When the ballot box is good (and when it’s bad)

Orson Wells was at least partly right when he said: “Popularity should be no scale for the election of politicians. If it would depend on popularity, Donald Duck and The Muppets would take seats in the Senate.” Unfortunately, we don’t yet have a better instrument for democracy than the ballot box.

It was briefly relieving that the man who designs Turkey’s foreign policy seems to be distracted from more noble and potentially less-damaging subjects than the rebuilding of an empire that collapsed a century ago, creating the emerging empire’s satellite states on the basis of Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas ideology, or “liberating Jerusalem.” Ahmet Davutoğlu recently stated that Turkey would open a center in Tanzania to protect albinos from being marginalized and oppressed. Protecting Tanzanian albinos from attacks sounds like a more attainable - and potentially less damaging - foreign policy goal.

But during his absence from the Turkish capital, his ministry was busy telling Europeans why their elections went wrong: “We are concerned at the increase in seats held by political parties [in the European Parliament elections] that are xenophobic, anti-immigration and critical of the EU project.”

So, when the Turks (or Egyptians) vote for the Islamists, it’s the “will of the nation,” but the European elections are worrying: Respect my elections, but I don’t like yours. But of course, the Foreign Ministry also “welcomed the election of Turkish-origin members to the European Parliament.” So only the votes for the Turks were the will of the nation. Nice.

Xenophobia could be a problem in Europe, but the country concerned by this should not be the one where, according to a...

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