Le crépuscule de nos dieux politiques

J’ai pensé un moment que le 22e amendement de la Constitution américaine était sans doute le meilleur moyen de s’assurer que les leaders politiques n’abusaient pas de notre bon accueil, et, ce qui est tout aussi important, ne subissait pas l’érosion de leur efficacité. Cet amendement interdit aux présidents américains de dépasser deux mandats de quatre ans.

J’avais peut-être oublié les pénibles labeurs des prédécesseurs du président George W. Bush au cours de leur second mandat, mais son triste sort actuel montre les problèmes que pose la limite constitutionnelle. Elle fait par exemple du président un canard boiteux à un moment ou à un autre de son second mandat. Quelqu’un se souvient-il qu’après sa réélection, Bush a promis de réformer le système des retraites (la “sécurité sociale”)? Aujourd’hui il est clairement entravé non seulement par l’opposition démocrate mais aussi, et peut-être même davantage, par les luttes de succession à l’intérieur de son propre parti.

Cependant, le sort de l’ami de Bush, le Premier Ministre britannique Tony Blair, montre que le statut de canard boiteux peut échoir sans limite constitutionnelle, et même sans aucune constitution écrite. Blair a commis l’erreur fatale de poser lui-même une limite à son maintien au pouvoir en proclamant qu’il ne participerait pas à une quatrième élection en tant que leader du parti Travailliste. Cela dit, même sans une telle promesse, il trouverait difficile après neuf années au pouvoir de mettre en place un programme de réformes qui donnerait une idée de ce qui peut encore être accompli, étant donné l’ambiance de son parti et du pays.

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