Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How blatant does it have to get?

The US has a long and dirty history of voter suppression, with Republicans in particular trying to win elections not by encouraging people to vote for them, but by systematically disenfranchising those who won't. Now in Wisconsin it seems to have reached a new low. First, the state passed a "moter voter" law, requiring people to present a driver's licence to vote. Now,it is shutting down DMVs in Democrat-leaning areas, while boosting funding to those in Republican leaning ones - meaning that people unlikely to vote for the present administration can't get the vital ID, while those who will, can.

If this happened in, say, Uzbekistan, we'd call it exactly what it is: an attempt to tilt electoral outcomes by the government of the day. And we'd declare that elections run under such a system were not "free and fair" and did not meet international standards. But because this is happening in the US, "the home of democracy", then everyone looks the other way.

Unfair nomination rules. Widespread gerrymandering. Blatant and widespread voter suppression. I think its time we admitted that the US isn't really a democracy. Instead, its a plutocracy, trying to gain legitimacy from an increasingly thin democratic facade.