Sunday 23rd of January 2022

ideal misty eyedness...

jeffersionian republik

from the ABC

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the international community needs to take a realistic approach to the elections in Afghanistan.

The final votes have been counted, but the result could still be many weeks away while investigators look into allegations of vote rigging.

At this stage, sitting President Hamid Karzai has been declared the unofficial winner.

Mr Rudd has told CNN world leaders need to support whoever wins in order to bring about a politically stable and secure Afghanistan.

"My definition of success in Afghanistan is not the creation of a Jeffersonian democracy, let us be clear about that," he said.

"I think there has been a degree of misty eyedness about that from time to time.

do not shoot the cartoonist...

Sorry, I couldn't escape the vision of a Jeffersionian democracy that ended up in creating the Simpson family... and I inflicted this cartoon at top on you... Should you desire a high resolution or a print of this cartoon — and of all the others for that matter — do not hesitate to contact the management of this site and place your order. They may post it to you for nothing or charge you $24.95 plus postage to pay for the maintenance of the site... who knows.


voting fatigue...

from the BBC

The head of the commission investigating allegations of fraud in last month's Afghan presidential election says final results will not be known for another 10 to 14 days. Western governments want a thorough investigation to ensure that whoever wins is seen as a credible victor. But it's not a view shared by most ordinary Afghans - as Allan Little reports from Kabul.

It's hard to find Afghans with much enthusiasm for a second round presidential election run-off - or even for the drawn-out process of investigation into widespread allegations of electoral fraud.

of westminster...

One thinks of democracy as the ideal of governance, but is it? In china it's akin to dictatorship... In Pommyland (UK) the democratic system is not so simple, although some Westminster fanatics try to sell it to us as panacea. But in fact rather than the "Jeffersonian" model of governance, a primitive form of Westminster institution might work better than the present mishmash in Afghanistan. This of course would use the ubiquitous War-Lords in government not unlike the House of Lords in the UK, plus a House of Commons (we the commoners) and an elected king with no executive powers whatsoever. A Prime Minister would run the shop for a limited term, say three years. This would retain the feudal system, like in Britain where privileges exist beyond the concept of equality for all, as long as you stay on the rung of your birth — except from time to time, someone is promoted to Lordship or demoted (usually kicking the bucket with no heirs).

The flattening parameter in all this is the taxation system that make the lords pay through the nose for the privilege of being privileged (although some cook the books — imagine the heating bill for some of their castles).

This could work in Afghanistan. Rename the invading troops as "tax collectors" and suddenly a populace becomes docile, busy in tax evasion and distracted into filling tax forms. Of course the moneys collected should be used to create a new level of public servants, of public schools and of new secular infrastructure. Bingo, secular democracy is on the way...

Other powerful implementations would have to be proper identity recognition (who's under that blue tent?) and possibly compulsory voting (like in Aussieland). Eventually this system can evolve and become a fully fledge federal democratic system like Australia, with a Senate and a lower house, except in Queensland where the senate is replaced by the governor... Governor?... Ah! The antiquation of governance traditions...

of a westminster queen mum...

It must be exhausting to be a monarchist, forever finding ways to pretend a family of cold, talentless snobs are better than the rest of us. They have to make gold out of mud. The system of monarchy – selecting a head of state solely because of the womb they passed through, and surrounding them with sycophants from the moment they emerge – produces warped and dim people and demands that we scrape before them. What's a poor monarchist to do? They can only lavish a thick cream of adjectives – "dignity", "charm", "majesty" – over the Windsor family in the hope that some of us are fooled.

This process corrupts even the most intelligent monarchists. A strange case study is the new, authorised, 1,000-plus pages biography of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the "Queen Mother") by William Shawcross. He is a smart man: his study of the secret bombing of Cambodia by Henry Kissinger is extraordinary. Yet as a monarchist he has an impossible task. He has to present a cruel, bigoted snob who fleeced millions from the British taxpayer as a heroine fit to rule over us. His mind turns to mush. Before the real Bowes-Lyon is lost in a frenzy of royalist rimming, we should remember who she really was: more Imelda Marcos than the good fairy Glinda.


see comment, toon above and read more at the Independent.