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I doubt we'll ever have suspended elections in the US, or even election rigging that is anything worse than what we see today, where disenfranchisement of various sorts puts the democrats in about a 2% hole before the voting begins in presidential elections.

This is because there are other (importantly) significantly less internally destabilizing ways to remove the threat of democracy, and the institutional structure that (nearly) enforces the two party system is just one example. Soft media control is another - a politician like Sarko isn't getting elected in left-leaning country like France without it.

The American public is significantly to the left of both parties. We don't get to vote on the military budget, for example, and for good reason - if you poll people that identify as republican and ask what % of their tax dollars should go to the military, you're going to get an average number that is far beneath current allocation (around 50%). When it comes to education budgets, though, voting is most definitely allowed - growing school districts generally have to resort to bond measures to build schools, and by law, they can only be approved by a public vote.

If you can convince the public that voting is the highest socially acceptable level of civic participation, as this country has done with its citizens, cynicism and resignation are the inevitable result when staring up at those static, elite controlled institutions.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 03:05:42 PM EST
Exactly.  The ruling "oiligarchy" would never stoop to something so anathemic to amurka, and they are far too sophisticated.  Barring some unforeseen calamity, like "a new Pearl Harbor."  Or barring complete madness by the current occupants, which remains something not to be taken lightly.  The current consolidation of power seems to be working quite effectively.

MillMan, i liked the way you described the 2% disenfranchisement, but remember it gives real power when focused on key states in the electoral system.

Anybody remember the "Yankee and Cowboy War" from the late 60's and 70's?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 04:21:36 PM EST
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