20090217

Vice Senators, Vicious Governors, Virtuous Circles

Time to hatchet the Burris ?

So Roland Burris lied. He did have a chat with Rod Blagojevich's brother regarding Obama's seat in the US Senate.

Big deal.

As if anyone doubted there was anything fishy. Democrats badly needed someone ASAP to vote for the bailout-recovery-stimulus-hail-mary Obama plan, and they couldn't wait for impeachment. So be it.

This plan by no means perfect. Bullet trains make sense in California, but the LA-LV axis doesn't seem an environmental priority... unless you go all the way to Denver, Saint Louis and Chicago, that is (not to say hello to Burris, but to pave the way for a major nationwide network).

But even if it only manages to succeed halfway, this plan will have been worth it. Provided the political will to change remains strong ; I do hope the lack of details was only a trick to pass the bill quickly, and that the Obama Administration will seize the opportunity to set the pace for a new global framework, a more balanced order (see "
This is not a financial crisis").

The Burris incident proves that change has not totally come to DC (not to mention Chicago). But when Politico's Arena raises the question : "Should the Constitution require elections to fill Senate vacancies?", I'm not sure that's the kind of changes needed.

French politics are president-driven. "Dissolving" the national assembly is a national pastime, and reducing the Presidential mandate from 7 to 5 years (same as a MP) undermined the balance between the executive and legislative powers. Chirac should have either picked 6 years or reducing national assembly cycles to 4 years.

American politics are calendar-driven. You do elect Vice-Presidents but not Vice Senators, and that's OK, untill you get a Governor with one Vice too many.

US politics have their flaws, but the priority seems to make sure federal elections are fair. One nation, one president, one process. And not one of the 305,833,705 members of the US population (05:16 GMT (EST+5) Feb 17, 2009) left behind*.



* BTW : I don't like the idea of Rahm Emanuel's Executive Office of the President controlling the US Census Bureau, but it didn't certainly belong to the Commerce Department in the first place. I would put it in the OMB (Office of Management and Budget).


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