Thursday, November 08, 2012

Obama Is Popular, His Party Is Not

A Kadir Jasin

[ATTENTION, anonymous comments will not be published. Please use Google Account, OpenID or Name/URL to comment. Thank you]

BARRACK Obama’ victory over Mitt Romney for his second term as US President is better than his defeat. A Democrat president may be exporting democracy and idealism, but that’s better than a Republican president who is more likely to export wars.

In America, the victor does not claim victory. He waits for his opponent to concede defeat. In victory, the victor’s tone is conciliatory.

Obama is an example of president who is popular (if only marginally) but is leading a party that is not. But that’s fine for him because in the US presidential system, the president is voted in (or out) directly by the people.

In the British system, which we roughly follow, a prime minister is not voted in (or out) by all the voters. He is elected (or not elected) only as a Member of Parliament by the voters in his constituency.

So, even if he is popular and wins big in his constituency, he still cannot become prime minister if his party is unpopular and loses the election.

In the US presidential system, a victorious presidential candidate can get to become president even if his party loses. That’s the case with President Obama. He might have won the election twice but his Democratic party lost the House of Representatives – the equivalent of our Dewan Rakyat – and barely held on to the Senate.

It’s for that reason that he’s weak. He cannot make changes unless he gets the support of his foes in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

That’s also why in the American legislative system we hear so much about bipartisanism – of opposing sides working together on critical issues like budget, debts and wars.

Bipartisanism In Malaysia?

 IN our country, bipartisanism is difficult to achieve, partly because we are not a two-party system and, until the 2008 General Election, we were used to have a strong, absolute majority government.

Bipartisanism is more likely to happen in the case of a hung Parliament, when no party has the majority. In that situation, opposing parties may get together to form a coalition government – often dubbed the national unity government.

This was what happened in the post-1969 general election and race riot, when Umno formed a coalition government with the opposition Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan). Umno’s partner, the MCA, was routed in that general election. Later, PAS and several other smaller parties joined the Umno-led Alliance (Perikatan) to form the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Points From Obama's Victory Speech

Here are some key/memorable points in Obama’s victory speech in Chicago in the early morning (12.39am), Wednesday:

1. Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.

2. I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (Cheers, applause.) We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. (Cheers, applause.) In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

3. And I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (Cheers, applause.) Let me say this publicly. Michelle, I have never loved you more. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation's first lady. (Cheers, applause.)

4. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight. And it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — (cheers, applause) — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

5. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together — reducing our deficit, reforming out tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We've got more work to do. (Cheers, applause.); and

6. I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.


thegreatteadrinkerdownsouth said...

Why didn't you mention Obama's support for abortion rights and the rights of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals) - which is also a key platform of his Democratic Party?

Pak Kadir - you can't selectively pick and choose from Obama's views and ignore those that you find unpalatable.

His post-election victory speech renewed a call to reconciliation and bipartisanship to fix the deep-seated problems in the US.

He even went to the extent of saying publicly that he was willing to meet with Mitt Romney to see if they could work together.

Can we see this happening in Malaysia - where, for instance, the Prime Minister is willing to sit down and dialogue with Opposition Leaders on how to resolve the problems in the country?

Because we all want what's best for Malaysia and Malaysians, much as Obama and Romney, for all their personal animosities and political differences, want what's best for the US and Americans.

There's much to be admired in the US system of politics!

ab said...

Salam Dato,

Bagus juga Obama menang, saya bimbang Romney, sebab dia `terang terang sokong israel serang iran'.

Walaupun begitu bukan bermakna obama antiisrael.

Stock market dan finance market dah `tuned to' dan `expected' obama kalah dan romney menang...

Yang kaya kaya pun harap romney menang,sebab dia nak turunkan cukai untuk mereka ni.

Saya tidak fikir banyak perkara lebih baik akan dilakukan obama,kecuali meneruskan apa yang dia buat sebelum ini.. memberikan ruang perkhidmatan perubatan untuk
rakyat yang berpendapatan rendah,
tambah hutang negara dan cuba tambah pekerjaan...

Tenguk lah macam mana nanti, nak kata dia suka islam saya tak yakin langsung...tapi kalau dia serang iran saya tak terkejut juga,kerana itu lah USA.

Kes benghazi libya akan timbul balik dan menyusahkan obama dan `menghilangkan' hilary clinton!...
kes ini memalukan amerika dan memberi `loncatan' keyakinan untuk alqeda dan yang lain sebegitu, iaitu USA tidak lah `kuat' sampai tak bolih `kena' secara `geurila-style'.

Abu Bakar Ab Rahman

jebat said...

Salam takzim Dato'

Samalah di Malaysia, PM popular, UMNO tidak.

Sebabnya ?:

Banyak Badut2 Nasional da;am UMNO. Antaranya:

Nor Mo0hamed Yaakob.
Shahrizat Abd. Jalil.
Rais Yatim, dan lain-lain lagi.

Mereka ini boleh manyebabkan BN kalah dalam PRU 13 nanti atau sekurang kurang nya jadi macam PRU
yang lalu.

Mohd Taib Kamin said...

Assalamualaikaum Datuk.

Sistem yang diamalkan di USA dan negara2 lain amat berbeda dengan Malaysia. Mungkin kita ada sedikit persamaan bengan sisitem di UK. Masih jauh untuk Malaysia mengubah sistem yang ada sekarang kerana kita masih 'belum matang' dalam banyak perkara. Lebih malang kerana pemimpin2 politik di Malaysia meletakan poltik diatas segalanya sehingga gagal memilh yang nama hak rakyat dan hak politik. Di USA dan mana mana negara yang maju, selepas selesai pilihan raya mereka memberi tumpuan keapada kerja. Tetapi di Malaysia ianya tidak berlaku. Politik menjadi agenda utama. Pemimpin2 politik berpolitik sepajang tahun tanpa henti. Sesetegah pemimpin politi terlalu gemar menjadikan auta dan menolak fakta. Memainkan emosi dan mengenepikan rational. Persepsi dijadi resepi untuk mengelirukan dan merosakan pemikiran rakyat. Tidak membina tetapi meruntuh.

Saya fikir di Malaysia sistem dua parti akan mengambil masa seratus atau seribu tahun lagi kerana kita belum lagi mencapai taraf 'akil baligh' dalam berpolitik. Wallahualam.


thegreatteadrinkerdownsouth, it's nice to hear from you after a long hiatus. Thank you for continuing to put up with my "madness".

You, in part, wrote: "Why didn't you mention Obama's support for abortion rights and the rights of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals) - which is also a key platform of his Democratic Party?

"Pak Kadir - you can't selectively pick and choose from Obama's views and ignore those that you find unpalatable."

1. I am aware of Obama's and the Democrat's stand and stance on the above matter. On the day that he won the 2nd term, two more US states recognised gay marriage.

2. But I was not discussing the US in totality. I was merely saying what the US foreign policy would be under a Democratic and a Republican President.

3. From afar, I too admire some aspects of the US politics, but that view could change should I decide to become an American.

4. Yes, there are so many things we can learn from the US. My first trip to the US was in late 1970's and the last was in 2002 when I was detained for three hours at Des Moines International Aiport and was not allowed to leave until I was cleared by the FBI.

5. I was in the pig and corn state that voted for Obama to visut my son who was then doing his Aeronautical Engineering degree. His sister did Finance in Michigan.

6. But since that scary experience (because I am Bin Jasin and an "Islam") I had not gone to the US.

7. Yes, we can emulate the US. At least the opposing sides try to work with each other for the good of the people.

Thank you.

Rawa Lanun-Bahasa said...

Michelle Obama ‏@MichelleObama
(michelle in a song)

We are grateful for each and every one of you.
View photo

6 Nov Michelle Obama Michelle Obama ‏@MichelleObama

More than anything, I want to thank you all for everything. I am so grateful to every one of you for your support and your prayers. –mo

Michelle, my belle.
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble,
Très bien ensemble.
mainly written by Paul McCartney, with the middle eight co-written with John Lennon

well done, govenor romney
four more years
to sit tight -
to qoute a stewart line -
What a bummer. Had Romney won, people would have realized that ‘something is dreadfully wrong’. Now, something IS dreadfully wrong but most people are ‘celebrating’…because “it could have been worse”

Freddie Kevin said...

Salam Datuk,

Just a comment on "Obama is an example of president who is popular (if only marginally) but is leading a party that is not. But that’s fine for him because in the US presidential system, the president is voted in (or out) directly by the people."

This is only partly accurate. Voters vote in each state in the US but the winner is decided by winning the states and the combined number of electoral votes of each specific state carries. The total number of electoral votes is 540, hence a presidential candidate garnering more than 270 electoral votes will be the president. I believe Obama had won 307 with Florida still undecided yesterday.

Also, a candidate could still be president even if he or she lost the popular vote.

Thank you

awang batuburok said...

Salam sejahtera Dato,

Minta maaf Dato saya ni orang kampung banyak makan keropok lekor pulak tu, tak pandai nak tulis dalam bahasa orang putih dan ucapan Presiden Obama pun saya tak faham.

Mungkin Dato boleh tolong sahkan dalam kempen hari itu ada ke Presiden Obama sebut beliau akan mempertahankan Rumah Putih (Pejabat Presiden) sampai titisan darah yang terakhir, sanggup berkecai tulang, membujur lalu melintang patah?

Terima kasih Dato, kerana sudi melayan soalan orang kampung macam saya.

Saji said...

Sdr Mohd Taib Kamin

"Saya fikir di Malaysia sistem dua parti akan mengambil masa seratus atau seribu tahun lagi kerana kita belum lagi mencapai taraf 'akil baligh' dalam berpolitik. Wallahualam."

1/Jika kita boleh andaikan PR menang pada PRU ke -13 nanti, kemudian BN ambil alih semula pada PRU ke-14 pula, tidakkah negara kita sudah mengarah ke sistem dua parti?

2/Mengikut beberapa rakan Cina saya,bukan sangat orang Cina akhir2 ini tidak mengenang jasa BN dan tidak sukakan BN lagi, tetapi mereka sudah namapak kelebihan sistem dua parti bagi sesebuah negara demokrasi yang mereka praktikannya pada PRU ke -12 lalu dan akan ulanginya pada PRU ke-13 nanti.


Rawa Lanun-Bahasa said...

The Scribe
Salam Hormat

Analysis: Hu Jintao's speech
(now things need to slow down)

My apologies, but what is happening in PRC is of more import than the goat president win in USA.

The Chinese are already looking color blind at how the American behaves at the edge of the fiscal precipe.
But a goat in white house makes it look like there was never a cliff at all.


Rawa Lanun-Bahasa said...

Why A Goat And Not a Donkey
(a fourty-seven percent question)

Goats: the new symbol of Democrat Party

kevin alexander gray says it is kick a nigger politics.


MONEY politics the Republican way.

Why Mitt Romney lost. From US Media

1. Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest men ever to run for president.

2. And yet the lack of money earlier this year stalled his campaign, and he never really recovered.

3. The GOP nominee emerged late last spring from a long and bruising Republican primary season more damaged than commonly realized.

4. His image with voters had eroded as he endured heavy attacks from Republicans (his own party) over his business record.

5. He also felt compelled to take a hard line on immigration, one that was the subject of debate among his advisers, that hurt his standing with Hispanic voters.

6. More than that, Mr. Romney had spent so much money winning the Republican nomination that he was low on cash.

7. Aides, seeing the problem taking shape, had once considered accepting federal financing for the campaign rather than rely on private donations.

8. A lesson worthwhile considered by politicians here in Malaysia - money politics at party level and cost of winning general election.

Unknown said...

Salam dato yang dikasihi...oh jauh sekali ulasan dato kali ini nun di USA bumi orang kulit putih yang menyanjung tinggi demokrasi secara bebas adil dan saksama...betul ker dato..Malaysia is also a constitutional democratic state where all its over its constitution. But what are the real elections in the country there is freedom that we have many people who question them because their perception is biased election operators and act in favor of the ruling party can be seen from the behavior of those in power in the EC. But its not see any party to improve a system that is out of date still applies despite bad. In the usa all parties have the opportunity and the same space there is no difference so when losing their happy win or lose. What system is so good it is good for the ruling party because they can be manipulated. It's time we change the way towards a more democratic. Congratulations to obamaand thank you dato. jumpa lagi.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mat keluang said...

Obama announce he want to make oficial isit to Myamat,Hailand and Combodia.

Why he skip Malaysia.Mana Najib,Anifah and JJ mahu simpan muka.
Malaysia ia a vary siccesul muslim country and praice democrasi.

Vary stange.Maybe we were to unpredictable in our foreign policies.

Lahuma said...


Obama lebih popular drp partinya.

Memang tepat dan jelas.
Kalau tidak masakan dia boleh kalahkan lawannya.

Zaman lihat parti atau organisasi sudah tidak sesuai lagi.

Ketokohan calon itu yg utama.

Sama ada Obama atau Romney menang sama sahaja bagi kita di Malaysia.

Pemimpin BN/PR tak payahlah syok sendiri bangga bila salah seorang drp mereka menang.

Politik meraka hebat.Bukan macam kita di Malaysia.Bergaduh berkelahi tak tentu kepala ekor.

Hari ini isu lain.Esok isu lain pula.

Masuk kampung cakap lain.Ada dalam bandar cakap lain.Dalam masjid cakap lain.Dalam dewan cakap lain.

Atas padang cakap lain.

Jumpa anak remaja cakap lain.Jumpa bukan remaja cakap lain.

Apa pun eloklah kita pengudi di Malaysia buat perbandingan dengan politik dunia luar.ambillah yg baik dan sesuai.Tiru yg baik untuk bangsa kita yg suka bergomoi berguling sesama sendir tak habis-habis.

Hari-hati dan setiap masa bangsa Melayu /Islam dan kerugian.

PRU 13 calon mesti diutamakan dan di nilai.Bukan parti.

Terima kasih.

Rawa Lanun-Bahasa said...

The Scribe
Salam Hormat

Hutang Negara dan Ke-Superpower-an
(awal zion baru)

Dalam soal bagaimsna Barrack menang dan kenapa Mitt kalah secara ringkas saya lebih senang terima pandangan yang menyatakan sejumlah enam hingga lapan juta 'whites' tidak mengundi - dorongan go out to vote mereka tidak kuat; dan rasa lucu apa-apa kenyataan yang mengaitkan peristiwa Hurricane Sandy sebagai 'subtle subconscious influence' yang banyak mempengaruhi selera 'whites' tidak mahu keluar mengundi: the game changer ianya walaupun setelah Debat Presiden yang ketiga keadaan masih sama gagah antara Elephant dengan Donkey: terus terang saya tidaklah tahu kenapa berlakunya Barrack menang dan Romney tewas dan pengaruh Congress dalam menyemarakan permintaan terhadap Economics Halal-Toyiban.

Kenapa mahu hirau dengan money politics dalam zaman sihr matawang euro dan us dollar bermaharajalela, wahai Mahaguru A Kadir Jasin; bilamana dato' harus dapat memberi pandangan mendalam dalam kekuatan sistem kerajaan PRC hasil sebuah tamaddun yang timbul-tenggelam nasib sebaya tamaddun di Mesir kuno.

Maaf dan Salam Hormat

berasiam said...

Salam Datuk A Kadir Jasin,

Popularnya Obama memenangkannya jawatan Presiden US. Popularnya Anwar cuma memenangkannya Ketua Pembangkang di Parlimen, itu pun atas ehsan DAP. Cukup popularkah DS Najib di kalangan pengundi Malaysia?

Seorang Timbalan Menteri berkunjung ke sebuah sekolah di satu kawasan Parlimen yang diwakili PKR. Aneh kerana tiada seorang pun pimpinan UMNO bahagian hadir bagi meraikan Timbalan Menteri berkenaan. Gara-gara beliau disebut-sebut bakal dicalonkan di Parlimen berkenaan menyebabkan pimpinan UMNOnya boikot program yang dihadiri.

Sedangkan dalam parti sendiri pun sudah tidak rasional, inikan pula di peringkat nasional. Sikap sebeginilah yang membuatkan UMNO berputih mata di banyak kerusi dalam PRU ke-12 dan jika diteruskan tidak mustahil UMNO boleh lingkup dalam PRU ke-13. DS Najib memang popular tetapi kepimpinan UMNO bahagian banyak cacat celanya yang menyebabkan pengundi; penyokong dan atas pagar, jadi menyampah.

Unknown said...

DATO maaf sekali buat komen. OBAMA menang kerana apa sudah pasti dia popular dikalangan pengundi manakala lawan nya mitt tidak popular tapi parti nya begitu popular itu yang membezakan mereka berdua. Kalau dimalaysia dia kena ada kedua-dua nya sekali jika tidak partinya kalah dia pun ikut kalah juga.

Anonymous said...

Pemuda PAS mahukan calun-calun mengisytihar harta.

Jika ini diguna pakai untuk semua calun dari semua parti, apa yang tinggal pada mereka?


Itu yang sepatutnya. Tapi adakah kita selalu mendapat apa yang sepatutnya?

p/s DAKJ, jika demokrasi US meletakkan populariti sebagai asas pemilihan, kenapa demokrasi Malaysia tidak pula begitu? Adakah ini bermakna di UK, demokrasinya juga bukan diunjurkan oleh undian popular?

Fed Up

Jaja said...

Salam Hormat Yang mulia DAKJ,

Kalau hendak difikirkan situasi politik Malaysia memang saya naik bingong dan bengang. Mencari kesalahan,saman menyaman sudah jadi darah daging.

Entah apa akan jadi jika BN/PR "tie" dalam PRU13 nanti. Sistem dua parti boleh berlakukah? Sepakatkah BN/PR?? Atau macam-macam boleh jadi??

Sungguh sukar rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang bangsa, tambahan lagi "kurang bahasa".

Mustapha ong said...

Greetings to my dear friend Kadir Jasin,

I thought it would be appropriate to raise and comment on your topic of discourse re Obama and the politics of America, which may not be useful to the globalization of politics and economics in totality. In this context, I share some of your concern but I wish to digress from some of the points raised by you and being debated by some of our regular commentators or bloggers.

I am now currently spending time with my daughter's family in China since 05th November and will be back in time for the UMNO General Assembly in 29th November 2012. It's pretty cold and wet at the beginning of the winter but my mind is still actively on my IPad.

I have been following and monitoring the start and close of the 18th Congress of the Communist Party here in China. The political outcome of the Congress is very interesting and challenging to the mind to the Chinese populace themselves as well as foreign observers of Chinese politics around the world, including the concluding of the Congress last Thursday, 15th November, a new generation of leaders unveiled within the leadership in the Central Committee of the CPC.

The seven most powerful wiseman was unveiled to lead this nation of 1.3 billion people. The lineup of the Central Committee Members led by CPC Chief Xi Jinping was announced to the public. The rest of the members were Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiabg, Yu Xhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Goali. They were assisted by 25elected members of the Political Bureau of the CPC.

The text of Xi's address in taking over the command from President Hu Jintao was sweet,moderate and not too lengthy unlike our UMNO Presidential address. In his less than an hour's speech, the incoming President emphasized that "the people are source of our strength". The details of the speech was very encouraging and had taken the interest of the people at heart in order to build the next generation of productive and dynamic Chinese to face the challenges of the world as the next super power before 2020. President Xi stressed that China needs to learn from others in the world but the world should also learn from China. What an encouraging speech that will spur the love of the people toward the government and the country

Rawa Lanun-Bahasa said...

It must be worth the time and the effort spent on PRC watching when one can read into the behavior and conduct of the PRC in the Middle East and ASEAN; and the blueprint for the next ten years of PRC under Xi.

It is a matter of halal trade.

About Me

My photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).