Monday, March 30, 2015

It's too soon

I really despise the way our political system has degenerated into one long campaign. I swear the elections are barely over each year before the campaigning for the next one starts. In 2012 I don't think we went for even 24 hours before the chattering classes were speculating about who was going to run for President in 2016. We've spent the last couple years being treated to the news media anointing Hilary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee -- doesn't matter who else might be remotely interested in running as a Democrat, it's pretty clear the mainstream media aren't going to bother writing about anyone other than Ms. Clinton.

On the other hand, there's that rolling circular firing squad that calls itself the Republican Party. They've got the opposite problem from the Democrats: instead of having their most middle of the road, establishment candidate sucking up all the oxygen, they've got a dozen different far right fringe tinfoil hat types all clamoring for attention. We've been treated to speculation about Governor Goodhair (aka Rick Perry), Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Sarah Palin (is the woman actually crazy enough to believe anyone would believe she's still electable to anything?) . . . there are a couple semi-sane Republican notables (Chris Christie, Jeb Bush) but whenever their names pop up, they're quickly followed by explanations of why they can't win the nomination. And now one of the looniest of the loons, Ted Cruz, has made it official. He's announced he's running for President. This means that fairly soon other fools will make it official, too. The next Presidential election is over 19 months away, but we're already stuck listening to campaign rhetoric. No wonder the country is a mess and Congress never gets anything done.

I have a vague memory of hearing years ago that one of the good things about the parliamentary system Great Britain has is that elections are a lot more unpredictable. Or at least they used to be -- they were held when Parliament dissolved, which until 2010 wasn't on a fixed schedule. There's now a law that says one term of Parliament can't last longer than 5 years, at which time Parliament dissolves and a general election is held. However, the law doesn't say a session has to run for that full 5 years -- if there's a crisis of confidence, Parliament can dissolve at any time. Once Parliament dissolves, the time frame between that dissolution and the general election is blessedly short. No doubt the Brits also have political figures who spend a lot of time hinting that next time around they're going to run for office, but the period of overt campaigning cannot last for literally years. It must be nice.

It has also occurred to me that a silver lining of living in a country ruled by a dictator has to be that electioneering is never an issue. Sure, there's propaganda touting the merits of The Great Leader, but after awhile that has to all fall into the category of background noise. If it's always there, you stop noticing it. No one's going to be calling you for fund-raising or to bash The Great Leader's political opponents, and your mailbox (both IRL and online) is never going to fill with political spam. It almost makes a person wish President Obama really was the autocratic tyrant the delusional right wing tinfoil hat types think he is. If he was, we'd never have to hear about Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, et al. again -- they'd all have been locked up in FEMA death camps ages ago. A girl can dream. . .


  1. it would be funny, if the outcome was not so serious. The scary thing is that the idiot fringe is systematically taking control of the government - We will soon all be living under the circus tent.

    Or as Jackiesue would say: we're all fucked.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  2. There is a great deal to be said for the British Parliamentary system. While the politicians in the form of their political party need money for elections they are not for sale individually on a daily basis.


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