Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is Hillary Taking Lessons from Segolene?

Notice Hillary all in white recently? Notice that she's addressing questions to the public about their opinion regarding various issues?

Hillary Clinton
[Thanks to Kathy Willens, Associated Press, for this photo.]

Wonder where she got this new look and style? She reminds me eerily of Segolene Royal, the French Socialist candidate for President in next year's election. (Anecdote: Hillary snubbed Segolene's request for a meeting recently.)

Segolene used to look a little frumpy (see before and after photos on this post), but has found a style that brings her into the big-time. Hmm, yes. Guess that's part of the presidential marketing-grooming.

Segolene's catch-words are "militant" (a socialist cousin of the communist "comrade," that even the French "right wing" flings around with abandon) and "democratie participative" (participative democracy.) Because she doesn't have much of a platform of her own, she likes to tell her future constituents that she will fish out there in the Great Blue Sea to see if anything comes up in the net that might be acceptable to the majority of them. Heaven forbid that she should appear to impose anything other than the people's will upon the public.

"Paticipative democracy" she defines as "the realistic possibility for citizens to have a direct influence on the orientation of government choices, including financial ones. Whatever form this might take -- participatory budgets, consensus conferences like they have in Scandinavia, citizen juries, referendums -- it recognizes the citizens' legitimate expertise : not just their usual knowledge of the decisions that concern them, but a real power to influence those decisions." (See original here.)

The only problem is that this is all campaign-speak. it is a facade. French socialists have no more intention of installing a participative democracy like the one in Switzerland than of sending Bush a bouquet of roses. In Switzerland, each canton sends a representative to the presidential council, and each one of them could potentially become the rotating president for a while. The Swiss president can walk around the streets of Bern without a bodyguard. Switzerland's referendum system is just what it says: Its citizens are requested to vote on various propositions on a regular basis. I will eat Bush's bouquet if France installs this kind of participative democracy.

But it sounds good. Therefore, need I say that I am not surprised to see that Hillary likes Segolene's style. (Takes one to like one -- socialist, that is. If you're wondering why I dislike socialism, read these posts.) In great Segolene style, Hillary has posed a question "to the people" in Yahoo recently:

"What do you think we should do to improve health care in America?"

If she is searching for the solution to the health care problem on Yahoo, she must indeed be looking for justification to bring Big Government into the issue just as she tried and failed to do during her husband's presidency. I'm willing to bet that a lot of people believe the one-payer system is the answer to our problems; but hopefully, the answer will not come from government, ever the proverbial elephant in the china shop. (See this post that will direct you to the best source of information on the health care issue.)

Remember: Big Government is anathema to Good Economics. Anyone who says otherwise is an ambitious scoundrel up to no good, someone who has sold his soul to the devil, usually for his own personal advancement.

I will keep my eyes and ears open for further signs of Hillary-Segolene copy-catting. (Meow.)


Blogger Boz said...

This is pretty standard US politcian speak too, but here's Hillary Clinton's opening lines from her presidential announcement.

"I'm not just starting a campaign, though, I'm starting a conversation with you, with America, because we all need to be a part of the discussion...So let's talk, let's chat, let's start a dialogue about your ideas and mine."

Sounds an awful lot like "campagne participative".

12:19 PM  

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