‘The Senate is an unfixable crime against democracy’

Right now in these tumultuous political times I long for smart, insightful and bold american voices. If you live in Europe you really have to look for them because they seldom reach us without some effort. The above heading is from The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. He is a former chief of staff on the Senate Finance Committee and as an Emmy-winning executive producer and writer of my favorite TV series “The West Wing”. Listening to and watching him is a sight for sore eyes and almost like watching West Wing (I am also watching the series again).

I though that sentence is the best descriptions of the our “democratic” institution I have ever heard. During these last months it has been s apparent how badly the democratic system works in the US. O’Donnells puts it very well when he says:

A majority of Americans do not want Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed, yet the senators who support his confirmation do not represent most Americans…the Founding Fathers never designed the Senate to be a truly democratic institution, so Americans must “work harder” to make democracy work.

The sad thing is that this is not only true in the US, it is true also for all the Finnish “democratic” institutions. In Finland very few elected politicians (there are some exceptions) stay connected to their community and their base during the years between election. But when the election year comes around suddenly they are there asking us to trust them and vote for them. They promise us “guld och gröns skogar” (gold and green forests) if we get them elected. When the election is over they go back into their chambers and up in their towers to make decisions that affect our everyday lives – and are not to be seen again until next election.

Is this democracy?  No it is not!  How can we create real democracy? Why are there so few experiments in different sorts of democracy? Can one reason be that when you get to power you are not interested in changing the system anymore?


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