Misery loves company, so I take a certain pleasure in watching electoral sausage being made outside of the United States. Almost a year has passed since I posted several items on the mess surrounding the Kenyan election, so it’s about time for me to say “Hip hip Hooray! It’s just as bad elsewhere (maybe even worse) than in the good old USA!”
The electoral trainwreck that’s currently in progress is brought to us courtesy of our friends in Lithuania, who must be looking for ways to make us feel better about our own messy electoral system.
Anyway, things are a little bit out of hand in Vilnius in the wake of the just-completed Lithuanian election. With most of the votes counted, the party that’s in the lead, the center-right Homeland Union Party, has captured — get this — just 19% of the vote. I feel better already, but wait — it gets even better. The Homeland Union Party leader sounds bullish on the prospects for forming a coalition with two other center-right parties, even though each of them barely cleared the 5% threshold that’s required for them to be represented in Parliament. Let’s see: 19 + 5 + 5 = a drop in the bucket in terms of what’s it’s likely to take to run the government effectively.
To add to the fun, the second-place finisher, with 15% of the vote, is the National Revival Party, which was formed by television and pop music personalities (aparently the Lithuanian version of Hollywood liberals).
Also waiting in the wings with 13% are the Order and Justice Party, whose leader was impeached as president four years ago for violating the constitution, and the Labor Party (9%), whose leader fled to Russia in 2006 while under investigation for conflict or interest; he’s back in Lithuania now and is forbidden to leave pending the results of the investigation.
I just don’t think this is going to turn out well.
Now, fellow Americans, don’t you feel better about our electoral system?
[Compiled from wire service reports, such as here. Hat tip to Maurice East]