Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Democrat dilemmas

Some interesting discussion in US about whether the Democrats need a unifying theme for this year's congressional elections, or whether it is enough to rely on the growing disaffection with Bush, the model debated is the 1994 Republican's 'contract with America'. US politics is quite different as the 2006 elections are midterm elections under a presidential system (although Austral used to halve separate half-senate elections the last in 1970). But the debate reminds me of the issue of whether Labor could rely on disaffection with Howard to win, the consensus now seems to be this was the wrong strategy. An argument against the unifying appeal is here and here, and for it here. The issue is more than 2006; without a coherent policy platform what hope that much will come from a Democrat presidency as progressive legislation would be bogged down in the House, even if there was a nominal Democrat majority? Running against Bush establishes a mandate for nothing.


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