October 08, 2003
Is this the end for democracy, or the beginning?

A short, well concerted and well funded media campaign by a wealthy and popular media person was all it took to make Arnold Schwarzenegger governor of California. While fixed four year terms for governors are not a natural law or essential for the democratic process, some degree of consistency is. As some commentators say; now that the recall has been established as doable (its been tried 32 times in California after various elections) one has to expect more aggresive attempts to repeat the success in the future which will take away time and energy from real politics. The only good news - and some will argue it is enough good news, is that election turnout was high and the position of voters clear on both recall and preferred candidate. But there is no way to know if Schwarzenegger could have put together support like this in a regular election - the drama of the campaign goes well with his character. Nor is there any way to know if election turnout would have been as high for a regular election, so the recally may mean nothing for the political consciousness of californians at all. And finally one has to wonder what would have happened with an alternate democratic strategy of "Just say no", instead of the chosen "If you do say yes to recall,vote for a democrat". That plan just seems so wishy washy. Especially in a pure character election like this one, that is very dangerous.

Posted by Claus at October 08, 2003 09:47 AM | TrackBack (0)
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