One Party States

China and America: Not Much Difference In a Lot of Ways

The city of Hong Kong, China has been going through major disruptions and protests in the last few days as many residents don't want the central government to vet and nominate their candidates for political office in that city, which a little like Quebec, Canada, have their own set of special rules that makes the city different than the rest of China.  Ever since 1997, when British colonial rule ended, Hong Kong has had some political autonomy, but now is on edge since that special autonomy may end as well.  In other words, Hong Kong may become politically a lot like America, now, but unlike Hong Kong, we in America are conditioned to political authoritarianism.  In America, after all, parties other than the Democratic-Republican Party can't get on the ballot or can barely get on in many instances due to a varying patchwork of unconstitutional laws that makes it considerably harder for ballot access for most partisan political offices, especially president, if you don't belong to "the major party."

The judges across America, through their "3rd party versus govt./major party" rulings, thinks that's just fine and dandy.  That's as good an indication as any that America's judiciary is pretty much corrupt and doesn't take democracy, in the sense of being a republic, very seriously.  Even within the confines of the Democratic-Republican Party, there is a kind of economic class hurdle to jump over in order to participate in electoral politics.  In South Carolina, for instance, the last time we checked a few years ago, you had to have $10,000 just to get on the ballot for Congress, so no telling what it is now.  Many of the other 50 states are a lot like S.C. in that respect.  In other words, don't even think about running for Congress, let alone have any real chance of winning, unless you are in the pocket of the rich or the corporations, by and large.  Namely, a de facto vetting and nomination system by those other than the common people who are the majority, after all. 

There are exceptions, at least in the sense that the scale of democracy in some states is much better than in others, not that there isn't room for improvement in all 50.  As much as some non-Alaskan citizens like to note Alaska's parochialism, that state practices democracy better than most of the states, if not all of the other 49, as Alaska has been probably the most adherent to democracy in regards to relatively easy ballot access in both costs and having an open door for 3rd parties and independents.  Although, the ballot is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to democracy, it is definitely a central component.

According to news reports earlier today, the government has said very little about the goings-on in Hong Kong, although saying nothing about foreign upheavals, for a change, is good, actually.  Better to stay mum than to say something hypocritical.

[revised on 10/1/14]