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Tim's Comments

I'd agree with most of what Tim said about Americans.  Their restaurant
portions <are> enormous, and their foreign policy highly variable.  And as
an American now 15 years resident in Tim's country of origin, and a
dual-citizen for 10 of those years, I'd pay the same compliment to Irish
hospitality, courtesy, and kindness.

As for the American political system being incomprehensible--I offer the
alternate concept of proportional representation.  Would that
be--er--"comprehensible"?  (Wry grin and raised eyebrow.  I love both the
country of my birth and the country of my adoption, warts and all--but that
doesn't mean I have to <like> some aspects of either.)

European politics would also benefit greatly from the concept of
Initiative-Referendum-and Recall.  [We do seem to have a lot of Referenda
over here, but only as applied to concepts--like (in Ireland), should we
allow divorce or abortion or participate in military activities that might
comprimise our "neutral" status; should we join the European Union or adopt
the euro; should we approve the Maastricht Treaty?]  So far as I can tell,
there's no way to make "elected" representatives directly accountable to the
folks who don't really elect them but only cast their votes for the party
that puts up that candidate.  In other words, there's no way to boot out an
elected representative who doesn't do what his--or her--constituents want
him or her to do.  (Back in California, I remember several instances of
elected officials having to re-stand election partway through their terms of
office, and some of them not being re-elected.)  I love living over
here--and have worked several election campaigns for a local candidate (who
is still in office, by the way)--but I do prefer a more direct participation
in government, if I had my druthers.

Ah, human beings!  Ya gotta love 'em!  But we all keep trying.  And
hopefully, it's closer and closer approximations.


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