Today Finns are celebrating their day of independence, with the annual evening independence gala scheduled to take place at the presidential palace at 6pm. I would hope that all the Finns reading this post will take time to also reflect upon how their government does not actually represent them anymore, as their own parliament has been reduced to being nothing more than a rubber stamp for policies and legislation created in Brussels. KGS
NOTE: British MEP, Daniel Hannan, interviewed at Uncommon Knowledge, mentioned the following salient points about the US primary system, in that how genuinely unique it is, and that it alone separates the US system from all the rest, in that it allows for genuine public discourse and discontent to be heard, and directly affect politics. It’s not perfect, but it’s a far cry better than what we have here in Finland and elsewhere in Europe, save the Swiss.
Peter Robinson: Segment one. What makes America different? When you were 18, you write in this book; you and some friends took a trip to the United States. Let me quote you. “We kept finding the same character traits: enthusiasm, artlessness, impatience, optimism. Only much later did it occur to me that these are not innate characteristics.” Explain.Mr. Hannan: Well, very often when you talk about what makes American politics different, people on both side of the Atlantic will say, “Well, it’s—it’s culture.” You know, Americans have their undeferential—they’re restless. They—they—they don’t have the class systems and the monarchies that Europe has and so on. But that answer doesn’t really take you very far. I mean culture isn’t some numinous entity that exists alongside institutions. It’s a product of institutions. There are reasons why there is a Tea Party here and there isn’t a Tea Party in Europe. And if you break it down why is the—what’s happening in the U.S. that’s different. It’s the single biggest factor actually is open primaries. There’s a Tea Party here because people think that there’s a purpose to it.Peter Robinson: Tell me what you mean by open primaries.Mr. Hannan: In most of Europe and most of the democratic world, in fact everywhere really other than the U.S., candidates are chosen by their parties and they’re then presented to the electorate, which means, in fact, that they’re chosen by the party leader and his clique. And this allows the political parties to exclude big mainstream currents of public opinion from the legislature. Now all of the evidence I have is that people in Britain and people in Europe dislike the level of taxation just as much as Americans do. In fact, they’ve got a lot more to complain about in terms of the overall level of tax. So that the reason there is a Tea Party here is not because of some perverse American characteristic of being anti-tax. It’s that people think that they can do something about it through the ballot box. And that is an incredibly precious thing you have. Very few of my American friends realize how unusual how it is; how unique you are; and how blessed you are in having this system of being able to select your—your own candidates.
He’s right. The whole parliamentary political system in Europe -in how politicians are selected by the political parties to run for elective office- spits in the face of idea behind representative government. Here in Finland as in elsewhere around Europe, political parties select which candidates run for office, then the people vote for them. It encourages an almost homogenous, herd-like mentality in thinking behind policies which are then supported by these robot-politicos who vote in blocks, and whose only differences in these policies and opinions… are slight. There is no stark -black and white drawing of the line in the sand- differences between the parties. They’re all statist in design and in philosophy.