By Gary D. Rawnsley

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A body which acts the whole time cannot give an 38 Political Communication and Democracy account of every action; it only gives an account of the main ones; soon it ends up by giving an account of none (Gagnebin & Raymond, Vol. III:837). For Rousseau, this transfer of power is dangerous and must be avoided at all costs; sovereignty must remain with the people. The people must therefore be persuaded of the virtue in retaining that power as represented by their participation in formulating the general will.

Controlling factional based politics is frequently viewed as one of the main challenges of modern democracy. However, Madison’s understanding of factions allows for a more agreeable appreciation of the role they have played in the development of democratic politics, for factionalism is at the heart of what today we call pluralism, or interest group politics, a cornerstone of modern democratic communications; and representative government is necessary to control some of the more problematical features of factional diversity.

The focus in Taiwan’s presidential race has been on incumbent Chen Shui-bian and his Kuomintang rival, Lien Chan. But some analysts say a certain dark horse could also affect the March vote: none of the above. A tiny but growing movement is urging voters to express their dislike of the two candidates – both of whom ran in the last election in 2000 – by casting blank ballots. … They are using the Internet and cellphone messages … to spread the word. None-of-theabove movements aren’t new, of course, but in Taiwan they haven’t amounted to much.

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