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(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


6 NOVEMBER, 2016

American Election 2016

DELFT - From here, more or less safe in Delft, the American news is all about Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump. The Middle East war is barely mentioned; the desperation of people migrating is covered by sad pictures.

The political system in America gives power to one person for 4 years, after which the country fights it out again in a bitter endurance contest. The person who can make it through over a year of campaigning, convince enough voters and then walk down a street in January in an inaugural parade, gets to lead a 'great power'. Consider if Europe had the same system. Just imagine Rome's new major running against our own Mr. Rutte.


"The image above is Photoshop of two images from the news - they are not my photos. But, I thought each was dramatic and each impressed me. America is at another crossroads."

Each candidate must carry city voters and must gather in donations. It is costly to campaign in near 30 countries and so each must accept big and small money. That need opens up criticism and 'rumors of German bankers' having too much influence - or wine growers, or auto makers, or fishermen, or cheese makers.

Europe's days as a conglomerate of smallish, sovereign kingdoms that fight each other regularly every generation are over. It ruins the lawn. Besides, to borrow a quote from Mrs. Clinton, Europeans are 'stronger together'. In America, 'One World' is a global conspiracy to rob freedom loving peoples of their rights. But it already is one world, where a lot of people just want to get on with their life.

In this 'lets pretend' game, Virginia Raggi is a party's candidate on a progressive (middle-left) ticket against Mark Rutte, who has won in primaries against numerous other would-be's. He is putting forth a conservative (middle-right) agenda.

Whoever wins has a number of years in power, during which removal requires impeachment. Once in, that person is in. Europe is a big place with people who do not speak the same language. Both will need a translator for every speech.

People from Estonia to Portugal, Scotland to Greece will want to know a lot about each of them. After all, can you really trust a foreigner? What if it comes out that one is this or one said that. What if one seems to have weird supporters?

It would be a feat indeed to convince enough Estonians that you have their worries close to your heart and assure Greeks that you feel their pain. Photos of a candidate with industrialists plays poorly with rural voters - and vice versa.

Our nations here are like American states and might use the Electoral College system to select a winner for president of Europe. Think of needing wins in Slovakia, Latvia, and Ireland, then you have an idea of an American election. I'm for Rutte.

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In memory of Herb Caen