Tuesday's elections

It is unlikely that Tuesday's mid-mid-term elections in America are very unlikely to be indicative of much. Four years ago the Democrats gained both the governorships that were up for election and the mayoralty of the second largest city. The following year the Republicans increased their majority in the House and gained control of the Senate.

Nonetheless, people will probably read things into the results. Since the Democrats hold the governorships of both New Jersey and Virginia, by far the most important position they could conceivably gain is the New York mayoralty. Even the staunchly Democrat New York Times concedes this is unlikely. Democrats will try to spin holding two governorships as a great victory, but even the status quo may elude them.

The strong Republican lead in Virginia and the even bigger Democrat lead in New Jersey have both diminished. Both could be close. So could the special election - a referendum - in California, where governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar is pushing his reform agenda.

It is much to be hoped that the tax raising political establishment in Virginia should take a hit, which includes Republicans, but is personified by Democrat candidate Tim Kaine. The boredom of Senator John Corzine - who purchased his Senate seat for a record $60 million - is not a reason to transfer him to the governorship of New Jersey, and it would be a small blow for progress if he lost. The California vote is possibly the most important. California continues to be in complete mess, and Schwarzeneggar is the only politician advocating real change.

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