Tuesday , February 7 2023
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Vote for democracy (please!)

Summary:
It seems highly likely that the Republican Party will win control of the US House of Representatives, and possibly also the Senate, next week. Unless the margin is so narrow that a handful of believers in democracy can tip the balance, that will mean the end of electoral democracy in the US for the foreseeable future. Most House Republicans voted to overturn the 2020 election. All (except a few who were on the way out) voted against the Electoral Count Act which is supposed to make cheating more difficult, but which will surely be ignored if necessary. That’s without considering the vast numbers of election deniers who will win (or already hold) crucial offices at state and local level, and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will enable them further. And once the Republicans hold

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It seems highly likely that the Republican Party will win control of the US House of Representatives, and possibly also the Senate, next week. Unless the margin is so narrow that a handful of believers in democracy can tip the balance, that will mean the end of electoral democracy in the US for the foreseeable future. Most House Republicans voted to overturn the 2020 election. All (except a few who were on the way out) voted against the Electoral Count Act which is supposed to make cheating more difficult, but which will surely be ignored if necessary. That’s without considering the vast numbers of election deniers who will win (or already hold) crucial offices at state and local level, and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will enable them further. And once the Republicans hold all the levers of power, they will never let go of them.

There is still a slim chance that this disaster can be staved off but, even if it isn’t, it will be a shameful memory to have abstained, or voted for a third party with no chance, in this last real election. That’s true whether the decision is out of laziness, hopelessness or a pseudo-left (in reality, aristocratic) view that both sides are equally bad. If you fall into one of these categories, (or if you actually want a Trumpist dictatorship), please don’t comment on this post, or interact with me in any way from now on.

Everyone in the world will be affected by the end of American democracy, but the great majority of us have no vote. All we can do is appeal to those who do to make the right choice, as I am doing here.

John Quiggin
He is an Australian economist, a Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a former member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government.

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