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Unfair and Dead Wrong

Bernie has spoken in Vermont about some really interesting policy innovations in other countries. One of my favorites is from Finland. We see in the US many poor people being shaken down by the local police with overly-strict enforcement (or false ones) of driving rules. The fines are often part of the life-blood of the municipality. People get jailed or reduced to utter penury by them. Not only is it a question of enforcement and motivation but the injustice of the fines themselves. What does Finland do? Fines are based on income. A given infraction may cost one hour.

This just doesn’t refer to policy but to process as well. The disaster of the count in Iowa is just one example. I don’t get it. As we speak, the count continues in Ireland. Ireland uses the single transferable vote version of proportional representation. The system is far more complicated than the Iowa caucuses. I won’t explain the system, but the Irish have no problem with the counts (in one cases ballots had to be counted 15 times (not recounts to check totals).

Bernie is not so left wing. He’d have few differences with Justin Trudeau or Jacinda Ardern. He is actually to the right of Justin’s father or such leaders of the past as Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway) or Olaf Palme (Sweden). As fo the Jeremy Corbin comparison, Corbin is a throw back to the left in the machine age. It wasn’t that he was too far left (he really wasn’t) but that he was irrelevant and indifferent to the issues we face now.

To end with another leftist comparison – look at Sinn Fein as the count continues in Ireland.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.