Thursday, November 04, 2004

Real democracy on display

At around five o’clock GMT yesterday, John Kerry conceded and soon afterwards, George W Bush claimed victory in the first election of the war against terrror. It had been rather a fraught battle, with a great deal of ill feeling on all sides and a great deal of money spent by both parties, not counting the money put up by non-party organizations for various advertisements. George Soros, alone, has wasted many millions of his wealth to unseat Bush, only to find that real democracy cannot be bought.

However, like the brilliant John Derbyshire (another journalist we lost to the Americans) in the National Review On Line, I do not see that one need to or, indeed, can gloat at Senator Kerry. Had he won, this blog would have welcomed him as the chosen leader of the American people – chosen by those people. We do not agree with his views on the UN and, like many other people, we do not know what his views are on numerous other subjects. But, had he been elected, he would have been the President as a result of a fully democratic, singularly transparent system.

And that really is that. The great and the good, the self-righteous media, the transnational oligarchs or tranzies, the NGOs, or the unelected, unaccountable, self-appointed would-be international legislators have to accept that the largest and greatest liberal democracy in the world has spoken.

It seems that the OSCE, the organization that has fruitlessly and helplessly watched scores of fraudulent elections in many countries, sent observers to the United States. Apparently, there were no irregularities detected. Well, no kidding. You mean, the opposition candidate (in this case Kerry) was not exiled because he attended an “illegal” political meeting? This happened in Kazakhstan but I have heard a London University academic pooh-poohing criticisms by wondering what observers would have said about the American elections.

It seems that the media was not stifled either, as it has happened in most of the Central Asian republics and Belarus; nor were there unexplained attacks on the leader of the opposition as it happened in Ukraine; newspapers were not threatened and journalists were not attacked as in Russia. In fact, much of the mainstream media seemed to be on Kerry’s side. Shame on the people – they let the TV channels down.

It seems the EU, that great democracy, also sent observers. One wonders what they observed and whether they would recognize democratic procedures.

It seems that as far as the British media is concerned the whole business is not over. The BBC is weeping into its cups and AOL is inviting people to vote on line whether the Americans had chosen well.

They have a point. If in the European Union one can have re-runs of referendums when the results are “unsatisfactory”; if the Commissioners can be chosen and re-chosen on the basis of absurd negotiations behind closed doors; why do the Americans insist on having open elections? Have they not heard of post-modernist post-democracy? Apparently not.

Well, we can look across the pond and see what democracy is like and how it works. We can see that in the United States, unlike the European countries, the electoral turn-out has gone up (strangely enough, those who turned out to vote, often did so to cast their vote for the Republican ticket). And we can say as they did in those old advertisements: “One day this will all be ours.”

Meanwhile, let me leave our readers with a happy thought: Ohio, the crucial swing-state which declared almost last, could have gone to Kerry, had those Guardian readers not tried to interfere.

Well, back to the real battle.

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