Ivo Skoric on Wed, 20 Oct 1999 15:02:41 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> How many parties make a democracy?

"just one question about elections in serbia. what if two parties which
are ideological twins but don't represent the interests of the people
monopolized power through the support of "special interest groups" and the
"free press"?"  Andrew Madsen

You mean - what if the political picture in Serbia starts looking like in
the U.S.? Well, that's not gonna happen, since there are hundreds of
political parties in Serbia. It would take centuries to reduce them to
two. It would take less to reduce them to one, though, if you know what I
mean. And Milosevic is, judging by recent police beatings, well on his way
to do so. 

Otherwise, the U.S. bipartisan system didn't serve the U.S.  citizens so
badly as recently has been mocked all over the States.  For years it
worked well. In last few decades the parties, however, became too
identical, both essentially surrendering the process of creation of
political ideas to various special interest groups. Like there is no
difference between George Bush and Al Gore since they both have no
program. But, anybody can form a special interest group, right? So, that
should be even more democratic. And it isn't, because for a special
interest group to be effective, it has to have money. The more money there
is, the more effective that interest would be represented, i.e. the U.S.
is the democracy for the rich. This is the same problem that plagued the
late Roman Empire, where the position of the Emperor could be bought in
the end. King George II fits excelent in that picture. 

So, I agree that the bipartisan system is not a real democracy. It has its
expiration date. It lasts longer than single party state that we had in
Yugoslavia and other pseudo-communist countries, but it can't last
forever. It has a built-in flaw that sooner or later the two parties will
become ONE. 

Hence, we now do have a third party in the U.S., don't we? The Reform
Party - it IS different than the Democrat-Republican bipartisan complex,
and absolutely nobody takes it seriously. Why? Because we all got used to
the status-quo, it could be better, but it is not that unbearable: yes,
the politicians are crooks, so we'll bitch about them and not go to
elections (the number of people showing to elections in the U.S. is among
the lowest in the entire world of representative democracy) and the
politicians would get elected to their offices by someone else, perhaps by
my retired neighbours, they'd take bribes, shell out pork and get their
dicks sucked by interns, but nothing essentially would change for me or
the country. That's what kept communists in power in Yugoslavia way longer
than deserved, too. People are inert by nature. They would accept radical
change only when pressed hard by the decaying environment. In the last
decade of former Yugoslavia, the living standard fell twenty years back.
That made people thinking of the change. And that change then invariably
came in form of political leaders styled along the lines of Pat Buchanan. 

So, I am utterly unsurprised that Pat Buchanan is offered as a third
option. Then there is the wrestling guy, the big real estate tycoon and
the weird billionaire from Texas. The Reform Party looks like it was
coined in some Balkan state. If American citizens have a sense of humor,
they should elect them. Maybe they could even have a presidency with
rotating presidents (like post-Tito Yugoslavia had). Because how would
them four decide who in the end would be the President? So, one year we
have Jesse, another year we have Ross, then we have Donald and at the end
we have Pat. Or maybe let's see, yeah, Pat for the end, he would
definitely cause some big shit to happen, so he can declare martial law
and remain in power. Living here for ten years now, I found out that
Americans generally lack such a sense of humor, though, and I don't
believe they'd vote for the Reform Party. 


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net