This is not supposed to be a blog about politics but politics is a part of life, right? At least it is when you care about who can influence your life as a citizen.
Just a few thoughts about a very small and a very large country.
Right now I am watching two national elections approaching and I am feeling a bit powerless as I'm not allowed to vote in either of them: Austria, where I live, and the U.S.
In both countries, the resulting consequences of these elections will be very noticeable. It does make a difference whether a far-right wing party gets about 20% of the votes even if it will not be part of the government, which remains to be seen. And it does make a difference whether the U.S. will continue an outrageously inhuman policy and, besides many other effects, continue to move further away from Europe, or whether the U.S. starts (and it would only be a start) to turn its policy into a different direction.
This is in response to the argument that nowadays it doesn't really matter which party is the recipient of your vote as governments don't have much scope in putting their ideologies into reality because they have to respond to global realities, mostly economic.
I used to think that, too. However, in Austria one could clearly observe a decay in political morality when the Conservatives (in a fit of power madness) finally managed to beat the Social Democrats, who had become much too complacent, with the help of the far-right wing party in 1999. This coalition crumbled to pieces a couple of years later but Austria still suffers from the consequences.
Need I give examples of the effect of the Bush government on the U.S. or on the world? It suffices to say that they added paranoia to the American Way of Life. In my view that is even worse than the bloodshed in Iraq, which was bad enough.
Fear is the number one nutrient for fascism. For a government to toy with that, to hazard with the consequences to push some petty (mostly economic) interests there is no excuse.
So it does make a difference.
Being forced to stay silent in a democratic sense, I can only hope that people in both countries wake up, listen and vote...