Monday, November 06, 2006

America Votes

Tomorrows midterm election is of pivotal importance for the health of democracy in the United States. I sent my absentee ballet a couple of weeks ago and it shouldn't surprise any of the few readers of this blog that I have voted for Democrats in every race I'm eligible to vote in. I also belong to the Democrats Abroad, although I am not actively involved in that organization.

It is vital for America and for the future of democracy that we, the Democrats, win control of the House of Representative and hopefully also the Senate. I believe this not just because we have better idea's and ideology than the Republicans, but because America will have become a 'de facto' one-party state if the Democrats fail again. If we can't win this time we'll never ever win control of Congress again.

I cannot see the Democrats winning the White House back in 2008, we simply don't have the ability to appeal to sufficient number of voters nationwide in presidential campaigns. This is evident in the fact that only one Democratic presidential candidate in the last 40 years has received 50% or more of the popular vote, and that was Carter in 1976 in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

But it is possible to win control over Congress, in spite of the widespread Gerrymandering*, beacause the majority of voters, I content, are more in agreement with our policies. The Republican President is right now very unpopular, as is the Republican controlled Congress and the Democrats are favored in the polls. The Republicans are plagued by scandals and display all the characteristic of a party burdened by being in power for a long time.

Yet in spite of this the Democrats may still be in opposition when we wake up Wednesday morning. The Democrats, who in most congressional elections on average have about half as much money to spend on campaigning as do the Republicans, also have a hard time mobilizing their voters and the pathetic low voter turnout rates make polls unreliable. I fear that once again we will be disappointed and Republicans will be able to rule unopposed in many years to come.

For more on Gerrymandering, its effect and definition see this article from the Detroit News from Oct. 29.


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