Thursday, November 16, 2006

"I think we should pity them..."

Matt Frei of BBC News doesn't have much respect for America's electoral process.

"Forget America's notoriously low turnout - this year saw a bumper crop of voters bloated by popular anger with the Bush administration.

"I think we should pity them and marvel at their dogged determination to have their voices heard. "

Pity? That's a strong word.

"...And once the voter has emerged from the electronic voting booth, blinking into the daylight, and has the misfortune to switch on the TV, what does he
find? The circus has already moved on to the next race: The Big One. The Main Dish. The presidential elections of 2008. Americans live in a perpetual election campaign and the next one has already started."

Do Americans look at other nations like this? Do we point out disagreeable qualities in their political processes and harp about how we pity them? If an American columnist wrote that they "pity" a nation, they'd be attacked with a tidal wave of indignant responses.

The "perpetual election campaign" critique is common. We've heard that one before. But the rest of the column is here -- Frei has more to say.

I find outsiders' perceptions of our political system interesting. The pretentiousness that Americans are attacked for exists other places as well.

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