How do you get the stains out?
How do you tell the teams apart? It's becoming increasingly hard for the casual observer to know who's who and what each political party represents. Everyone wants to run the same style of offense and to wear the same color uniform - white or black. Which is to say, no color at all or a mix of everything.
Distinctions are blurred as out-of-power parties repackage themselves for increased market share. Advertising themselves as "New and Improved" and promising to get "Whites whiter and colors brighter. They'll get the toughest dirt and stains out of politics." I hear you saying, "Yeah right!" But, scoff all you want, the voters are buying it. In Australia, the Tide turned against John Howard and the public opted for a Fresh Start. Towards the end of their election campaign we learned there was some "dirt" in Howard's government. We don't know much about Mr. Rudd yet but the public are willing to give him a go and hope for a financial security Gain.
In the UK, Tony Blair had just about worn out his welcome with the British people so he handed off to Gordon Brown who had done an admirable job with the economy while serving as Blair's Chancellor of the Exchequer. Brown was handpicked by Blair and the party to become the next Prime Minister which, if you think about it, is similar to what Putin is doing in Russia. Nah, not really, Putin wants to become a Rasputin or a Czar and Blair wants to martyr himself before middle-eastern assassins. Anyway, Mr. Brown became Prime Minister and his principal opposition, the Tory party, led by David Cameron, is as large a group of atrophied, 95-pound weaklings as you'll ever see. Labor, a veteran squad lead by Gordon Brown took the field and seemed to be "hitting on all cylinders" while the Tories, as usual, were their own worst enemies. Thinking they had the game "wrapped up", Labor leaders let it be known that Brown would call elections for early next year but then the ball took some strange bounces. The momentum shifted to the Tories and not another word was heard from Brown and Company about elections. This did not go down well with the public, the Tory party or the British media who turned on their former darlings. Now, everyday throws new dirt on Labor. The scandal du jour involves an anonymous 300,00 pound donation to Labor and should debunk the notion that publically funded British elections are the preferred detergent for getting the dirt out of elections. Unlike the American media's lack of interest in Mrs. Clinton's fund raising foibles, the British media are tirelessly working Labor on the scrub board. Meanwhile, the weakling Tories are making a "come back" as the BBC declares the Labor "has beens are washed up."
In another part of the world, the political pitch in Pakistan is in such a muddle that it is impossible for the casual observer to tell one player from another. The General President Pervez Musharraf is no longer the General, but now merely the President running the courts and for "reelection." Benazir Bhutto and the President, who seemed to be making cozy, have apparently had a falling out and it may not be long before they are airing their dirty laundry in the tabloids even as another dingy character, Nawaz Shariff, makes his reentrance on the pitch. We'll see in January if the Paki public decides to throw out all the dirty old rags and put on the new clothing of Islamic fundamentalism.
Closer to home, we're a year away from laundry day and the uniforms are just beginning to get muddy.