Sunday, October 11, 2009

In America, France's “accumulation of mandates” might be more aptly referred to as “petty dictatorship”, or even “corruption”

Among the topics in Rachel Marsden's column, What France Is Debating While America Tackles Health Care, is that of "Accumulation of mandates":
There are at least six levels of elected political office available to politicians in France, and they’re allowed to hold more than one simultaneously. They can also be concurrently employed as a lobbyist for a private enterprise, enabling them to directly lobby themselves and their friends in their various elected roles – sometimes over the lunch hour break during their legislative sessions. About 70% of the French National Assembly (equivalent of the American Congress) has such a private sector gig.

Some in France have identified this as a problem, and it’s a constant topic of debate here. But why fight it too hard when you could one day benefit from it yourself? “Accumulation of mandates”, it’s called. You know who else has a problem with “accumulation of mandates”? Fidel Castro. Hugo Chavez. Guys like that. In America, it might be more aptly referred to as “petty dictatorship”, or even “corruption”. Here it’s not really a problem so much as a perpetual opportunity to appear concerned and pro-democratic – all while maximizing one’s income.
Now you know why French leaders, élites, and intellectuals — as well as those of the world — are always demonizing, skewering, and ridiculing America, its society, and its capitalist ethics: it's not because of Bush, or Reagan, or the poor, or Hiroshima; to provide a the populace with a preemptive vaccine against any one citizen standing up and saying: "les Américains may have their faults, but still, they're better off than we are. Why can't we too do it that way?"