rebelraising: (mmmpolitics)
[personal profile] rebelraising
I think countries where politicians regularly and unironically say that "this is the greatest country in the world" are fundamentally different from countries where that doesn't happen. I'm beginning to think this is the root of my Not Getting US Politics to the extent that I don't. This whole "The world is looking to us! We must count every vote!" thing: most of the rest of us on LJ (privileged Westerners that we for the most part are) live in countries where every vote is always counted. The last place we'd look for procedural example is the US. Yes, my country is imperfect and its democracy is a compromise with proceduralism, sentimentality, and the inability of the ruling classes to relax their ultimate grip on power, but we know how to aspire all by ourselves. We don't need your dream. We've got a million of our own.

What we want from a country that's got such huge sway over the world - though less over a rich, Western, capitalist country like mine that over, say, Sudan - is responsible use of power. An understanding from those who rule that, just because you can, doesn't mean that you should, or that in the long term it's even in your own interests to steamroller across the world - particularly when you're talking about polluting an atmosphere that simply isn't going to stay still over those countries that aren't the greatest in the world, but will come and destroy yours too, and mine, though probably not until after the damage has killed millions of people in the developing world. Particularly when your policies kill people who will never be able to vote against them.

And that's what Sudan and Bangladesh need from the voters of the UK next year, as well. What I feel now, looking at the US and realising that Bush's re-election means US missiles at Fylingdales, is going to be what other people feel looking at the way my country lays waste to others, endangers other countries' citizens, kills, exploits, and manipulates. That's the example I'm taking - let's not fuck up like that. Let's dream our own dreams and do a bit better.

Date: 2004-11-04 03:29 am (UTC)
ext_16103: (price of oreos)
From: [identity profile]
This whole "The world is looking to us! We must count every vote!" thing: most of the rest of us on LJ (privileged Westerners that we for the most part are) live in countries where every vote is always counted.

Yes! And everytime I hear about voting machine mishaps I just wonder why they don't have X-in-the-Box like normal people. :D

This is a great post. Thanks for writing it. It sometimes irks me how Americans- not usually my American friends on LJ, but what I read in papers or on message boards- seem to think that the US is the only country with freedom or rights that are enshrined in anything, the only country that has democracy at all and the only country that has the right to say what *is* democracy. I really get bothered when they talk about how proud they are that they had to fight for their freedom even though they themselves had nothing to do with it, and somehow my being Canadian isn't as valid, even though the loyalists who really funded Canada had to *leave their homes* or face pretty rough persecution if they wanted to continue doing what they believed in. And at the end of the day, neither me or the average American had anything to DO with our nationalities. The only people who had to fight for anything are asylum seekers and immigrants, really.

I think it is important to show the world that not all of the West is like the US, especially when it comes to who we vote for and how they treat the planet. I don't know how people can be happy with a representative government that hurts everyone else just so they can feel a *little* 'safer', or just because they don't want a gay couple moving in next door.

Date: 2004-11-04 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great post - thank you!

Date: 2004-11-04 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, damn, I clicked on the wrong link. Not that your response wasn't great [ profile] tarynw, but I meant that as a response to Kate's original post!

Date: 2004-11-04 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is a wonderful post. Thank you.

Date: 2004-11-04 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If this wasn't friends-locked, I'd link to it.

Date: 2004-11-04 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, absolutely. Any chance you could unlock it so that I could link to it?

Date: 2004-11-04 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, okay, just for you. And [ profile] yonmei. But if you get me fired, you can support me for the rest of my life.

Date: 2004-11-04 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why would the Homosamurai fire you for this?

Date: 2004-11-04 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And I'm going to link to it too, because I agree, and you said it better.

Date: 2004-11-04 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dude, if you get fired for this I'll lose all faith I had in the voluntary sector, especially given that I haven't been fired yet...

But yes, of course I'll support you. As long as you send me an Edinburgh snowdome.

Date: 2004-11-04 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I probably won't get fired. But that is, after all, the reason this is friends-only usually.

And, I shall look for a snowdome. I think [ profile] riarambles can attest to my skill with tat selection. Of course, you can only have the snowdome once bought if you come and collect it :)

Date: 2004-11-04 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(yes but you're going to be fired soon, for putting a bigot sticker on david blunkett, aren't you? and when that happens, we'll get the internet to paypal you for your sacrifice.)

Date: 2004-11-04 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tomorrow's the day!

Date: 2004-11-04 01:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2004-11-04 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

The best thing to do now is to look inward and, as you say, not fuck up like that. Canada is in danger of fucking up now too, with a minority government and a neo-con fuckwit opposition leader. Time to make sure we separate ourselves from what's going on south of the border.

Date: 2004-11-04 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad you unlocked this so I could see it. I really don't get how a country that pretends to be a democracy can have such a flawed voting system.

Date: 2004-11-04 09:38 am (UTC)

Date: 2004-11-04 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The funny thing is that America never really was the greatest democracy in the world. It was one of the few at one point, for sure, and one of the better for most of the world's recent history. But it still disenfranchised its black citizens for decades, even after the 15th amendment in 1870, it didn't give all women the vote until 1919*, and it took until 1957 to remove the last state law which barred Native Americans from voting!

But Americans have been told they're the greatest democracy in the world so often that many just take the idea for granted when I'd say that (for example) Scotland, even with its many flaws and its parochial Labour politicians, is better at representing all its people.

At the very least we don't have nakedly partisan electoral officials. Or nakedly partisan companies manufacturing our voting machines. Hey, who'd have thought a lot of old ladies with chewed pencil stubs would represent a better system of electing public offials?

* it was up to the individual states to grant suffrage before that and naturally not all did

Date: 2004-11-09 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great post. Thank you for having it unlocked.

Date: 2004-11-12 08:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for post. I wandered across from Making Light and have now added you to my reading list - just in case you wanted to know where and why.

Date: 2005-07-11 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The only way to log on to livejournal from Brandnewgun's journal is to post a comment, so I will do so - and ask "Brandnewgun was on Making Light? When?"

Date: 2005-07-12 04:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry - am blank about the details. She either commented in one of the threads or was quoted by someone else. I can't find the relevant post - and I've trawled thro' some of the more likely threads round about time of US election.

Date: 2005-07-12 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I can't recall either, but I read there occasionally and have commented at least once.

Date: 2004-11-23 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello -
I was wondering if you'd mind if added you? You seem rather fabulous.

Date: 2005-07-12 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It being about 8 months later, I doubt you're interested, but LJ seems not to have sent me any comments on this, ever, and I just found yours! Still want to add? I would be v. open to the idea.

Date: 2005-07-12 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That word probably ought to have had an r in it.

Date: 2004-12-20 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd like to dream but I'm afraid of waking. Our voting public bought us into a 4th term of frightfully conservative rule, and in turn securing our franchisee in some scarey politics of death. All the sane democracies are eroding, I don't know where to run anymore.

I enjoyed your post and would love to be in on some of the discussion. Add me if you will. My punctuation often lacks due to sleep deprivation. My Journal is awfully mundane, but then again, so is Brisbane.

Date: 2004-12-31 02:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Although we only know of each other from commenting on other LJ'ers threads, I wanted to say congrats, which I understand are very much in order!!

Date: 2005-03-01 08:15 pm (UTC)
ext_17485: (elizabeth (malecrit))
From: [identity profile]
Ah, this is slightly random friending, but [ profile] jekesta and [ profile] alicamel mentioned ye at Redemption and such and it was all of the good, and so yes. Hello.

Date: 2005-07-19 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just found you through sabethea, and I was fascinated just reading this post alone. I'd love to be able to read more of your current stuff, but I totally understand if you don't want to add a stranger. Feel free to check out my own journal...

Date: 2005-07-19 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
By all means - I've added you, so have a look at more recent stuff. I should point out that I only do big impassioned rants like this occasionally - more often I burble about my baby, or books, or the petty traumas of doing a PhD.

Date: 2005-08-20 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi. I've run across your postings on others' LJs and have always loved your comments on chicklit, and if your journal contains other entries that the like one above, of course I'd like to read them. Living in one of the reddest states in the U.S. (albeit in a blue city) gives one some insight into the general state of mind that allowed Bush to be (re)elected. Would you mind if I friended you? I'm afraid my journal is a little dull, and I understand if you have privacy concerns about friending back.

Date: 2005-08-21 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi - and feel free to friend me! I'll friend back otherwise you'll see nowt at all - but at the moment it's more baby-related rambling than anything. The occasional rant, though :)

And I didn't think, on quick review, that your journal is dull at all.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2005-12-01 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Certainly! I've seen you around and hello. Though it's worth noting that what I've left unlocked is more political-rant-y than average and you'll find more baby-related rambling and such in the whole journal.

Date: 2006-01-30 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello, [ profile] slemslempike recommended you highly as a good read, may I add you to my list?

Hating Lucy Mangan

Date: 2006-03-09 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Kate, a friend of mine pointed out that 13 people as well as me have the interest 'hating lucy mangan' and I started looking at the other 13, which is how I found your journal. I'd like it if you friended me, I do write in complete sentences and you sound interesting and intelligent. Is that OK?


Date: 2006-04-19 12:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you were talking about a civil partnership ceremony for March - I hope it went well for you both...

Date: 2006-04-24 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello. I just friended you because I've seen you around several of my friends' journals and also on chicklit and you sound very interesting and also very nice. I'd be honoured if you friended me back.
I promise my grammar is impeccable, as I am, amongst other things, an editor by day.
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