Thursday, November 10, 2016

A bad sign

Yesterday, Donald Trump won the US presidency. Today, there are large protests in major American cities in response.

Post-election protests of this scale simply don't happen in civilised democracies. The reason they don't happen is because such countries have transparently fair electoral systems where voters can accept the outcome. They do happen in corrupt, third-world kleptocracies where the electoral systems are obviously rigged. I guess the USA now fits into that second category.

And with good reason. Quite apart from the absurdity of the electoral college - an anti-democratic measure designed by C18th aristocrats specifically to thwart democratic outcomes - there's the whole US package of widespread gerrymandering, roll purges, and voter suppression that is part and parcel of the US's politicised electoral administration. The natural suspicion with any US result now is that it is a better reflection of the winning party's ability to manipulate the system to its advantage and keep opposing voters away from the polls than of the will of the people. And from the size of the protests, it looks like a large number of Americans have broken through their "we're the bestest" bullshit to finally recognise that.

In a civilised democracy, this would lead to change. Public trust in the electoral system is just not something you can afford to get wrong. But in the US, with the Republicans in charge of 30+ states and all arms of the federal government? Not a hope. Which means people will either give up on the rigged game of politics, or seek change by other means. Either way, its not good.