Sunday, November 7, 2010
Will the election matter? Or will the political class simply carry on?
Mike Ledeen is optimistic. I hope he's right. (Faster, please.)
But Ruy Teixeira says the demographics still favour the Left, statist hegemony, and the political class. (As, of course, does Teixeira. Teixeira's Yale classmates report that he was a Weatherman as a Yale undergraduate. Now he is a mainstream left-wing Democrat. Let's not go into how much of a change this entails, or doesn't.)
The European precedent isn't encouraging. During the past decade, the political class "project" was to transfer more sovereignty and power to the European Union, where the bureaucracy is unaccountable, and away from the (formerly) self-governing national democracies. The vehicle for this was going to be a new European Constitution. The Constitution was put to a referendum in Holland - and defeated. It was put to a referendum in France - and defeated. It was put to a referendum in Ireland - and defeated. Nothing daunted, the "Constitution" was simply re-named a "Treaty" and went into force anyway.
(Successive British governments, including the Tories now in power, promised a referendum in Britain. They reneged - i.e. they lied. Polls now make clear that not only would the EU Constitution/Treaty be defeated, but that a majority in Britain would vote to leave the EU. There will never be an EU referendum in Britain.)
Will America be different? The post-election Obama presser suggests Obama doesn't think so. ("What we had here is a failure of communication.")
Meanwhile, for a taste of life under "social democracy", tune in to Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons. (It's huge fun to watch, whatever your politics. Kudos to C-SPAN for carrying it!) Every single question, every week, is about what goodies there will be from the government - or rather, now that Britain is bankrupt, what will have to be cut, but what the government will still promise. (So far, by the way, David Cameron hopelessly out-punches poor Ed Miliband. Question Time has real comic potential, if you fancy an unfair fight.)
Or back to North America, here is Macleans - the MSM Canadian weekly - on corruption in Quebec. Which is pervasive. Even Macleans acknowledges - softly, softly - that vast, endemic corruption follows from the fact that government commands and controls everything, or almost everything, that matters in Quebec life.
Let's hope Mike Ledeen is right. And that Mark Steyn's ebullient pessimism is unjustified. (The pessimism, that is. The ebullience is a gift of God.)