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Tony Grist

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Democracy Has Jumped The Shark [Feb. 7th, 2005|09:59 am]
Tony Grist
I am sick of reading political news and comment.

It used to be the first thing I did every morning after making breakfast. I'd call up my on-line Guardian and flick straight to Comment to find out what those clever folk in Lunnon were saying about smiley Mr Blair or grumpy Mr Brown.

I won't say I never do it any more, but the fun has gone out of it.

These characters bore me. It's like soap opera. The same stories keep coming round. The shark has been jumped.

And I begin to understand why 17 year olds, interviewed on the street, can't name the leader of the conservative party.

Politics used to be about ideology. That ended with the defeat of socialism. Now everyone's a little Englander and mildly racist and equally afraid of Rupert Murdoch.

The next election will be a contest between clones. It doesn't matter who wins because either way the product will be the same.

It's like All-Saints v the Spice Girls- only with ugly men in suits.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-02-07 03:11 am (UTC)
I look forward to the Danish election being over tomorrow evening. We're going to continue with this horrid government, but at least I won't have to consider, every single day, the stupity of my fellow Danes...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 03:46 am (UTC)
We haven't had a date set for our election, but the campaigning is already underway. Ugh!
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-02-07 05:20 am (UTC)
Our election was only called 3 weeks ago or something, so it's fortunately been a short campaign. I'm still fed up with it, though; it is most disheartening!
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-02-07 05:36 am (UTC)
For your consideration, the Simpsons episode in which candidates Clinton and Dole were kidnapped by space aliens, who took on their appearance and went to the debate:

"Abortions for some, no abortions for others, and small flags for all!" they both said.

"And always twirling! twirling! towards freedom!"

The aliens told their audience that it really made no difference who they voted for, as the results would be the same.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 06:14 am (UTC)
I see Bush has been hammering away at the freedom bell.

Words are so easy.

I hate to have become so jaundiced. I really thought it would make a difference when people of my generation finally came to power- and just look what's actually happened!
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-02-07 06:29 am (UTC)
There has been some interest in running Bush's brother Jeb in the next election.

(Bush's proposed budget has just been printed. There's a reduction in many social programs--a 3% cut to some--while increasing the homeland security budget again.

And Bush's plan to divert payroll taxes into private accounts so that the social security money can be gutted--how are people making minimum wage and raising families going to save for their retirement in private accounts?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 09:36 am (UTC)
Why not just make the presidency a hereditary office?

I can't believe some of the things your leaders and our leaders are getting up to these days. They seem intent on destroying what I think of as civilised values.

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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2005-02-07 05:38 am (UTC)
I suspect much of the apathy the young feel here towards the political process is based on the same sentiment. Candidates all look the same, their platforms are different on at the surface, and the vicious bipartisan fighting gets tiresome. And this is just for the national election. Many can't be bothered with local politics, where they could effect the most significant change if they thought about it.

Took me a good five minutes to recognize where "jumped the shark" came from. Now I just feel old. :P
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 06:19 am (UTC)
Here in the build up to our election the government has already started the negative campaigning.

We've had a poster portraying the leader of the opposition as a flying pig.

And another of him as a stage hypnotist swinging a fob-watch.

Both have been condemned as anti-semitic (??) and subsequently withdrawn.

It's all so fucking juvenile.

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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2005-02-07 09:00 am (UTC)
I'd wager to say that seventy five percent of my college age group couldn't identify the U.S. Senate and House leaders. Wait a minute, who are they again?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 09:39 am (UTC)
Something rather troubling is happening to Western democracy. The leaders are ceasing to connect with the people.

I really don't know what happens next...
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-02-07 11:18 am (UTC)
I don't know how it is you your country. IN this country, we've always been told that 'anyone can grow up to be President'.

Except 'anyone' can't. Politics has become the property of RICH OLD MEN. Yes, I know, we have a few women in politics, and some of them are even in positions of 'power'. But...

It IS discouraging. If you remember, five years ago people registered their displeasure and voted for a third party candidate, and we ended up with ...what we have now.

Sometimes I hear myself encouraging my younger friends and the students here at the University - "But, your vote DOES make a difference." Does it, though? Does it really?

We have a new 'star' in American politics, Barach Obama. He is a liberal, a Democrat, a well educated young man. He's African American. He also comes from money. If American were the country it likes to boast that it is, he'd be the rule, and not the exeption. But he's the exception for the color of his skin. That is the first thing that you read in his campaign literature, it's the first thing the Democratic party pushes in your face...

He is the only African-American currently serving in the U.S. Senate, the fifth in U.S. history and the third since Reconstruction. The 2004 U.S. Senate election in Illinois made history as the first Senate election to feature black nominees from both major parties.

it isn't that it isn't important. But how can rich politicians - black, white, pink, green, man, woman or neuter - represent so many people in this country when we are most certainly not all rich.

You're right, Tony. Politics are digusting. And ugly.

And very discouraging.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 12:40 pm (UTC)
I saw Obama speak at the Democratic convention.

I agree wholeheartedly. It's shocking that you have to be rich to run for high office.

Here in Britain the Labour party (Blair's party) was founded to represent the interests of the Working class. In the early days many of its members of parliament had come up through the trades unions. These days they're all lawyers and academics and businessmen.


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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-02-07 02:35 pm (UTC)
I saw Obama speak at the Democratic convention.

He is an amazing speaker, isn't he? And I don't mean that he won't be a good senator. It looks as though he is The Great Annointed, and eventually he will run for President.

I didn't mean he is disgusting. It's just...the whole stupid thing is discouraging, and sad. I don't think it is what the people who founded this country had in mind...

of course...some of them were rich politicians, as well.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 03:30 pm (UTC)
I uess most of the founding fathers were fairly rich.

But Lincoln can't have been- at least not in his origins. I've been to the Lincoln birthplace and the boyhood home and they're nothing more than shacks.
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From: morrison_maiden
2005-02-07 10:13 am (UTC)
It's like All-Saints v the Spice Girls- only with ugly men in suits.

Hehe, you are so right.

I can relate to these kids. I mean, I'm over 17, but I know how and why I felt that politics were boring. It was always between two white men who wore dull suits and spewed lies like the little girl in the Exorcist spewed pea soupl. And I never know how to trust them. They all seem like liars. Some are just better liars than others.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-07 12:43 pm (UTC)
I love the bit about the pea soup.

The British people were against the war in Iraq. Tony Blair took us in anyway, supporting his case with arguments about WMDs which have since been shown to be false. And yet he's still in office. I don't get it, I really don't!
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From: morrison_maiden
2005-02-07 07:56 pm (UTC)
Hehe, thanks!

It's funny, cause in the States, we see Tony Blair next to Bush and we wish we had a leader like him! I guess when you're stuck with that person, you get annoyed. My parents think Tony Blair is great, but then he's another politician :\
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-02-08 12:41 am (UTC)
Tony Blair is well hated over here, but that won't stop him winning the election. The opposition is in a mess (rather as the Democrats were in your last election) and Blair seems like the only halfway credible option.
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