Let the Mothers Do It. By KAZ DZIAMKA. March 24 / 25, 2007
Not only does American democracy rank a miserable 17th on the list of the world's modern democracies (according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's index of democracy); it also doesn't fare well when compared with traditional Native American democracies, in particular, with the Iroquois Confederacy--the Haudenosaunee--"the oldest living participatory democracy on earth."
In "Perceptions of America's Native Democracies," Donald A. Grinde Jr. and Bruce E. Johansen point out that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, among others, could benefit--and did benefit to some extent--from Native Americans' experience in designing functional democracies. Unfortunately, being racist and sexist as well as mostly contemptuous of direct democracy, our Founding Fathers failed to take full advantage of the political genius of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy: The Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas, the Senecas, and the Tuscaroras. Among the Iroquois provisions absent from the U.S. Constitution is the law that allows Iroquois clan mothers to initiate impeachment against incompetent or criminal political leaders, or "sachems":
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