Saturday, November 6

George and The Gang

199° 35' NET

4 more years. Unbelievable from my point of view, and about 50% of USA too it seems. The good thing with his re-election is that it is going to be his last 4 years...right?! Unless the law gets changed. Also it may bring him nose to nose with the consequences of the decisions he made during his first 4 years.

Now why I would give a shite who wins or loses? Well, generally I don't, but these last couple of years have changed that and it is all thanks to mr. Bush and his foreign politics - which all seems to be born out of the smoldering holes of twin towers.

After Tuesday I was listening to the reactions around me and by far the most of the people here were surprised that he got re-elected. Part of those who were not surprised were just being pessimistic about republican right wing christian crusader losing no matter what. And it seems like the christian ayatollahs were active in these elections.

The two main parties in the US, Republicans and Democrats, are a source of confusion over here. The Republicans are talking about 'liberals' and 'leftists' in context with Democrats - who are more leaning towards the softer issues of humanity. The thing is that if you would pick Republicans and Democrats and plant then down on the political system and parties over here even the leftist part of the Democrats would still be considered right wing or maybe right side of the center. It is easy to see why people over here can't make a clear difference with Republicans versus Democrats. It's all the same to them.

Also people don't really see what is so fantastic about the two main party system anyway. I know that there are a lot of parties in the US, some of them really really weird, but anyway. Only their rise to power seems to be real life Mission:Impossible. Ralph Nader, as I understand, tries to make a change, but no luck so far. In the process he does 'steal' votes from mainly Democrats so you might say he is the Joker of Republican party.
In The Netherlands and in most of the European countries the number of parties which actually have a chance to play in the political arena is greater. Usually there are 3 or 4 'main' parties from which to choose. In addition to those there are smaller parties which can play an effective role in the government as coalition partners. The government is usually made out of number of parties, which have some common ground. Rest of the parties form the opposition (from those which get a seat).
This makes the Rep/Dem polar setting seem a little thin. Of course also even here some parties are bigger than others and some can stay in power for a long time, but the coalition partners usually changes if nothing else does. This brings new blood and ideas to government and at the same time opposition gets it's shot of change.

Anyway, George is going to lead America to it's future for the next 4 years. I predict problems if he is not changing his style in handling relations to the rest of the world. Would not surprise me if he even would be a target for a murder attempt in the States. The country seems to be really divided and that makes good ground for such ideas. It could be someone who thinks Bush should be removed from office or someone who thinks he/she got betrayed by promises which made him vote for the president.
Also I think that if there would be another twin tower style incident the response would not be like it was at 9-11. All the condolences would be offered and so on, but the feeling behind it would not reflect the same sincerity. It would more or less be tinted with the feeling that it was something which was coming since the way mr. Bush has handled relations.
How governments react to events in the world doesn't necessary go in sync with the way normal people think about them. That was obvious when Bush was asking partners for the Iraq war trip.

I heard he said it was 'an historic victory'. That may be more true than suspected if he doesn't make it good. I think he is in the position to screw up the world more than any US president before him. If he fails, it may indeed be a victory which stays in the books of history for a long long time.

Some parts of his speech are kind of confusing. Uniting the people, working together, no limits to the greatness...to me that sounds more worrying than not.


Vector at Saturday, November 06, 2004

Comments 2


2 Comments

06 November, 2004 16:08 Blogger mightymerk said...

Vector,

I am not expert in European politics, but for those countries that I am a little more familiar, take Germany for example, isn't the growing trend that of coalition parties?

For example the greens withthe Social Democrats? So in effect each party "concedes" part of their platform so that their voting blocks meld together? In essence the 3-4 parties that have a viable chance have now effectively neutered themselves into some kind of alliance (in effect limiting the true choices of the people)?

I might be way off on this and that is why I ask you to clarify this.

 
06 November, 2004 17:41 Blogger Vector said...

Yes, that is true. You are not totally off :)
It is not a trend as such, it is how it works in most of the countries. For example I can't remember a government in my own country which would not have been a coalition. At the moment it is KESK (Center), SDP (Social Democrats), and SFP (Swedish People's). If you want you can check: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/fi.html
Gives a picture.

One party in power is a rare event and I think most people see it safer for the democracy if the government is formed by a broader selection of parties.

Conceding is part of the politics, finding and settling in compromises which give something to everybody forming the governmental body, without giving up from the core values. That can be a real difficult thing to achieve and sometimes the coalition breaks apart. In that case the coalition is put up again in different configuration by the prime minister.

Opposition parties have also a strong say in the issues. The government can be forced to answer the questions about the issues it is responsible to fulfil. If it can't provide a satisfying answer it can be voted out in which case it has to resign. Of course this is also rare, usually they get a vote of confidence, but such a questioning serves as a guideline for the government.

I'm not up to date with Nader, but what he is doing (trying to kick up a new party) happens for example in The Netherlands every once and a while. Pim Fortyin was one example, though got killed in the process. There are also others, usually it is someone who breaks of from a bigger party because they don't agree with their values anymore. Some of these new parties take off (like LPF, List Pim Fortyin) and some (most I think) don't. In anycase the decade doesn't go by with out a movement and change in the political/party system.

And then there is the EU, which brings its own flavor to the soup also in the national level, but I won't go in to that. Far too complicated for Saturday afternoon :)

I hope this helps :)

 

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