Janet Daley in the telegraph suggests that the frequent claims that the American political system is broken are without merit:
How strong should central government be, and how much of our money should it spend?
In the aftermath of the crisis in Washington — or more aptly, in the lull between crises — there is a danger that a few smug assumptions will solidify into received opinion on this side of the Atlantic. In the hope of dispelling some dangerous misconceptions, I will attempt to counter three myths that manage to be both alarmist and complacent at the same time.
The first is that the American democratic system is now so damaged that the country’s ability to govern itself effectively is in unprecedented peril. In fact, what has been impaired is the temporary credibility of the federal government, which has relatively little effect on the lives of most Americans. It is state governments that run the affairs that govern most civic and economic activity.
Hardly a day passes when one of the BBC’s political commentators does not indeed spout that smug assumption.
The likelihood being that they do so because if they claim the system is broken then there must be someone who broke it….and that’s, sure as eggs is eggs, going to be the Republicans, the Tea Party to narrow that down.
Many a BBC journo has wistfully announced that perhaps the ‘decisive’ Chinese method of government would be the ideal….and it was John Humphrys who, visiting Tibet, cheerfully applauded the Chinese invasion and talked in awe of the wonders that the Chinese railway was bringing to the Tibetans…along with the hundreds of thousands of Chinese ‘immigrants’…or occupiers as some might call them…not Humphrys though…and never mind the ‘cultural genocide’.
Democracy is so yesterday.
Or as Evan Davis says …the Americans are asking how politics can be reformed to avoid partisan showdowns of a kind that brought government to a standstill…yes Evan, let’s see what Obama wants…and then vote ‘Yes’. We can’t have any ugly dissent can we.
Davis goes on to claim that:
‘There’s one special and distinctive feature of American politics…gerrymandering….drawing boundaries of congressional seats to suit political ends… to wipe out rivals or to create safe seats for your party.’
Yep….that would never happen here, it’s certainly a distinctive and special feature of US politics alone.
In his piece on David Cameron’s road to Number 10, Iain Martin touches on a crucial issue: “The geography and the electoral map are against the Tories: they need a 10-point lead on polling day to get an overall majority of one seat”. He cites research from YouGov pollster Peter Kellner showing that if Labour and the Tories were to gain an equal share of the vote at the next election, Labour would get 80 more seats.
Good old BBC tunnel vision…only seeing what it wants to see as long as it supports its narrative…US politics are broken…broken by Republicans…the Republicans need to be ‘fixed’.