware of the fact that they do have these so-called ‘universal human rights,’ as it is not in the government’s interest to let them know about them and to empower women coincidentally. So what can we do to make a change despite the millions of men and women worldwide that still remain loyal to the tradition of FGC (and possibly other harmful customs as well)? Firstly, we must take a culturally sensitive approach towards this issue; we cannot claim that the people that practice female genital cutting are ‘barbaric,’. We also need to realise that change must happen from within; by the practicing communities’ choice. Although it seems true that FGC violates human rights on a level that cannot go unnoticed and simply excused, we must exercise ‘soft power’ to try to attract FGC-practicing communities to the idea of human rights for women, and thus alter how they think about some of their traditions that may or may not have a negative effect on the life of humans. Through organizing coercive and non-judgmental programs about human rights and health, we could actually be successful in changing, or maybe even eliminating, female genital cutting. However, we must understand that this change depends mainly on the FGC-practicing communities. Their loyalties, because of their deep history, lie within their own practices and traditions. Knowing this makes it easier to understand that they cannot just simply adapt to ‘Western’ ideologies like female human rights overnight. However, since female genital cutting is such a harmful custom, we must at least attempt to make a positive change in a culturally sensitive way.

sources Asekun-Olarinmoye, E., & Amusan, O. (2008). The impact of health education on attitudes towards female genital mutilation (FGM) in a rural Nigerian community. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 13(3), 289-297. Boulware-Miller, K. (1985). Female circumcision: Challenges to the practice as a human rights violation. Harvard Women’s Law Journal, 8:155–177. Breitung, B. (1996). Interpretation and eradication: National and international responses to female circumcision. Emory International Law Review 10 (2). Retrieved from Glorified Vision Media. (2013, October 21). Bringing Freedom- Documentary About Fighting Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya [Video file]. Retrieved from Gunning, I. R. (1992). Arrogant perception, world-traveling and multicultural feminism: The case of female genital surgeries. Columbia Human Rights Law Review 23:188–248. Hernlund, Y., & Shell-Duncan, B. (2007). Transcultural Bodies: Female Genital Cutting in Global Context. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Hosken, F. (1978). The epidemiology of female genital mutilation. Tropical Doctor, 8:150–156.



Written by Amber Smith

Millions of Americans are loyal to their nation because of the promise of liberty and justice for all. All the rights in the United States constitution should apply to every American citizen regardless of race, creed, or color. Those values are the very heart of the United States yet it is not true for everyone born on American soil because the citizens of the American territories such as Puerto Rico are often forgotten. The full extent of the constitution does not apply to them, including the 26th amendment which allows all citizens the right to vote at the age of eighteen. American Territories are lands that are directly overseen by the U.S. federal government. Birthright citizenship is granted to anyone born in the four unincorporated territories: Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All the permanently inhabited territories are full of United States citizens except in American Samoa where the people are considered American nationals, not citizens. They have even fewer rights than American citizens in other territories and do not even get the title of citizen. People in these territories are able to serve in the military and have a delegate in congress (although their delegates have no voting power.)

The reason they cannot vote is not for geographic reasons but because of the Supreme Court case Downes v. Bidwell. American citizens born in one of the 50 states can reside indefinitely in any other country but still maintain the ability to vote. Someone from Connecticut can live in Paris, France for years and just need to submit a Federal Post Card Application to participate in United States elections. Geographic location on the planet does not matter. In fact a person does not even have to be on Earth to vote in a United States election. American astronauts who are in space are also able to vote. American citizens who have always lived in American territories do not have this option. The only way for them to get the right to vote is if they move to one of the states. Many people have a misconception that those moving from the territories to the states is immigrating but that is false. A Puerto Rican moving to Florida is no more immigration than a citizen from Montana moving to California. It is unfair that in order for these citizens to receive the fundamental right of voting they must relocate to an entirely new place. Moving is no small feat; a person must leave family, friends and maybe even a career in order to have a say in elections.

“...a person does not even have to be on Earth to vote in a United States election.”

According to Downes v. Bidwell, the reason why citizens in American territories do not receive the rights of the constitution is because people of “alien races” cannot understand “Anglo-Saxon principles.” This directly goes against the ideals of equality and freedom that Americans are so proud of. To make matters worse, the person who wrote the lead decision in the case was Justice Henry Billings Brown who also wrote the “separate but equal” decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. These citizens have a desire to vote and the reason they cannot is because of an ancient, racist Supreme Court ruling. Where the American flag flies, the constitution should follow and loyalty needs to go both ways. Since these people have American citizenship they need to be provided the full rights of American citizens.


Words Are or Bonds

Written by Jackson

While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump made anywhere from 20 to 100 promises to the American people, according to various media sources like the Washington Post and The Guardian. He assured middle-class workers in rural areas of the United States that he would repeal and replace Obamacare with more affordable healthcare, lower taxes for individuals and businesses of all sizes, and bring outsourced jobs back to America. Foreign policy wise, he promised he would order the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico in order to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, and as well as deny entries of refugees from several conflict-prone countries in the Middle East. He pledged to his supporters that these goals will be met either within the first 100 days after he takes office, or that he would keep them a priority during his administration. However, more than half a year has passed since Trump formally entered the White House, and the only accomplishments worth noting are the ones that Trump was able to act unilaterally on. Chambers of Congress are deeply divided with no signs of compromises from either side, members of the executive cabinet are scrambling to defend our Commander in Chief’s integrity, and the Supreme Court is currently going rogue against President Trump’s executive orders. Is this what Trump supporters had in mind when they remained loyal and steadfast to a Donald Trump presidency at the ballot box? What even is loyalty when it comes to the unpredictable and erratic world of politics? To uncover the mysteries behind loyalty, especially in the political context, one must understand the political demographics of the United States population, isolate the separate groups, and then examine them. Because the different opinions that one may have on various issues often correspond with the general trend of values and philosophies that person might believe

in, organizing the general population of the United States on the political spectrum with liberals on the left and conservatives on the right is the best way to differentiate between the two major views on loyalty and assess their interpretations of the concept individually. The majority of the people on the left side of the political spectrum are selfless, secular idealists. They value the collective equality of all over the individual liberty of themselves. They believe in a large governmental institution that will protect the people against threats and provide the people with welfare. They often believe in concepts that theoretically would work wonderfully. Although their overly optimistic view of the world is often interpreted as naĂŻvety, the cooperation and globalization that the left envisions is a prospect worth pursuing. To the left, loyalty is often the solid foundation of a concert relationship, no matter the scale of that relation, from as small as between two people, to as large as among many countries. Even though sometimes, loyalty seems like the complete devotion to one preference when faced with many choices, but the left sees loyalty as more mutually beneficiary than anything else. For example, in the context of politics, and especially during the campaigning period of officials who want to be elected by their constituents, politicians would make consistent promises to the people so that they would remain loyal to them in front of the voting station on election day, and in turn, when that representative is successfully elected by their loyal supporters, they would fulfill those promises using the power that the people have delegated to them, returning the loyalty. This conditional view on loyalty contributes to most of the hopeful outlook that the left often embraces.

While on the other end of the spectrum, people identifying themselves with the right side tend to be proud and religious pragmatists. They think freedom is a right granted to everyone at birth and would defend their individuality, no matter the cost. Because of this, right wingers think that a government should be as small as possible so as not to infringe on its citizens’ rights to freedom. They are often very emotionally sensitive compared to the secular left. They are often seen as the practical realists, with no problem enforcing their discipline and authority when met with fierce resistance to their paradigm of good and evil. To the right, loyalty is more often a display of power and control, though contrary to their opinion on freedom and the protection of it, instead, loyalty is the result of careful discipline and education. However, how people implement loyalty is a very subtle and delicate issue, since loyalty can also easily devolve into submission and obedience, thus violating the underlying principle to their ideology. They see loyalty as a vertical chain of authority, with everyone obeying whoever is above them, as the ones below can always entrust their faith in the ones above themselves, as their superior. Back to a political setting: When a nation is facing foreign conflicts, its citizens, filled with disdain of others and their own sense of pride and patriotism, remain loyal to their nation and their allies only. Treason is not tolerated and strict sovereignty and dominance are established between the nation and its people. This unconditional theory of loyalty is what fuels most of the authoritarian and absolute quality of the right. Though the word loyalty itself implies the firm support of someone or something, loyalty is, in fact, not as reliable as we all believe it to be. Not only are there ways to influence one’s loyalty externally, there are also struggles within a person’s own resolve regarding their reasoning. From a materialistic perspective, the value of loyalty often comes down to profit and deficit, and on a virtual level, between ethical and unethical. People will often find more appealing opportunities and more compelling arguments in their lives, but whether to abide by their old ideals or to switch to a contemporary alternative remains a decision for one’s own merit. In times like this where the United States is profoundly disunited on an extensive level, where conspiracies and scandals are the only news any media outlet covers, who ought we remain loyal to?

dream american

Written by Stephanie Velasco

What happens to a dream deferred? What is in a dream? A dream can be described as a cherished aspiration or ideal, and it is the vehement belief in one that keeps it alive. The American Dream is no different. Its prominence is mostly due because it is highly romanticized and this prevalent romantic aspect has led to the belief that this Dream is within arm’s reach for everybody. However, it is the older generation of Americans that believe this Dream is highly achievable because it was for them. The younger generation (known as Millennials) know that the eventual goal of the American Dream – glamour, opulence, and social mobility – is highly out of reach and this difference between generations has led to political strife between the ages. As stated, the American Dream is all about opportunity in a land of opportunity. According to TIME, the older generations associate it with home ownership and comfortable retirement. However, after the Great Recession and the burst of the Housing Bubble, these older generations have seen that job security is something that is not guaranteed as it once was in previous decades. According to an Allstate/ National Journal poll, 70% of Americans believe that Millennials and future generations will have far less financial security. What does this mean? Why does it matter? This means that future generations will not have the money or work ethic to own houses or maintain lifestyles that are enjoyed now. It matters because the standard of living will be far different than what it is now and far less achievable. The American Dream, as the Baby Boomers and older generations know it, no longer exists for the modern youth.

Although some of the older generations acknowledge this, some are ignorant and through blind faith simply believe that Millennials can’t find jobs due to their poor ethic. They believe that the current generation of Millennials are lazy and want things handed to them, however, while the unemployment rate is decreasing, the minimum wage does not allow for a livable wage. The minimum wage has actually decreased since the 1960s (before being $7.89 – $10.18 and now $7.25) and while it is only a few cents to a few dollars, one must realize that college and the standard of living was much lower back in the 60’s. In fact, law school has increased by nearly 1,000% and while some people can manage college and a fulltime job (or jobs in some cases), it is not for everyone. The number of hours needed in the 60’s compared to now in order to achieve a college education was much lower. Some people even argue that while the cost of college has risen, people are learning far less than they were before. Given that information, does a college degree really seem worth it?

However, some people argue that the Dream isn’t dead. They state perhaps the Dream has merely changed shape and the expectations are now different. A new law was recently passed in Chicago that did not allow for students in its public schools to graduate unless they had a job/apprenticeship, a college acceptance letter, or enlisted in the military for active service. This was passed as a means to help students be more successful in their lives, however a drawback is that it is mostly targeted towards lower income families and people of color. A school should have no right to withhold a student’s diploma that they have worked hard to achieve. Laws like these are examples of how the American Dream is a seemingly impossible for younger generations due to the obstacles that are placed in their path by the older, more privileged generation. Older generations scold the newer ones for their lack of manners and ethic, complaining that the youth in their days was far more well behaved, yet refuse to believe it is harder to get a job than it is to maintain one. Jobs in today’s time require up two years of experience in their field be considered for the job causing hardships for those who are newly entering the field. However, some people argue that the Dream isn’t dead. They state perhaps the Dream has merely changed shape and the expectations are now different.

While the materialistic side of people is still present (the desire for a huge house and a luxurious lifestyle), people are now choosing comfort over splendor. A generation that has only known war and strife seek only comfort yet are reprimanded as greedy. Baby Boomers “loyalty” to the glorified American Dream has made them somewhat blind and ignoring to the troubles that they have caused. While loyalty is not always bad, the blind devotion to something, tangible or not, is harmful and damaging. It has opened a wound between peoples of all ages and has led to many articles that, though ridiculous, target Millennials and blame them for their own impoverished lifestyle instead of internalizing the blame and realizing that the ruined economy is their fault. The misguided belief that one can achieve a status of grandeur is one that may sometimes happen. Some people may achieve greatness, but more likely than not, they won’t. One should not hold another to the standards that they were in their lives because the world is constantly changing and moving and expectations like those are damaging to the people involved. It is far better to be conscious about one’s surroundings than to be focused on what they know to be true.

Sources Llopis, Glenn. “Why Most People Will Never Achieve The American Dream.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 03 Sept. 2012. Web. 07 July 2017. Kadlec, Dan, and Dan Kadlec. “Is The American Dream Withering Or Just Changing? | TIME.Com.” N. p., 2017. Web. 14 July 2017. “Chart: Minimum Wage In Cost-Of-Living-Adjusted Dollars | Monochromatic Outlook.” N. p., 2017. Web. 7 July 2017. “Mind-Boggling Increase In Tuition Since 1960 Even As Students Learn Less And Less.” Competitive Enterprise Institute. N. p., 2011. Web. 7 July 2017. Ray Sanchez, CNN. “Chicago’s New Requirement For High School Students: No Plan, No Diploma .” CNN. N. p., 2017. Web. 14 July 2017.






Written by Nina Ito

I’m sure that many, or at least most, multiethnic people have experienced some form of identity crisis at some point in their lives. Having been told since childhood that you affiliate yourself with one side of your family more than the other can bring guilt or a personal existential realisation that makes harder to find a sense of national identity, particularly in homogeneously focused societies. This problematic is expressed by multiethnic communities through the phrase ‘mixed people problems’. People often dismiss it deeming it to have been created in search of pity or sympathy, particularly in regards to how it developed notoriety via social media through viral hashtags. However trivial ‘mixed people problems’ are perceived and whether or not you’ve experienced them directly, from a personal viewpoint, there is definitely a significant level of truth to this saying. Perhaps ‘mixed people problems’ erupted during the growing prominence of black identity in the United States through the 1800s. During the slave trade era, it was more often than not that a biracial person was a result of rape culture within the slavery system. The ethnicity and identity of a biracial child was considered to follow maternal status, and therefore did not take consideration for the domestic or personal bias of the child. This could complicate family lines, as children of slave women were considered a continuation of the slave lineage while in other cases, where children were born of ‘free’ women, whether black or white, were automatically considered free whether they lived in slave plantations or not. Nevertheless, this did not have the power to prevent these children from being sold off as slaves by either parent, neither did it avoid isolation and neglect from both black and white communities and authorities. This issue also extends itself into the days of the Jim Crow segregation era of the 1870s; a time when when racial/ethnic segregation was strongly reinforced by the power of written law. The segregation era pushed black and white societies far apart from each other to the point where they lived in two similarly constructed, and yet completely separate worlds. Thus, multiethnic people were confronted with the issue of placing their identity into one of two heritages while trying to align correctly with the written and unwritten rules. Perhaps the issue for multiethnic people and ‘mixed people problems’ arises from these instances, as a reaction or attempt to distinguish whether these two distinctive worlds still exist as separate entities, whether they have completely dissipated, or whether they are learning to merge and coexist. However, the treatment of multiethnic peoples is not just limited to the history of the U.S.. Such is the case with mixed aboriginals of Australia, who were forcibly removed from their families throughout the 1900s. These children were described as the ‘Stolen Generations’, by government

claims, removed to avoid racial neglect and abuse from their families, but most likely used as political catalysts for the deterioration of the aboriginal peoples. This alludes to the idea that the loyalties of multiethnic people towards the government is a result of authorities taking the role of a primary caregiver. Nonetheless, a question arises: how does one show loyalty to a government with which you share no blood or race ties? There is great difficulty, even today, as multi-ethnicity plays a large part in terms of democracy and how voting, as a cause and consequence, is distributed. On a personal level, my right to vote in Britain is limited as a result of my passport nationality, even though I was born and raised here. Having only been of eligible voting age for a year, I can already see how limited my future could be in terms of my political involvement. On a similar level, my mother shares a similar circumstance to myself, while my father, being classified as a British citizen has no voting limitations, despite both of them being migrant residents for around the same time of 20 years. Through their own experience, they have described that government definitions of ‘eligibility for the democratic system’ is like a sundial; pragmatic, changing over time in accordance with the ruling government and the highs and lows of that moment. This poses as an issue for many who have resided here for extended periods of time, but do not identify as British by ethnicity — most evident during Brexit polls. An issue arose with regards to migrants and failure of political integration, but it is also important to note that taking away their right to vote, as displayed through the limitations presented during Brexit and the hasty general election, is also outright deliberate exclusion, hence failure to integrate into the political system. It is these people who will have to deal with the consequences of a decision not made by them; their right to remain in Britain could instantly be repealed despite their extensive loyalty towards the British government; having paid their taxes, contributed towards the economy through business, raising families within the British education system and so on. To conclude, perhaps the idea of multi ethnic people being neither here nor there presents the idea of exclusion and/or integration, hence the idea of being everywhere; allowing one the freedom to move between different cultural identities, or perhaps in some cases forcibly, given the choice to not attach oneself to one or neither. The title of ‘multiethnic’ becomes a collective title, encompassing the wide range of identities uptaken by those who choose to identify, who face similar literal and hypothetical limitations These limitations seem to originate from government restrictions, which begin to evolve into deeper social boundaries, like an invisible thread that weaves unwritten rules that we live by.

CREDITS Editor in Chief Rachel Schmargon




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VER Magazine - Issue 1: Loyalty  
VER Magazine - Issue 1: Loyalty  

VER Magazine is an online magazine and platform for youth interested in international politics. The team consists of 50+ enthusiastic young...