Friday, 4 February 2011
This is precisely what was expected to happen - there was no way the Democrat dominated Senate was going to vote against Obamacare, and then even if it did there was no way it was going to be signed by Obama. This had led a number of commentators to condemn this move as a political stunt.
Those commentators are incorrect. What this move shows is how incredibly vibrant and responsive America's democracy is to the will of the people. So many people believe that a democracy is really just an elected dictatorship and this vote shows that, in America at least, such a thing is not the case.
Obama was elected in 2008, and the response to his agenda has been overwhelmingly negative. Although his personal approval remains stubbornly in the 40's, approval of his agenda is enormously low, and it is clear that most people want Obamacare repealed. Within two years, the Senate and House of Representatives had been cleared of those who were enforcing the Obama agenda and replaced with those who wish to begin rolling it back.
Although the government cannot immediately repeal what has happened over the last few years, American democracy has allowed the people to slam the brakes on the Obama agenda. The House controls the purse strings, and so the unpopular spending policies of Obama have been stopped within the space of two years. If the American people wish it to be so, in another two years they can begin actively overturning the damage done between 2009 and 2010 by electing a Republican President and Senate. For now, they can at least stop it from going any further, and that is precisely what they have done.
In Britain, the electorate will usually have to wait up to 5 years before even being allowed to use their vote to stop the agenda being driven through Parliament. Americans have to wait less than two years to stop the agenda, and begin putting pressure on for the agenda to be reversed. While some may be dismayed that they are not able to repeal Obamacare and the rest of the Obama agenda just yet, the fact that the American people have been able to stop this destructive agenda in its tracks and start working to reverse it, all within two years of Obama's election, does great credit to the American system of democracy, and it is something that we in Britain can learn from.