Monday, November 05, 2007

Is Latvia like US now?

David Brooks, one of my favorite New York Times columnists, had a recent column in which he wrote:
American voters are generally happy with their own lives. [...] Researchers from Pew found that 65 percent of Americans are satisfied over all with their own lives — one of the highest rates of personal satisfaction in the world today.

On the other hand, Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their public institutions. That same Pew survey found that only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of their nation.
The political issues in Latvia are very different from US but it feels exactly the same way. Most of people whom I meet are happy with their lives. Typically, they are better off than they were 5 or 10 years ago.

At the same time, our political elite looks increasingly dysfunctional. It's hard to find anyone who trusts Kalvitis' government. Opposition does not look much better - if New Era Party was capable of convincing people that they can govern better, they would have won the last election. Right now, if "none of the above" was an option on Latvian ballots, it would win the election - by a large margin.

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