Functional Government... Not Reality Television
Columnist Hayward believes the western political process needs to rise above the current tit-for-tat fare that makes up the majority of elections.

Donald Trump represents everything wrong with western democracy.

Western democratic elections have become a farce and the behavior of western governments around the world insults the plight of those who seek these opportunities that we flagrantly disrespect.

I feel at liberty to say this because both Australia and England have gone through similar, farcical events in their most recent elections and it appears America is about to have her turn.

Now before you slam down this paper — or your computer — muttering "lefty, commie socialist," take, for example, the Australian prime ministerial election of 2010.

To preface for those unfamiliar with the Westminster system of government, as a voter, you do not vote for a leader, per se, you vote for a party which can, at any point, change its leader. While in America, you have more say as to who represents each party through primary elections, in Australia, England and other commonwealth countries, the party itself selects and supports a leader from within party ranks.

So, much like the United States, Australia had a very popular progressive leader elected after a long and eventually unpopular reign by a conservative leader. Kevin Rudd, or Kevin '07, was elected with much hoopla and was held as a beacon of hope to those despondent with the state of the nation.

However, raising the popularity and notoriety of a politician to celebrity levels can only lead to one thing: a celebrity-sized downfall. As the 2010 election drew ever closer and the popularity of ol' Kev sunk ever lower, the incumbent party faced the realization that it could not win the next election. Suddenly, and behind closed doors, the deputy prime minister, Julia Gillard, made a move for prime minister. She was popular enough within her party and was eventually chosen to lead, thus becoming Australia's first female prime minister.

The event that lead to this political mutiny? A threat of tax increases on the multi-billion dollar mining industry that supports Australia's economy by Rudd. Had Rudd garnered favor with the mining industry by refusing or limiting suggested taxation increases on the sector, he would remain the leader today.

After the take-over, Australians went to the polls and had their chance to elect a government. This resulted in a nearly 50-50 split between the conservative Liberal Party, who had three leaders overthrown within its ranks in as many years, and the progressive Labor Party, who couldn't keep its own leader.

Three independent representatives held the balance of power, and eventually reelected the Labor Party and Gillard after days of mystery and speculation as to which party was to lead our country; this result, at least, was a win for us feminists.

We now have a government that manages to politicize each petty issue, while no real change or improvement is made. Each speech and comment in and out of parliament is merely a grab at popularity as each politician is looking to the next election and is fearful of losing their job due to their back stabbing and power grabbing colleagues.

Over in Mother England in 2010, there was a split between the three major parties so even that a coalition had to be formed between the center-right Conservative Party and the centrist Liberal Democrat Party to form a government.

This sees the Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, have the Liberal Democrat Party leader, Nick Clegg, as his deputy.

Leading up to the election, scandalous events were revealed including the coverup of exorbitant spending of government allowances by members of parliament and the former prime minister calling a supporter of the opposition "a bigoted woman" with a live microphone.

If, in countries where elections were traditionally boring affairs, such scandal and intrigue was able to flourish, I can only imagine in the popularity contest that is the U.S. presidential election, what drama will unfold.

Good luck to the American people; may they elect a government that is able to rise above the current tit-for-tat politics of our time and act as representatives of the majority, making decisions that benefit the middle and working classes who support and run the country.

May voters look to educate themselves on the issues of the election and place an informed decision that is congruent with their needs and beliefs.

May the losing party be graceful in defeat and work with the incumbent party with the wisdom and understanding that the great American democracy that led to the election of this leader will in four short years allow another opportunity to make their case for election.

While America faces one of its most melodramatic elections, may we all remember that people are losing their lives in the hopes that their children will live in democracy.

Honor their lives, be democratic and demand a functional government, not a reality show.

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