Democracy Can Be Confusing

I heard on the radio today that many Tunisians found their ballots too confusing, what with hundreds of parties and candidates listed. They should learn from the pros: Here, we only allow two parties to have a chance at winning, and whichever one wins, they will implement the same policies. It makes voting much simpler.


  1. Anonymous9:40 PM

    I know you are joking, but isn't there some serious difference between Republicans and Democrats?

    And not just a superficial one, as cynics claim?

    Most of what I know of US politics is strictly from Paul Krugman's blog posts and columns (which I read mainly for the economics perspective), but here is how I understand it.

    Republicans care about solving the deficit. Democrats care about solving the deficit and the general glut.

    Both parties have been proposing rises in taxes, the Republicans higher payroll tax rates and the Democrats higher income tax rates. But only one party proposes very very large fiscal expansion in the short run, the Democrats.

    I think they are both misguided for two very different reasons. Republicans should not be anti-deficit, at a time when bond rates are so low. Democrats should be more consistent - if they wanted an expansionary fiscal policy, they should not propose higher tax rates on any income bracket. Why contract and expand at the same time?

  2. Prateek, there certainly are some differences, but the differences once in office are far smaller than the rhetorical differences.

  3. Leaving aside the merits of the policies, I wonder if it isn't a condition of having a state at all that actual policies don't change much from election to election.

  4. Hmm, Jim, interesting question.

  5. There is some change but the state definitely has its own inertia. Its similar to when a board of directors elects a new CEO. If the company made fried chicken before the change of CEO its prolly gonna make fried chicken afterwards too.

  6. That's good, because I *love* fried chicken.


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