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Life and Snowpeas

November 7th, 2007

...on the flipside @ 04:46 pm

soundtrack: Undefeated - Super Furry Animals

Partly in the interests of balance, partly because I'm bored and my (always decent) procrastination tendencies are currently spinning out of control, and partly because since the writers' strike is denying me the Daily Show and Colbert Report, and thus my weekly dose of outraged/hilarious political ranting, I have an urge to point out one place where the US political system has the rest of the world (or more accurately, the parts that I'm most familiar with) well beaten.

In two illustratory articles:

1) Democrats and Republicans join together to override Bush' veto: If the link doesn't work for people, it's just an article discussing a couple of funding bills where Republicans have crossed or are crossing the floor to get things past Bush/the Executive being dickheads.

Of course, if Bush wasn't there being a dick, he wouldn't be using the veto on what seem like pretty decent bills generally, but the more I think about it, the more I do like the fact that you every vote here is what we'd call a 'conscience vote' - i.e. that you're not obliged to vote with your party. It redresses the polarity of the two party system to some extent, and is a good check on things if a small group in the governing party starts running completely amok with their electoral mandate and doing crazy shit to the country (which is pretty much what happened back home in the mid-80s, and we're still recovering).

Contrast this with current events in NZ politics, where you always vote the way your party/caucus (the MPs from that party who are in parliament) has decided to vote behind-the-scenes, and where the two major parties have gotten so similar in the run-up to next year's election (which IMO is still an improvement on the Opposition party's last strategy, which was to appeal to white middle-class armchair racism and get funded by scary fundamentalist religious sects that don't even vote) that they literally pretend to disagree in public just so that they're not seen to be supporting bills from the other party.

2) 'the Government is Evil for Giving Everybody Money, but we'll take it anyway...'

Yeah, so we're kinda totally insane too. I guess it's kinda nice that they're both relatively sane on a lot of issues, so there's not really that much to argue over.. but COME ON! If there's nothing to argue over, there's a very simple thing to do, and that is to STOP ARGUING. Go do something more useful, like shaking hands and kissing babies...

...oooh, speaking of which!

3) at least we're not fighting over babies!!
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[User Picture Icon]
Date:November 8th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah voting on party lines is usually something people do when they have no real opinion of their own-- I do rather like that myself. (And thank god, or my mum would vote Republican... which I don't think she's done as long as I've been alive...) Now if only we could get rid of the two-party system in general, this might go somewhere!

Also, that campaign funding thing is awesome. Our campaign funding issues are so horrible (and prove my theory that no one remotely intelligent would ever go into politics, since all the power is clearly in lobbies and campaign donations-- predictably enough, in private funds) that I quite like the idea of that! But more particularly, the idea of them fighting over it.

... I kissed the baby first, so clearly he's a point to MY team.

[User Picture Icon]
Date:November 8th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the campaign funding thing is a really good thing to have - if any kind of reform could be pushed through in the US, you'd get big improvements in the whole political system in general, I'd imagine.

But yeah... random fighting about nothing in the house is always fun! We're pretty good at it, too. I have friends who work there that go along to Parliamentary sessions just to watch the pointless insult trading...

Life and Snowpeas