Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Nearly half of the blogs I have met so far talk about politics and what's gone wrong. They loath the government and let us know about this and why.
Let's not talk about those happy dictatorships where there is no real voting. People living in those remote-control-countries are free from the burden to take any worthwhile decision about politics and politicians. Generally, they are invited to occupy themselves with other subjects like gardening, making money (get rich and shut up), religion (sure, you are poor and bedridden but in Paradise you'll have fun every day), yelling at football tournaments and other sports events.
No, the voters I have in mind live mainly but not exclusively in the European Union or in USA/Canada where they are invited to exercise their talents and judgement.
Let me give an example: some years ago the European Union organized a referendum in every member state for a Constitution. The main idea was to establish majority votes in the EU Parliament and have a President voted into office for longer than six months.
This constitution was rejected by the voters in France and in the Netherlands. I don't know about the Dutch but here in France the no-votes were motivated frequently by this:
- more job security, no more outsourcing
- life has become more expensive
- more social justice
- They didn't want the Turks into the European Union
All this are worthy subjects but they are not decided by the Union. So this was brainless voting, there is no other word for it. It's like as if I am asking you for directions in a city and you answer me "this morning we'll expect rain".
Or take another example regarding our friends in the USA. The present government has been reelected three years ago. And this in spite of the disastrous war in Iraq, stubborn negation of climate change and probably other topics I don't know about. Now, it seems he and his party are at an all-time low. So the question is why did the majority vote for him a second time?
In Germany, Ms. Angela Merkel, our current Prime Minister, got her job with a very thin majority. During those elections it became more and more clear that all those indispensable reforms would come at a cost. So lots of voters got cold feet and voted for parties that promised to do the washing without getting them wet.
Thus, in a nutshell, we are responsible, too, if things go wrong. It's not those on top who - alone - are stupid, thrifty, tricky, grafty, dishonest. We made them and put them there, they are like us, remember.
As the saying goes "every country has the government it deserves".
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Some weeks ago I hit on a website where it was said that the US Governor of Georgia prayed publicly for rain to end a severe drought in his state.
At first I couldn't believe what I was reading. Sure, I know many people pray when in deep trouble but praying for rain, today, makes me think of our Middle Ages, a world full of demons, devils and sorcerers. To pray to your god for a little help seemed the reasonable thing to do, at that time.
When you pray for rain, plenty of it - much more than what you need to wet the flower pots - it means this: gimme the stuff, right now and LET THE OTHER ONE HAVE THE DROUGHT, because I need it more than everybody else, everywhere!
But praying for rain means something else, too. It means: we have cut off all trees, for years and years, we have watered our fields by draining our rivers, we don't preserve nature and we don't respect it. Everything that is not invoiced is free and we take it. And now we are facing the end of this happy time and don't like it.
So what we do? We don't say we have abused for dozens of years and now we pay the price. We don't replant the trees and make hedgerows around our fields. Oh no, that's too expensive. We don't invite everybody to make amends for our stupidity and take action.
We take the short road and pray: that's not expensive and if granted would enable us to go on living as before. And when we have some money to spare, could be we decide to replant some trees. Could be.
That's it what it means to pray for rain in a Western country, at the beginning of the 21st Century.