Sunday, January 04, 2009

So where's the US democracy?

I have a confession to make about US politics. From what I've read and seen from Al Franken I find him funny. Compared to the po faces, ranters and zealots that dominate the US right in the media, Franken is a breath of fresh air. Just look at the way he wiped the floor with Ann Coulter:

But Franken's politics are a very different matter. Electing him to the US Senate would be like electing Ian Hislop to the British House of Commons. But the people of Minnesota (who after all once elected an ex-wrestler as governor!) have decided differently and the result is all but formally declared. (Minnesota Public Radio: Franken increases lead over Coleman to 225 votes)

Now call me old fashioned but I was always led to believe that in a democracy the representatives are chosen by the people. However it seems that some in the US Senate have different ideas, wanting the courts to choose the winner and threatening to invoke obscure rules to block Franken from taking his seat as the duly elected Senator. There is something seriously wrong with democracy as practised in the United States if elections are being determined not by the voters but by the courts and losers can't accept they've lost but keep running to the courts to change the rules as they go.

As a side note, it seems that the determination of the Democrat Senate leader to seat Franken is generating criticism because of the controversies surrounding the Illinois seat vacated by Obama, with people declaring that seating Franken, who is white, and not the appointee, who is black, by an arrested sleaze consumed governor, will be a sign of racism. But it is clear the two situations aren't remotely the same. Those throwing around accusations of racism are the ones playing the race card themselves. Such accusations merely belittle racism and encourage people to be dismissive when it really happens.

1 comment:

Paul Burgin said...

Just got round to watching the YouTube clip. Very funny, but also very clever in how he outsmarted Coulter


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