The greatest progressive innovation of our century -- to this point -- has been the World Social Forum (WSF). In the book Another World is Possible: popular alternatives to globalization at the World Social Forum, William Fisher and I first contended that the World Social Forum represented the beginning of building a new left and a new global civilization, grounded by a desire for participatory, radical democracy.
If you are searching for significant anniversaries for 2015 one that you might find illuminating is the publication of a book published 40 years ago entitled The Crisis of Democracy. The title would seem fitting today but that's not the crisis its authors had in mind. It was commissioned by a new international boys' club of finance capitalists, CEOs, senior political figures (retired and active) and academics from Europe, North America and Japan.
It was not to be. With an 87 per cent turnout, Scottish independence was rejected by 55 per cent of voters in the September 18 referendum.
Following vigorous debate and discussion throughout the country, the Yes campaign gained strength leading up to the vote, up 20 percentage points in support, but it still fell short of the No side.
Vote-counting from each of 32 local authorities (councils) went on through the night until the decisive result from Fife at 6 a.m. local time Friday. Early returns revealed No strength with a series of wins reported by locality. The capital, affluent Edinburgh, and the oil capital, Aberdeen, gave some 60 per cent votes to the No.
The land marked by the poet Robert Burns, the economist Adam Smith, and the reign of Mary Queen of Scots readies itself for a momentous referendum this Thursday. Some five million Scottish voters will decide: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
The voting age has been lowered to 16; about 97 per cent of the population have registered to vote; a turnout as high as 90 per cent has been predicted; and aggregated polling suggests a close result. At least one in 10 voters is undecided.