It’s really interesting to follow the news about the midterm elections in the US. Politicians slam each other with true or just dumb words and then watch how the polls go up and down. For the Republicans it’s the chance to win the House and the Senate back, but will they? And who will be the new governors of the states? Let’s first see what they are actually voting for.
The Dutch Parliament
In the Netherlands once in the four years there are elections to choose the members of the “Second Chamber”: the Lower House of the Parliament. They don’t directly vote a Prime Minister, which isn’t very democratic: the Prime Minister is elected by his own party and that is the one with the most votes. Then they form a government, which automatically implicates that the cabinet always has a majority in at least the Lower House. This means that the opposition can’t change anything in the politics, because the members of the largest parties always just do something called ‘block voting’ (blokstemmen): they all vote for what the cabinet wants. The opposition has very little influence on what they decide and do. Not very democratic!
The only oppositional light burns in the “First Chamber”: the Senate or Upper House of the Parliament, for which elections are held every three or two years. It used to be once per five years, but a few years ago a conservative party (Forum for Democracy) won 1/3 of the votes in the Senate and the cabinet didn’t like that. So they immediately changed the procedure and now half of the Senate is chosen every two or three years. The opposition literally has no chance whatsoever to change anything in the country, because they can never reach a majority of votes. Only the Senate can block new laws by voting against them, which it almost never does.
The American Parliament
In the United States all members of the Congress – both Parliaments – are directly chosen by the people and so is the President. Still most of the time a new President has at least the House (Tweede Kamer) on his side during the first two years. That is because the members of the House are chosen two years after the President. But after the President has been in office for two years, it’s time for his reckoning: new members of the House are chosen – some will be reelected, some will come in new. If the people aren’t satisfied with his policies, he will have the Congress against him, which will make it very difficult to change anything in the country. Other times the last two years he will have the Congress on his side, which makes it a lot easier to govern. Something that also helps a President, is many states having a governor of his party. Some new governors are chosen tomorrow, while others are chosen at other moments: a governor just stays in office for five years and when his or her term is finished, there are elections in that particular state.
The Dutch Senate doesn’t do a lot of work, but the American Senate on the contrary is very active. They make bills – propositions for new laws or regulations – all the time, debate very actively and so they don’t only vote for or against new laws. They fight their way to literally push new laws. The democracy is very active in America and I personally think that is a good thing. Also mayors are chosen by the people and everything is really well organised in the field of politics. The only thing that is very wrong in this country is that the Democrats hold so much more power than the Republicans. They control the media, the CIA and the Home Office (the Ministry of Interior Affairs). They also play unfair at elections, as you saw in 2020 with the presidential elections between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. There were such weird outcomes that it couldn’t have been fair elections. Dead people who all voted for Biden, ballots that were brought in in the middle of the night, long after the deadline and things like that. Even if there is so much democracy in a country, elections can be rigged. There are always ways to do that.
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What are the important issues tomorrow at the midterms?
Well, just like in the whole world energy and energy prices are an important issue. Jobs and good salaries. Inflation and food prices. Taxes and the question of who has to pay more taxes: the poor or the rich? Abortion and racism are minor themes, but still decisive for a small percentage of voters that both parties don’t want to miss. Ukraine and the financing of the war there is an issue, censorship is on the list. A real American issue is the right to possess guns and these are the major things about which the Americans are going to decide tomorrow by voting for Democrats or Republicans. I think I just forgot the southern border with Mexico, where drones spotted hundreds of illegal migrants coming into the country, while the government claimed the border was closed.
The Democratic Biden Administration has caused a huge inflation, has largely increased energy prices and throws money to Ukraine. The economy is an enormous issue at the midterms. The Democrats have also sexualised children at primary schools and divided the whole country with their witch hunt for racism, but they have lost the battle for free abortions. In many states Covid regulations are also an issue, but digital ID’s aren’t, in contrary to Europe.
What the polls say … Here is Politico, which isn’t all too objective and most of the time quite leftist. Yet it predicts a Republican House. The Guardian states that the Republicans have more chances than ever to win the House, the Senate and governors. Since the Biden administration made quite a mess in the country, I think the Guardian is right. Most people will vote Republicans to restore the balance. That seems logic. Yet what the Americans really plan to do with their country, we will see tomorrow.
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