Uncommon Sense

February 24, 2016

Denmark? No, Costa Rica!

All the hoopla surrounding the current Presidential political contest may obscure the fact that our electoral system is run by the political parties themselves. These primaries aren’t a governmental function, they are run by Democratic Party officials, Republican Party officials, and officials of any other party which can show a modicum of performance in an election.

You may also have missed the fact that today’s political parties are mere shells of their past selves. Just look at the current leaders (Preibus and Schultz), both are lightweights. Really, the candidates are running the show now. If the “party” does something the candidates don’t like, it changes in the candidate’s favor. Even Donald Trump alone can change GOP election policy. He is currently turning their “pledge” to not run on a third party ticket or as a write-in candidate into a weapon he is using for more leverage against the party itself. The Democratic Party tried to grease the skids for Hillary Clinton by scheduling few debates at awkward times (advantage to the front runner), but when Bernie Saunders waged a credible campaign and drew blood, the campaigns got together and scheduled additional debates. Hello? Dems? No comment from the party.

Political parties have been defanged because they lost control of the political money. Until just recently, the parties could raise as much money and even more than the candidates did, so they had control over the purse strings. Now with the advent of PACs and Super PACs, the money is back in the control of the candidates (anybody who doesn’t think the candidates control, albeit loosely, the money in those “outside” organizations needs to get their political IQ tested) and the parties can go take a flying leap for all they care. All the party needs supply is an umbrella identification to run under, “I am a Democrat or I am a Republican,” and you don’t even have to be registered to vote as such, it is just a declaration.

So, I now bring you to Candidate Sanders reference that “We should look to countries like Denmark….” which drew so much flak. Denmark is worth emulating, but the country we should emulate is Costa Rica. When the Costa Ricans created their current governmental structure, they based it upon ours, which is flattering. And, they fixed one of the biggest flaws in our system by instituting a fourth branch of government. Their fourth branch, a nonpartisan branch, structures and administers elections. They schedule everything, including the debates and run them, then they organize and supervise the elections. So, you won’t hear anything about “hanging chads” from Costa Rica.

Imagine our elections being run by the League of Women Voters (disclaimer—former member). Imagine officials running for office in the fourth branch on their record of fairness and efficiency and how well they have held up democratic ideals. <sigh>

Instead we have asked all of the foxes to guard the hen house. How stupid can we be?

What the hell, I think we should emulate both Denmark and Costa Rica! Join or die!


  1. This is related and worth watching: http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_green_how_we_can_make_the_world_a_better_place_by_2030


    Comment by Allallt — February 24, 2016 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  2. Another fun fact about Costa Rica: they have no military. Can you imagine not having to spend 600-700 billion a year on it?


    Comment by List of X — February 24, 2016 @ 9:46 am | Reply

    • And, the President drives his own car … and they have the highest literacy rate in the hemisphere …

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:46 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 24, 2016 @ 9:52 am | Reply

      • I was already planning to move there when I retire.


        Comment by List of X — February 24, 2016 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

        • I have visited only. Lovely country but off the main highways you will find potholes big enough to swallow multiple cars.

          On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 7:47 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 25, 2016 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  3. Maybe it’s time to think about moving. ESPECIALLY if tRump gets in the WH. *shudder*


    Comment by Nan — February 24, 2016 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

    • Might be fun to watch … nah. The only hope I would hold out is that of Trump were elected we would be faced with a GOP that either dedicated itself to making Trump a one term president or see them blocking anything sensible he wanted to do because … uh, hair, I guess.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:06 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 24, 2016 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

      • Steve, do you really think the GOP would do as you suggest? I mean, yes, the hair would be a great reason, but seriously.


        Comment by Nan — February 24, 2016 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

        • I think predicting what they will do is very, very hard. Currently they are in thrall to the “donor class” aka plutocrats. Trump is not aligned with their interests. If Trump suggest a major infrastructure program, for example, what do you think the plutocrats will think? (No! No! No!)

          On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:48 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — February 24, 2016 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  4. Preibus said an interesting thing on CNN earlier today. To paraphrase: “The candidates are contesting to join us, the GOP.”


    Comment by john zande — February 24, 2016 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, in his dreams. Anyone wanting to get into bed with Reince Priebus? His wife? maybe not.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:09 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 24, 2016 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  5. Yep the foxes guard the henhouse. But hey they only take a few chickens at a time. How many chickens do we have left anyway?

    Costa Rica sounds like a nice place to relocate to. I am concerned with Adolph Trump. May the voters get out and vote! (Ive heard it said a large voter turnout tends to favor D)


    Comment by shelldigger — February 24, 2016 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

    • A large turnout favors progressives because conservatives vote in higher percentages, so a large turnout means the progressives/liberals came out to vote.

      On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:50 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 24, 2016 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  6. Man, you think the anti-socialists on the right are having fun with the Denmark statement? Wait until the thought of an Hispanic version of it is thrown into the mix. Then the rhetoric will be some of the darkest we have yet seen. 😦


    Comment by lbwoodgate — February 25, 2016 @ 7:54 am | Reply

    • Yeah, the internet, through the anonymity of monikers, has empowered the mentally deficient in ways unthought of before.

      On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 7:54 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — February 25, 2016 @ 8:53 am | Reply

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