Good work, Yankees

I do not often praise elections, and tend not to delight in the results of them, but last night’s “Midterm” in the United States was unusually satisfying. As usual in America, there were (except for a few freakish “independents”) only two contesting parties. Neither party won, by media or any other standards; neither party fulfilled their most modest expectations; and verily, neither can claim a mandate. Neither could win even a technical victory, by the time of writing. It was like an interminable baseball match, gone into extra innings.

The politicians in Canada long ago ruined our preferable ancient electoral system, in which the voter was permitted to formally return his ballot, thus indicating “none of the above.” If this was chosen by the plurality, the election was thrown out, and a by-election called from which all of the original candidates were disqualified. In principle, we could continue rejecting all candidates for the whole term of the Dominion, Provincial, or Municipal assembly in question, though in practice no electorate was ever clever enough to do this. As I say, self-serving politicians, of all parties, removed this constitutional gem before it could be used.

Americans have not benefitted from a British system of government, for the last quarter millennium or so, but I see they still retain some instincts. Rather than have a “democracy” (government by sleazy politicians), they established a “republic” (government by miscellaneous madmen), but this reduced to the same thing. Mr Donald Trump should be praised for jeopardizing it. When his successor claimed that Trump and the party he previously controlled were a threat to democracy, I think he was giving us false hope. (Trump may go down in the record as the last partially honest man to occupy the imperial office.)

Monarchy is not on the ballot. It shouldn’t be, however, for there’s a chance it might not win.