Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Bipartisan politics: between autocracy and multi-party coalition

Recently, Allister Heath (b.1977) wrote an intriguing article in The Telegraph, entitled: For the first time in my life, I’m now beginning to think Britain is finished. Its subtitle was another clear message: “The country’s self-image as tolerant, decent and hard-working is being smashed. It’s only going to get worse”.

My main thought was: what is the difference with USA ??? None, in my view.

Several decades ago, several news articles were of the opinion that bipartisan politics in UK and USA was (much) better than the “unstable” European multi-party coalitions. Today, bipartisan politics is torn apart between a choice for autocracy (eg, Trump) or multi-party coalitions (eg, mainland Europe).

Nowadays, European multi-party coalitions seem stable compared to the erratic behaviour in bipartisan politics in UK (eg, Liz Truss as the shortest-serving PM) and in USA (eg, regular threats of US government shutdowns). Trumps is clear in his fondness for autocrats in China, North-Korea, and Russia.

If and when Trump would win the 2024 US presidential election then USA is finished, to paraphrase Allister Heath above. Hence, I hope that Joe Manchin (b.1947) will take over from Joe Biden (b.1942). Also see my recent blog: An elderly man with a poor memory OR a criminal??

Politics is about Power. Bipartisan politics is about competition between two parties. Multi-party coalitions are about cooperation between several parties (eg, 2 to 5). Autocracies are about no competition and about no cooperation. Hence, an autocracy is the favourite for powerful politicians.

In other words, competition is always a zero-sum game, in which one party wins and the other party loses. Often, cooperation is about synergy (eg, 1+1=3). In that context, bipartisan politics will always be doomed because – in due time – competition will become more and more fierce.

“Bipartisanship helps to avoid extremes and imbalances. It causes compromises and accommodations. So let’s cooperate.”

A quote by Polish-American diplomat and political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017)

The Winner Takes It All (1980) by ABBA
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

[Chorus 1]
The winner takes it all
The loser’s standing small
Beside the victory
That’s her destiny

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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