June 01, 1999

Doing it His Way

Imagine yourself the lame duck leader of a large, developed but struggling power. You have a 2% approval rating. You have this really popular prime minister and a legislature that is out for your blood.

Now, this legislature is starting proceedings to impeach you. Not remove you, just take first steps toward that end, an end which is pretty unlikely before your term is up. If you keep your cool, that is. See, this legislature just wants to beat up on you a bit so they can all win their seats back in the next parliamentary election, just six months off.

So, what do you do in this situation? Obvious, right? You fire your popular prime minister and pick a fight with the legislature. You propose as the new prime minister an official who played a significant role in a war that is a large reason for the impeachment battle. You initiate a constitutional crisis that will drag out beyond the end of the current parliament’s session. In short, you show you are still the guy in charge, even though most everyone in the country just wishes you would go away.

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