In the wake of the Clinton comeback in New Hampshire, the European papers were glowing, according to France Culture, over the American example of Democracy as something Europe would do well to emulate. I think a bilateral perspective is in order.
In the last presidential election here, there were 12 candidates from 12 parties. Each was accorded a set period of television time — about an hour I believe — to be allayed as they saw fit. In the many corners around the country where they were displayed, each candidate had a metal placard on which to share its message. In other words, imagine a U.S. election where the Socialist Worker’s Party got equal time to the Dems and Repubs and you get the idea. (My favorite party, if not candidate: The party of Hunting, Fishing, and Nature.)
In the States, by contrast, NBC has just told Representative Dennis Kucinich — the most pro-peace Democratic candidate — he can’t participate in the next debate. And two candidates who at least have good ideas that should be listened to, Joseph Biden and Christopher Dodd, as well as the only Latino candidate, Bill Richardson, have dropped out of the race because of the results in two of our smallest states — thus essentially depriving the rest of the 48 states of a voice on their candidacies — and ideas.
Democracy in action!