We are in changing times (once again) and I must say that the picture reminds me of the grey and rainy may day (ie. help!) we are having in London (au Secours #RadioLondres), on this Monday, May 7, 2012.
As of today, we now have:
- Hollande in France, voted in by 51.7%
- Samaris of the New Democracy party in Greece with 18.9% vote, introducing a very new form of democracy
- Putin of United Russia with 64% of the vote as the returning President in Russia, ushering back in an echo of Russian democracy
- …not to mention the weekend’s local/regional elections in the UK, Germany and Italy, where the incumbents were regularly whipped or wiped out of office.
A major year for elections
These elections alone have been rather momentous. And, ahead, there are many more parliamentary and presidential elections to which to look forward including Egypt in end of May, India (in July) and USA (in November)… [You can view the entire list of elections in the world in this Wikipedia entry.]
It was a busy week of voting for me, too. I voted in the mayoral election in London as well as the Presidential election in France (via “procuration”). I will also cast my vote in the US elections.
For what purpose?
But, with all these elections, it leads me to pose two questions:
- how much do people expect the world to change thanks to politicians?
- how much productivity is negatively impacted in a country during the year of elections?
The political cycle
The problem with democratically elected officials is that, by definition, they must over promise to get elected. Yet, with clockwork predictability, unexpected events occur and plans are derailed. By mid term, the electorate systematically becomes impatient and sanctions their elected leader, making the last half of the term a lame duck. The arc of democracy consists of high expectations and dashed hopes. Would that we all got down to the business of taking responsibility for ourselves rather than waiting for Godot.