Political fracture points and power vacuums.

Well, actually, Truman defeated Dewey ...

A political fracture point is a sudden and radical change in the political landscape. In classical times, it would be the collapse of an empire, such as the Roman Empire. In the last century, World War I resulted in the outright destruction of several, such as the German Empire, and ultimately fatal damage to others, such as the British Empire.

When they happen, they’re usually quick, mostly unanticipated by political experts of the time and inevitably leave a power vacuum, which always gets filled fairly soon. Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. In the case of empires, they’re usually absorbed by a newer, more vibrant one or they just fragment back into the original nations, which were subjugated in the building of the empire.

The modern-day equivalent of an empire, is a sphere of influence. In more recent times, the implosion of the USSR was essentially the collapse of a sphere of influence. It has contracted back to what was traditionally Russia and the client states have mostly regained their nationhood.

Interestingly, the collapse of the USSR moved geopolitics back to an era the world hasn’t seen in two millenia, when just the Romans ruled it. We’re back to a single superpower in the world situation and even though that change happened over twenty years ago, a lot of people still haven’t adjusted to that simple reality. It’s more prudent to get on with these new Romans, because as a few countries such as France and Germany have already learnt, you don’t want to get on their bad side.

Since I’m on the subject of America, I have to say that I’m sick to death of what passes for political analysis when it comes to America. Because I’m known to take an interest in politics, I occasionally get cornered at social events by people anxious to share their pet theory about what’s actually going on in the world. I recently sat at a dinner table and was on the receiving end of a long, wrong and brainless analysis of why America was somehow at the root of all the evils that bedevil the world. At the end of it, I said I wanted to make sure I understood what they were saying, so I repeated it all back accurately, simply substituting for America and Americans, the words Africa and Negros.

After a few sharp intakes of breath and a heated discussion, it all calmed down enough for me to state the obvious conclusion. It was somehow grossly offensive to say some things about Africa and Negros but it was perfectly okay to say exactly the same things about America and Americans. I could just as easily have used Israel and Jews or Spain and Spaniards. Bigotry always has the same tune; it’s just the lyrics that vary and knee-jerk Anti-Americanism, masquerading as politics, is still just simple bigotry. If you’re going to do political analysis, then damn well do political analysis; not something which is actually fashionable but thinly disguised racism.

These fractures still occur in modern democracies, but in the context of political parties, so they’re not quite as gory, though I think they might happen less frequently if they were. The prospect of losing your head, rather than just your seat, might serve as a good reality check with certain types of politician. A governing party, which has been in power for a number of administrations, suddenly and catastrophically, loses the backing of the electorate and is well trounced or even nearly annihilated in a national election.

The particular reasons why this happens vary but the net effect of those reasons is always the same. The party loses touch with the portion of the electorate they’re supposed to speak for and that always results in a loss of trust, which is reflected at the ballot box. It has degenerated into an inward looking creature with a bunker mentality, which only listens to itself and its own fervent supporters. It’s in a world of its own and has detached itself from its traditional support.

The problem can be compounded by the mainstream media (MSM), who may be avid supporters of the party’s particular policies and end up being just as blinkered in their perception, and therefore in their reporting. This collective delusion comes to a nasty screeching halt when Joe or Jolene Public gets into the privacy of a polling booth and expresses what they really think on the ballot paper. The political chattering classes are genuinely shocked when the result comes out. Truman versus Dewey in the presidential election of 1948, is a classic example; some papers actually headlined, in advance of the results, Dewey winning. In Europe, John Major’s win over Neil Kinnock in the general election of 1992 was equally unexpected, but only if you’d believed what you’d read and heard in the MSM.

The only people in the party who tend to see the looming election disaster, are the low-level elected representatives of the party, but just the ones who actually keep in touch with the electorate. When you see people like that announcing in advance that they won’t be standing at the next election, the writing is on the wall.

These electoral disasters happen to mainstream parties on both the left and right-wing sides of the political divide. If the party has not been totally destroyed, then a long period, usually ten to fifteen years, of rebuilding trust with the electorate begins. If a party will not, or cannot, begin that process, then the traditional elements still within it, will eventually break off to form a new party, closer to its traditional principles. Sometimes the new party grows to replace the old but usually it’s reabsorbed back into a mainstream party after a few years.

The point to note about these situations, is that the party winning big actually had to do nothing, because it was actually the other party losing the election, through its own alienation of its support base. The winning party can get away with promising very little and still get elected. They can run anybody they like as well, they’ll still win. They actually have to simply do nothing, except avoid making any big blunders, to win. Obama running against Bush Jnr, is the most recent example of this on the political stage.

There are two problems with this situation and the first is more traditional. Where a governing party has a massive majority in the legislature, it can pretty much do as it damn well pleases, and make no mistake, it usually does. If it’s of the left, it’ll progressively tax and spend, and through a creeping process of petty regulation, strive to rigidly control the life of the ordinary person. It is the nature of the beast. The combination of excessive taxation and over regulation, tend to slowly strangle economic prosperity, which is never a good thing for the ordinary person. Where the party is of the right, the emphasis gradually moves too much to the benefit of business and capitalism, and while that in general is good for the economy, its excesses are usually at the expense of the ruthless exploitation of the working person, because that’s the nature of that particular beast.

When one party, of either political persuasion, has a huge governing majority, then in the long run, it’s never good for democracy, the economy or the people. Power, as the saying goes, corrupts; all it ever needs is enough time.

The second problem is more subtle. Because the incoming party have not had to fight for an election victory, they’ve not had to make any substantial commitments to the electorate, who are just focused on simply voting the other party out of office, without actually taking a hard look at its replacement. In the presidential election of 2008, the American voter fell hard for an Obama administration, without ever asking, never mind trying, to get it to commit to anything substantial. They paid the price. Despite what the MSM in America and abroad would have you believe, he was deeply unpopular all across America within a year. By default, they’d ended up with a very traditional Chicago-style administration, that said a lot but actually delivered nothing of consequence.

There are two national elections on the near horizon, which in my assessment, will result in one party taking government with a substantial majority. The first is this year’s presidential election in America, where, barring some sort of miracle for the Democratic party, the Republicans are expected to sweep to power. They did very well last year in the mid-terms, taking over the House, and I’d expect them to do even better this year. From the climate alarmism viewpoint, clipping the wings of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who’ve been engaged in some clumsy unilateral de-carbonisation of America, has already been well signalled but that’s not enough. The new administration must cancel the obscene amounts of funding committed to green projects and initiatives and eliminate indirect subsidies of so-called green industries, which have signally failed to deliver new jobs. The savings made must be redirected into investment to create real jobs.

The second election is next year’s general election in Australia. The Labor party there has just been gutted in Queensland’s state election and again, barring a political miracle, most watchers now expect it to have a near-death experience in next year’s election. The incoming Liberal party, which despite the name, represents the right-wing in Australian politics, must be made to commit to cancelling the carbon tax, which was imposed by the current administration, despite them having promised to do no such thing. Again, there is an obscene amount of money committed to green projects, which can be usefully redeployed into investment to create jobs.

Voters in both America and Australia, must force these undertakings out of their respective incoming parties well before election day or they’ll be in danger of voting in another Obama, but with a landslide majority. If you don’t make them work for a victory, then they’ll ignore you once they gain power.

If they won’t make those concrete undertakings in advance, don’t vote for them.

©Pointman

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Comments
16 Responses to “Political fracture points and power vacuums.”
  1. meltemian says:

    Could the UK be reaching its own political fracture point? George Galloway wins in Bradford!!
    The only possible explanation I can come up with is that voters have become so fed up with the main parties that they have given them the “moutza” and voted for none of the above.

  2. oztomcd says:

    Pointy, the Australian problem is complex:
    1. The incumbent Green-Labor government is a tax-and-spend zombie fashion movement, supported by a minority, which has enraged the majority. It’s the most extremist government since the Whitlam administration in the 1970s.
    2. The Opposition Liberal Nation Coalition is far ahead in the polls and will be the next government. However, the Libs are a hybrid socialist party that also supports big government. Populist socialism demagogy plays well in Australia.
    3. Australia does not have a constitution that guarantees personal liberty and limits government power. Thus the only reason fascism hasn’t occurred in Australia is popular goodwill, not constitutional guarantee.
    4. As a result of #3, totalitarian Greens and others in government are proposing new restrictions on freedom of speech and the media. A popular Green rallying cry is that democracy needs to be restricted for the greater good of the planet and in any case the UN needs to host a new global parliament containing various types of gerrymanders.
    Australia is thought of as a laid-back country. It is anything but at the moment. In 2012, it is nervous and polarised.

    • austony says:

      Pointy, As a thinking conservative from “down under” believe me we will have a Liberal Government. They have pledged to repeal the carbon tax and drastically reduce the size of government. The current Labor Gov. have ensured that the far left in this country will wallow in the political wilderness for at least a decade. The recent Qld. result also saw drop in the Green vote and I/we hope and pray that the urban latte set realise the danger this lot are doing and reject them also. As a country our stupid gov. wastes billions on so called green schemes WE CAN NOT AFFORD IT .

      • Pointman says:

        Hello and welcome to the blog Tony. Agreed, the next government will be Liberal and you can’t afford green schemes – nobody can these days. If they have already committed to rolling back the carbon tax and choping back on big government, that’s great news but if I were a voter, I’d make sure I got them to repeat those two promises at every opportunity.

        We all know what happened with Gillard’s promise …

        Pointman

  3. scott0317 says:

    I am interested in your take on how such sweeping changes occur in the face of stubbornly partisan media, including Hollywood. Sheep are allowed to vote, too, and they do what they’re told.

    • Pointman says:

      Hi Scott and welcome.

      I think the MSM (and ourselves to some extent) credit it with more power than it’s actually got. Dewey was a Democrat (left winger) and Major was a Conservative (right winger), which was why I selected those two examples. When Joe Public finally has enough with a particular party, nothing can save it, not even the MSM, with its own self-inflated idea of its influence.

      Look what happened to the Labor party in Queensland, despite an overwhelmingly left wing press in Oz …

      Pointman

  4. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    While I largely agree with your assessment and the views of my fellow-Aussies, I think one factor has been overlooked that makes our electoral system unique.

    We have compulsory voting.

    Okay, call it compulsory attendance at a polling booth because you can write whatever you like on a ballot paper, but you will be fined if you don’t register to vote when you turn 18 and fined if you don’t show up on election day.

    Add to this an outrageously outmoded dinosaur of an Electoral process that operates on an ‘honour system’. Hah!! What an oxymoron – ‘honour’ and ‘politics’ in the same sentence is an affront.

    Ballot papers must be marked in pencil, there is no audit of attendance rolls from one polling station to another and no photo ID (or any other kind of ID) is required to register a vote. Hence the old Labor motto – “Vote early, vote often”. And they do.

    Even in the Third World they get their finger dipped in indelible ink.

    Suppose a spot-check revealed that Joe Bloggs has voted numerous times at various polling stations, Joe simply has to deny it was him because no ID is required and anybody can rock up and claim to be Joe. No votes are disallowed because nobody knows who Joe voted for.

    A few years back it was proven that in Queensland, Labor officials had registered their dogs to vote (you simply have to fill in a form and mail it – no application in person and no checks) and that people who had died were voting, their address given being that of the local cemetery. Nobody was prosecuted, everyone thought it was a bit of a laugh.

    For all these reasons, the popular press and MSM hold far greater sway with the masses than might be the case in other countries. When the sheeple turn out to vote, the latest headline or the opinions of their favourite TV presenter are good enough for them.

    And we can’t underestimate the sheer volume of people for whom the largesse of a Left-wing Government is their very life-blood. Not just the burgeoning number of Benefits recipients, but all the Public Servants in three tiers of government in all states and territories, not to mention the tens of thousands of employees of NGOs, consultants, contractors, advisers et al who ALL live off the long-suffering taxpayer.

    It’s one thing for the Feds to dismiss the Queensland election results as reflecting state issues, and we live in hope that Labor’s disastrous economic management will finally hit the hip-pocket nerves of enough people to have them decimated in 2013, but unless and until we get a completely new electoral system and a Constitution that truly protects our rights as a free and democratic nation, then I hold no certainty about the outcome of any of it.

    Desperate people do desperate things and with Labor’s grasping tentacles firmly in the cookie jar to pay for it, they will be pulling out all stops to cling to power in this country.

  5. Mack I Avelli says:

    Pointman,
    Off topic but the ABC here down under, the Gillard Green propaganda machine, have a survey “Take the Climate Change Challenge”. Currently 62% “Dismissive” of man made global warming. Might I suggest you and your readers get on and do it before it is shutdown on the grounds of political correctness or deny the deniers oxygen. We need more guerilla warfare down here from the realists.
    Cheers,
    Mack.

  6. Pointman says:

    Here’s the link Mack mentioned. Currently running at 68% dismissive of global warming.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/changeyourmind/survey/

    Pointman

    • Blackswan says:

      Pointman

      Thanks for the link – isn’t it interesting that the title of the page is … “I Can Change Your Mind About Climate” ?

      Really? I couldn’t see who the “I” is who decided our minds needed changing. And there is no mention of Climate Change in general, only questions termed in the assumption that the planet is warming – no room for a dormant Sun cycle and a new Ice Age on the horizon.

      Typical of the kind of questions put to focus groups and in such surveys designed to get affirmative answers to preconceived notions and the political outcomes they are seeking.

      Auntie ABC must really have her knickers in a twist to be getting 68% negative response to their stupid questions.

  7. Pointman says:

    World’s Largest Solar Plant, With Second Largest Ever Department of Energy Loan Guarantee, Files For Bankruptcy

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/worlds-largest-solar-plant-21-billion-energy-department-loan-guarantee-files-bankruptcy

    Say goodbye to a $2.1 billion conditional loan from the government …

    Pointman

  8. Pointman says:

    Solar panel maker Q-Cells to file for bankruptcy

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17587830

    Another panel maker goes bankrupt.

    Pointman

  9. Pointman says:

    “German Solar Manufacturer SMA Profits Take A Hit. Forecast Looks Dire”

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/03/31/german-solar-manufacturer-sma-profits-take-a-hit-forecast-looks-dire/

    Another solar panel manufacturer swirling about the plug hole …

    Pointman

  10. Truthseeker says:

    Pointman,

    Tony Abbot has recorded a video on the Liberal Party site and available in YouTube (no I do not have a link) saying clearing that he will repeal the Carbon Tax. He has also been quoted in the MSM as saying that he will call a double dissolution election (that means a full senate election, not just half of it) to get the numbers if he has to.

    I think it is safe to say that he is committed to getting rid of it.

    • Blackswan says:

      Hello TS,

      I think it is safe to say he’s changed his mind.

      ….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckcH0Wrmy74

      That’s what worries me about exactly what the Libs are committed to doing. I’ve seen Abbott say categorically that he believes Man-made Global Warming to be a fact – he would just deal with it differently.

      He has never challenged the spurious ‘science’ that justifies this scam and if he is ever going to turn the economy around he’s going to need mountains of ready cash to do it. Where he gets it remains to be seen.

      It’s way too easy for an Opposition which finally gets into Government to say “We didn’t realise how bad the situation is – we need to do this”. That’s when they say there are “core” and “non-core” promises. They can’t really be made to honour any of them and Gillard has set a dangerous precedent in her bare-faced and shameless “screw you” attitude to the Australian people.

      Something about counting eggs and chickens comes to mind.

  11. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    Just when I thought I’d seen everything, along comes this ………

    “Sydney leads science of saving the planet… “

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/sydney-leads-science-of-saving-the-planet/story-e6freuzi-1226318986440

    “IT’S a $65 million science experiment in the middle of the Sydney bush – a futuristic CSI-type laboratory.

    The hi-tech government-funded contraption, tucked away near the University of Western Sydney’s Richmond campus, has been designed to measure the effect carbon emissions have on ecosystems.

    Six giant metal structures, referred to as “rings”, will pump carbon dioxide gases into a controlled area of eucalyptus trees to simulate predicted carbon levels in the atmosphere in 2050.”

    They could have got that information from any commercial greenhouse – rich luxuriant growth – and for a lot less than $65 million.

    Your links to the demise of the solar industry are really encouraging, but it seems the Aussie flies are still buzzing around the carcass of AGW.

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