What is interesting about watching an election in the People’s Republic of China? Nothing. The important ones are held behind closed doors.
Three hundred, seventy people, gathered recently in Beijing to unanimously anoint Xi Jimping to China’s vice presidency, putting him in line to become successor to President Hu Jintao in 2012. Three hundred, seventy people represents an infinitesimal fraction of a percent of the communist country’s nearly billion people.
From America’s perspective Jimping’s election and designation as heir apparent is good news. He has a reputation as one of China’s leading free market advocates and since his country will own the mortgage on the U.S. for at least a generation, a free market thinker is in our own interest.
But could it be that China’s elections are a lot like mid-term American voting patterns?
Two years ago there were record voter turn outs for Obama and McCain and with Pennsylvania playing a major role on the national stage one would think that again voters would get out to push buttons and pull levers all over this state.
That’s not likely.
The Keystone State features Sestak versus Toomey. Two good men ideologically as diverse as Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. The outcome of that race could decide control of the US Senate, hence of President Obama’s agenda. Corbett against Onorato is another philosophical divide and with scores of other Congressional and State House and Senate seats up for grabs.
But chances are only about 20% of Pennsylvania’s citizens will decide the outcomes of these races.
Election day two years ago was a perfect fall day. I had the day off. I got the car washed, took my wife out to lunch and hit a bucket of balls at the local driving range, then decided I didn’t feel like going to the local polling place.
In the district I live in two candidates won that I didn’t favor, one by a mere 28 votes.
In the People’s Republic of China there are rebellious elements all over the country. They want increased rights to free markets, jobs and the right to vote. These people don’t want a tiny fraction of the people to control their government. Someday some of them might have to die to get the solid birthright of Americans. If nothing else we owe them a moral obligation to exercise the privilege that they are fighting for. On November 2: vote.
Albert Paschall is Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, a non-profit educational foundation with offices in Harrisburg and King Of Prussia. Somedays is syndicated to leading newspapers and radio stations through out Pennsylvania. [email protected]