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Since when are governments “entitled” to make any decisions in spite of massive public opposition and blatant indications of mismanagement?

Opinion article by Laurinda Seabra in response to arguments that as the Portuguese government has been "democratically elected", they can do as they please. I disagree.


If the Portuguese government had been a business, most of its governing bodies would have been fired by now for gross mismanagement and/or incompetence.


Everyday we are confronted with more and more blatant disregard for public opinion, instead we face a tsunami of decisions made by government, all geared to promote only big business interests and these of a few well-placed individuals. When the public rebels and uses all the tools available to them to contest these decisions, including legal recourse, we find that government bodies once again mismanage public funds through the appointment of external legal firms to defend them, off course paid by taxpayers.


One has to ask, what is the reason that these same government bodies fail to use their own internal legal resources, opting instead to use highly paid lawyers at tax-payers cost to fight against these same taxpayers objections? After all, responsible leaders would ensure that funds that are raised from taxpayers would be responsibly managed, but that does not happen in reality, as we have observed and even some of us experienced.

To keep on feeding the mismanagement of taxpayer’s funds, what does government do? They increase taxes on an already heavily taxed population.

Sounds unreal? But it’s factual.


One argument that’s been thrown at ASMAA, is that the Portuguese government was democratically elected and as a result there’s no place for idealism, be it as a result of beliefs or politics during any action against the government.



They forgot to mention the human rights of everyone or even that most governments elected are not in reality “democratically” elected as alleged, but instead are elected within a heavily slanted model and framework which favours big parties and these already in power – another smoke and mirrors trick designed to ensure that who’s in power retain their positions of power.

What we mean? How would you otherwise explain the fact that one party may only need 10,000 votes to elect a member of parliament while smaller parties may need 20,000 votes to elect one member? Is that a democratic process?

Nope, its smoke and mirrors.

It’s like giving an athlete a one-lap advantage in a start of a race. Add to that, that election campaign funds (i.e. taxpayers money), is also made available in the same proportion, meaning that smaller parties have much less funds to contest an election than the larger parties in power.

Sounds unreal? But it’s factual and legal! 

After all these some government individuals representing the big parties interests has written and approved these laws. And we have opponents in our fight against oil exploration in Portugal coming out saying that since the Portuguese government has been “democratically” elected, and as representatives of the people can do whatever they want?


What about all the people that did not vote for any party, simply because they did not want to be part of this electoral “democratic” farce, but if they were a party, would hold the majority?


No, in my opinion, we do not have a really “democratically” elected government … we just have a government that is more and more obviously working in representation of big business and other economic interests, as well as appearing to be working on behalf of some of their own party members interests.



For me a truly “democratic” election process would be one where all party’s starts the “election” process in equal footing. Nothing more, nothing less! Where once individuals that have really been “democratically” elected, are really held accountable for their actions with direct recourse by all citizens without having to use the courts to make their voices heard.

Then, yes, we would have a truly democratic elected government. Until then, all we have is a dysfunctional government in my humble opinion.

  1. You may argue that the government has been “democratically” elected and may do as they wish.
  2. You may argue that the people “has no right” to object to decisions taken by a government.
  3. You may argue that the courts just have to follow the law and nothing else.
  4. You may play with legal technicalities instead of dealing with the real issues of the legal matter at hand.
  5. You may all abuse the court time and resources while continuing to increase taxpayer’s liabilities towards yourselves.

But please, one thing you can’t argue about is that we the people have rights too, which are embedded in the Portuguese constitution - which is the right to LIFE, the right to a safe and healthy environment, the right to clean water, etc, etc ... and that we will continue to fight for all these rights.






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