Wednesday, November 10

Are our elections fair?

I am as partisan as they come, but I believe that every vote should count. If a recount that I can trust (no closed soor partisan shenanagins ala prov ballot count in ohio) and if it turns out that bush wins by 5 million, and gains 15 EC votes, would be dissappointing, but I would be happy to accept it.

I do hope that we have a final accounting, but fraud notwithstanding, we can no longer accept a system that is broken by large turnout. We can not accept 7 hour waiting periods to cast a ballot. We can not accept a county or precinct judge being told a machine can hold 10,000 votes when it can only retain 3500. We can not accept a system where they run out of ballots, ore one in which provisional ballots are not likely to be counted, or to put it another way, be thrown in the garbage. We cannot accept a system that allows parties with a contempt for certain voting groups to run the voting system. In my mind, all of these factors bring into question, the legitimacy of the process, and this is before any vote counting shenanigans are employed by either side. For these reasons I cannot accept the legitimacy of the election.

If people have to wait until 3 am to cast a vote, the system is FUBAR, period, and we should all be nervous about the future of our representitive republic.

There are a boatload of issues that continue to haunt the process, although what southern republicans and dixiecrats have is an institutionalized system of black voter disenfranchisement. They seem to be strict constitutional contructionists and have likely managed to keep the black vote as mandated in the constitution at 3/5ths a person.

For me it is an issue of fairness, and we should treat it as such. every vote should count, period. One of the most frustrating things is listening to the barely veiled contempt for voters that republican pundits and political hacks seem to have. How often have you heard the off hand "(insert democratic candidate here) would not have won the race if it wasn't for the African American vote", aka "the Hammer-Time factor". The common rejoinder is that (insert republican candidate here) would not have one without the ignorant bigoted angry white man vote." aka the Cracker Time factor". Both of these attitudes are bullshit, but guess which one you are most likely to hear on TV? I have heard the Hammer-Time factor discussed often on all the mainstream news outlets.

I have heard it on Rush (why the fuck is that guy not in jail) Limbaugh's Program. the not so subtle subtext is that niggers aren't educated enough to vote. For reasons passing understanding a lot of republicans are baffled by the fact that 9 out of ten African Americans vote for democrats, to them I say look in the morror, your party coddles racists, and while moderate white people may fail to grasp the meaning of your racial code words, black folk understand exactly what you mean.

There must be more accountability and transparency in the way votes are cast and counted. It should be a crime to tamper with the elections in any way, shape or form, and the penalties should be substantial enough to discourage those who would contemplate voter intimidation, vote fraud, or any other tactics, designed to rig the game. If we can't trust the process, the future of the country is in grave doubt.

There are a couple of camps with respect to the current issues regarding the legitimacy of the election. On the one hand there are those that are convinced that it was "stolen", on another hand there are those that suggesting that a rational approach is needed, wait for evidence to mount before jumping to conclusions, and on a third account are those that are satisfied with the results and believe we should move on. This last group is likely to be composed of people who are unwilling to accept the possibility that fraud on a massive scale is possible for it would interfere with their idealised vision of America. These are the targets of Goebbels "Big Lie" system of propaganda, the "my leaders would never do that" or "that would never happen here" crowd.

I have serious questions, and hope beyond reason that the accounting will meet my satisfaction, but I won't hold my breath. My greatest fear is that the system will alway be broken, and we have enthroned a permanent tyranny of the minority, a new aristocracy, the hegemony of Corporate/Religious interests, that I have feared would take place in my life time. I would like to be proven wrong.