I’m in danger of becoming a Chadkirk photo bore with our regular strolls as Mrs P recuperates, but you’ll be pleased that I’m just using my shots to decorate this post while I talk about an entirely different sort of constitutional issue – the US presidential election.
I’ve been following the campaign as best as I can from this distance, watching and waiting for Romney to alienate another chunk of the electorate and wondering when Obama would regain the fire in his rhetoric when it struck me that this is but a pantomime of democracy.
Only the chosen few have the vote and billions of people are disenfranchised because it is widely advertised that this is to elect, but those of us who live in that free world don’t get a say in who is chosen.
Think about it. Whoever lands the purple robe on 6th November will be making decisions that directly affect my life and yet I get no say in the matter and that is an affront to the core principle of democracy. My solution is that any citizen of a parliamentary democracy should also get to vote.
Of course, I can see why the people of America might object when the bulk of presidential decisions concern internal policy and I’d go along with that.
If America wants to ban same-sex marriage and abortion, or give generous tax breaks to needy billionaires, or scrap any form of universal health care, that’s up to them, but when it comes to bombing Iran, the environment and stuff like that, well, I’d rather like to be consulted.
My suggestion then is that the US runs two presidential elections, one for homeland policy and the other for anything that affects the rest of the world. If both posts are embodied in one man or woman (that’ll be the day) then all well and good, but so would a job-share.
And think of the benefits. The President of America (or hopefully the least bellicose partner in the post) would have a proper mandate for any actions they endorse. More to the point, America would have to take note of what the rest of the world thinks.