Saturday, October 04, 2008

Democracy – USA vs. Malaysia

On September 29, 2008, US lawmakers rejected a US$700bil bailout plan for the financial industry in a shock vote that sent the world market tumbling. By a vote of 228-to-205, the House of Representatives rejected the plan that would have allowed the Treasury Department to buy up toxic dept from struggling banks.

Ironically, out of the 228 Representatives who voted against the plan, 133 were Republicans. You are reminded that President Bush was himself was a Republican. The remaining 65 Representatives from the party supported the plan. Among the Democrats, 140 voted for the bailout plan, while 95 were against it.

In America, Representatives do NOT always toe the party line! Analysts believed that “public opinion” was the force that defeated the plan. Americans were unhappy with the White House’s intention to save the Wall Street using taxpayers’ money.

In Malaysia, Members of Parliament are expected to toe the party line, even if this is against the interests of the voters who elected them. If they fail to comply, they will be sacked from all positions they hold and dropped from future general election.

In theory, MPs are the agents of the voters. The voters are their bosses. In practice, the party is above everything else. This is Malaysian democracy.


  1. That's a bleak picture, KS... And Congress reversed itself today, just to be perverse. It's all politics!

  2. Was watching the Palin vs Biden debate last night. Pretty amazing to see how offensive Biden was getting while Palin was defending the "maverick" John McCain.
    Poor girl.

    Anyway, agree that in theory, the government is supposed to be the people's worker. I recalled this retired female minister in China who was very well-loved by the people (Wu Yi), who really had the people's interest in mind.

  3. thats y i hate is so confusing..

  4. peter
    At least there is freedom of speech within a party in the US. Not so in Malaysia.

    Mabye Wu Yi had people's interest in mind, but there was very little she could do if she ever wanted to go against party's position.

    Unfortunately politics in necessary evil :-(

  5. day-dreamer
    Expected, huh?
    So sad...