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Stop listening to the news for a minute.

By aphrael in Op-Ed
Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 01:44:35 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

I've spent a good part of the last two days engaged in conversations online, and in person, about the ongoing vote recount in Florida and the indecision about who is going to be President. I've seen Republicans accuse the Democrats of fishy undertakings in the recount, and i've seen the Democrats accuse the Republicans of fishy undertakings in the original vote, and i've seen both sides insist that "the other guy can only win by fraud."

I've hoped that Bush and Gore would get into a room with each other, and talk, and issue a joint statement about respecting the process and the will of the people and all that, the way politicians are supposed to. They haven't, and perhaps it was too much to expect.

I'd like to ask everyone to take a step back, and consider not what's best for their own individual political interests, or which candidate they think *should* win, but what is best *for the country*.

With apologies to those non-Americans, and wishing that 'Rants' were still around ...

I contend that the best thing is for everyone to accept the results of the recount --- whatever they may be, and whoever may win --- as binding and go home. Yes, fraud almost certainly occurred. It almost certainly occurred on both sides. Cases where it can be proven should be prosecuted.

But dragging the country through weeks of inquisition, or holding a manifestly unfair new election in which a select geographical area gets to vote again with prescient knowledge the rest of the country was denied during their vote, isn't going to help. Forcing this out into a bare-knuckles fight where each side expends all of their energy to prove that their man was the guy who won is just going to *extend* the bitterness and the anger; it's going to cause each side to polarize, and drive us further apart as a nation.

I've seen more comments in various different mailing lists and web fora than I care to remember attacking the integrity of the people doing the count and the recount, or working in the polling places. This is absurd; there doesn't need to be corrupt motivations for their to be errors in the count --- in the precinct where I worked we twice thought we had lost some number of ballots (we were wrong) simply through the accidents that can occur when you have five absolute strangers, all of whom were exhausted, trying to work together while handling hundreds of anxious people. Accidents in this system *are inevitable* and all that attacking people's integrity does is undermine our faith in the idea that the accidents are fixable and overcomeable, and our faith in our fellow citizens as being reasonable people with whom it is ok to have differences of opinion.

Lawsuits aren't helping. Sending hordes of lawyers out to interrogate helpless precinct workers isn't helping. Getting into fistfights in offices over who should have won (as one of my friends reported has happened to someone he knows) isn't helping. All of these things are *deepening* the wound, and will cause a nasty feedback loop in which everyone's positions harden in response to the perception of irrationality on the other side. Do we want another four years filled with the same bitter hostility that has paralyzed Congress for the last four? That's the *best* we can hope for if we keep going down this road.

Step back and think for a minute. What do we want out of this election? Is it just that our favorite candidate become President? Or is the most important thing that we believe that the country is governed by someone who *in his heart* is running for the job because he wants to do what he thinks is the right thing? I believe that is true of both candidates; I believe that the damage that either of them can do (and I didn't vote for either) is *less* than the damage that we will do to ourselves, and our national psyche, by fighting this out to the last battle today.

The ties that bind us as a people are weak, far weaker than the ties which bind most countries. If we can't talk to each other to resolve our differences, if we can't trust that our differences of opinion are real and not platforms ascended upon for some ulterior purpose, then we have *nothing* except the name of our country and a vague reverence for our history which keeps us together. I fear we are edging close to that, and I weep for our future if it is true.


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Stop listening to the news for a minute. | 76 comments (66 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Favorite Candidate? (3.00 / 4) (#5)
by TheDude on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 11:34:18 PM EST

What do we want out of this election? Is it just that our favorite candidate become President? Or is the most important thing that we believe that the country is governed by someone who *in his heart* is running for the job because he wants to do what he thinks is the right thing?
Heh. Leaving alone the 'Favorite Candidate' phrase, do you really believe that either Shrub or Bore will be good for this country? Neither will, imo. One's gonna have us all killed (through the War on Drugs, abortion laws, tougher sentencing and his father's war), and the other will do nothing big (doing basically what he's done in the White House so far). Neither of these two options is 'good' for the country, but that's the way it goes. I'm moving to Canada anways....

TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

Bitter soft drinks (4.25 / 4) (#9)
by aphrael on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:25:19 AM EST

Obviously I don't think either of them are good choices --- I didn't vote for them, after all. But either of them would be better than tearing ourselves apart in a meaningless bitter fight over the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

[ Parent ]
What is best for the country (IMHO) (2.16 / 6) (#6)
by interiot on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 11:39:16 PM EST

In fact, exactly because of the closeness of this election, it's important that the two sides to make political/emotional peace because both sides are going to have to give in halfway to get anything done.

Now for the controversial part: I have a suggestion about who would be best for the country, if it can't be decided by accurate votes. The people are split 50%/50%. But if Bush wins the presidency, there will be a Republican controlled House, Senate, Presidency, and Supreme Court nominations. With the citizens perfectly split, it wouldn't seem right to have any one party having the upper hand in all three branches of the government.

As Tonto said when they were surrounded... (1.66 / 6) (#7)
by Demona on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 12:00:57 AM EST

"What you mean 'we', paleface?"


dirty white boy

"People cannot do anything collectively, except perhaps riot mindlessly."

Nixon was a good man, after all... (3.70 / 10) (#8)
by MeanGene on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 12:48:45 AM EST

Nixon was a good man, after all - he decided that it's better for the country to let the election results stand.

And he lost by something like 150,000 votes with some weird results coming out of good old Chicago.

Now, I predict that US military overseas will vote more Republican than the general Florida population. But anyway, Dems are ready to drag this whole mess into courts over some imbecile farts who couldn't "follow the arrow." I looked at the ballot in question, and anybody with 20IQ and 20 seconds to spare would've figured it out. And, oh yeah, police cruisers parked on the block now amounts to "intimidation of African-American voters."

After all, it's not like the choice is between Mahathma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler.

If there's one thing that US has got to change is to stop wholesalely condoning people's stupidity. I'm tired of being told that I should not microwave my pets, that coffee is hot, and that karate training involves physical contact (no shit!).

The ballot... (2.85 / 7) (#11)
by greydmiyu on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:28:47 AM EST

The ballot was confusing. Yeah, I could follow it, but look at it this way, it was overspaced, the 2nd person on the left was Gore so it stands to reason the second /hole/ is for Gore. That is how it was in every other county and, I'd wager, every other state, that uses a similar system. They could have fit all the candidates on one page.

The ballot was also /ILLEGAL/ according to Florida state law. The law requires all things to be voted on be on the left of the holes. This clearly was not the case here.

-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
Where did you find that the ballots are illegal? (2.20 / 5) (#14)
by Schwa on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:57:33 AM EST

I haven't seen that reported anywhere. It seems like the media is missing something if they're not reporting that the ballots don't meet Florida legal requirements.

Wouldn't be the first time.

[ Parent ]
Legality of the Florida butterfly ballots (4.80 / 5) (#26)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 09:14:50 AM EST

I had thought that I read somewhere a state law that specified that the holes had to be to the right of each candidate. I can't find such a requisite on the state of Florida website. One could construe (properly or improperly I don't know) such is the case from a combination of regulations. From 101.27 Voting machine ballots

3) The order in which the voting machine ballot is arranged shall as nearly as practicable conform to the requirements of the form of the paper ballot for that election.
From 101.151 Specifications for general election ballot
(3)(a) Beneath the caption and preceding the names of candidates shall be the following words: "To vote for a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot, place a cross (X) mark in the blank space at the right of the name of the candidate for whom you desire to vote. To vote for a write-in candidate, write the name of the candidate in the blank space provided for that purpose." The ballot shall have headings under which shall appear the names of the offices and names of duly nominated candidates for the respective offices in the following order: the heading "Electors for President and Vice President" and thereunder the names of the candidates for President and Vice President of the United States nominated by the political party which received the highest vote for Governor in the last general election of the Governor in this state, above which shall appear the name of said party. Then shall appear the names of other candidates for President and Vice President of the United States who have been properly nominated.

A legal charge of more considerable weight is the allegation that sample ballots for some counties were incorrect. From 101.20 Publication of ballot form; sample ballots

(1) Two sample ballots shall be furnished to each polling place by the officer whose duty it is to provide official ballots. The sample ballots shall be in the form of the official ballot as it will appear at that polling place on election day. Sample ballots shall be open to inspection by all electors in any election, and a sufficient number of reduced-size ballots may be furnished to election officials so that one may be given to any elector desiring same.

(2) Upon completion of the list of qualified candidates, a sample ballot shall be published by the supervisor of elections in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, prior to the day of election. If the county has an addressograph or equivalent system for mailing to registered electors, a sample ballot may be mailed to each registered elector or to each household in which there is a registered elector, in lieu of publication, at least 7 days prior to any election.

It seems to me that some people certaily have the basis for a lawsuit if the sample ballots were not correct.

Although personally, I can't see why it really matters. I would contend that voting irregularities likely occurred in many places throughout the US. Given that the irregularities are not substantial or significant (statistically speaking) I see no reason to pursue them further. Perhaps I'm too cynical, but I don't see how a ten or twenty thousand votes really means that much in the grand scheme of things. Now, if the the alleged fraud impacted several hundred thousands on either side of the case, then I'd argue that the alleged fraud should certainly be taken into account when considering the election. As it is, I say let whoever has the most carry the day.

[ Parent ]

It does state it! (1.25 / 4) (#31)
by greydmiyu on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 10:48:01 AM EST

Section 3a in what you quoted, "To vote for a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot, place a cross (X) mark in the blank space at the right of the name of the candidate for whom you desire to vote."

Anyone who looks at that ballot can see that the whitespace is excessive and that they could have fit all the candidates onto a single side as the quoted section requires.

Again, just so noone thinks I'm harping for "my guy", my guy was Browne. This is now centered on the process, not who actually gets elected.
-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
IANAL, but... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 11:04:19 AM EST

Section 3a applies to paper ballots (ballots filled out with a pen instead of use of a voting machine). This statue does not apply to ballots used in voting machines which are to resemble paper ballots as much as "practical."

Given that (1) this type of ballot has been used before and (2) the county electoral commision (republicans and democrats) certified the ballot as acceptable, I don't think there is a whole lot of basis for the lawsuit. A lawsuit over the layout of the ballot seems to me to based on an interpretation of regulations that leave a whole lot of room for interpretation.

That said incorrect sample ballots are almost certainly a violation of Flordia's election laws.

[ Parent ]

Uhm... (2.00 / 4) (#36)
by greydmiyu on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 11:55:34 AM EST

3) The order in which the voting machine ballot is arranged shall as nearly as practicable conform to the requirements of the form of the paper ballot for that election.


"To vote for a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot, place a cross (X) mark in the blank space at the right of the name of the candidate for whom you desire to vote. To vote for a write-in candidate, write the name of the candidate in the blank space provided for that purpose."

Machine balloting shall conform as closely as possible to the paper ballot and the law dictates the paper ballot. Maybe it is the geek in me but a=b=c, a=c.

a = machine must conform to paper ballot
b = paper ballot
c = marks are to the right of the cadidate.

-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
is arranged shall as nearly as /practicable/ (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 12:26:06 PM EST

a = machine must conform to paper ballot as nearly as practicable
b = paper ballot
c = marks are to the right of the cadidate as nearly as practicable

If that isn't open to interpretation, I don't know what is.

[ Parent ]

MLP to answer (1.00 / 2) (#29)
by greydmiyu on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 10:43:46 AM EST

From NPR's All Things Considered for Thursday. The story is "Voting Irregularities: Legal Issues".
-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
I don't want a cheat (2.60 / 5) (#13)
by DemiGodez on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:40:59 AM EST

So what if the democrats drag it out? If Bush is the offical winner, why should he step down? I certainly don't want anyone to get an election he didn't win just by whining about it. Vote fraud, etc, happens in EVERY state in EVERY election. The democrats are just trying to pull every sneaky trick they can to "win" an election they didn't win.

If Bush pulls a Nixon and conceeds, then 1) He's a moron and 2) He's a wuss. Can you imagine? Sure that country shouldn't have a nuclear weapon pointed at us, but if I make a big deal about it imagine what it will put the American people through...

[ Parent ]

Bush pulls a Nixon? (4.00 / 2) (#22)
by Morn on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 06:36:35 AM EST

I think he's actually suggesting that Gore should concede and not drag the affair through the courts.

[ Parent ]
Well..... (4.50 / 2) (#41)
by minusp on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:08:25 PM EST

some weird results coming out of good old Chicago.

Which would not have made a difference in the Electoral College, anyway, and probably would have invited some inquiry into "wierd results" coming out of downstate... might as well APPEAR to take the high road, he never, ever would have gotten the nomination in '68 if he had whined and lost.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
Who's filing? (none / 0) (#69)
by stinkwrinkle on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 09:37:34 AM EST

You realize, right, that Bush is dragging this into the courts, not Gore? I don't think that Gore *wouldn't* drag it into court, but he hasn't yet.

Over the weekend, I seem to recall, the AP wire was announcing that a Florida court had declared the Palm Beach county ballots legal, so now it's just a matter of getting the count right.

[ Parent ]
What should happen, but won't (2.88 / 9) (#10)
by greydmiyu on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:25:56 AM EST

Bush: My fellow americans, since the Florida situation is so mired that we can never be sure that we got an accurate count and becaues the popular vote has indicated that the majority of Americans wish my opponent, Al Gore, in the White House, I will concede the presidency to Mr. Gore. The people have spoken, I will listen.

Won't happen, but would be the best move he could pull, politically.

And for the record, I voted for Browne so I don't want either of them in office. But just think of the broad support he would have in 4 years.
-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
If.. (3.25 / 8) (#12)
by DemiGodez on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:36:07 AM EST

If the country was still in existence after Gore got done with it.

I'm mostly kidding about that. Point is, if you won an election according the the constitution (electoral college), the vote count in Florida, and (it seems likely) the vote re-count in Florida, why would you just step down?

There are a variety of ways we could determine the winner. Gore got the popular vote (or so we think - not all votes are actually in yet). Bush won the most states. Bush won the largest amount of land. Someone (not sure who) won by the larget margins in the states he one. Fact is, you could find hundreds of ways to make the decision. Only one is in the constitution.

[ Parent ]

I'd step down (1.66 / 3) (#32)
by greydmiyu on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 10:50:03 AM EST

Because, as in another thread, it would keep the nation from turmoil and would almost guarentee my election in the future. When you do something like that for the good of the country people don't forget. Certainly didn't hurt Nixon, or so it seems if what other threads in this topic say are true.
-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
If Bush was capable of this (2.83 / 6) (#17)
by nogin on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 03:17:50 AM EST

If Bush was capable of such a gesture, hewould have won the election by a wide margin. But that's the problem - he cares about himslef too much and he cares about the country too little.

[ Parent ]
The road to the White House is paved with.... (4.80 / 5) (#39)
by deang on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 12:31:48 PM EST

(Mod down : I'm obviously a troll because I don't agree with you) Having voted third party, I have to say I'm pretty sick of this already. This election has confirmed my decision to vote third party.

To say that Bush is to selfish (probably true) and not say the same about Gore is just ridiculous. According to current law, it looks like Bush has won, and Gore has lost, but the Gore campaign won't let it go. Accusing Bush of rushing is also hypocritical. The Gore campaign could well wait for the absentee ballots to see if the challange is even needed, but instead the dems have rushed into a whole boatload of court challenges.

The dems have also been excedingly vitriolic in their speeches and press conferences. This disturbs me more than anything else, and has pretty much turned me agains the dems. The ballot used may have been somewhat confusing (although the full size pictures I have seen are far less confusing than the tiny pictures on the major news sites.) However, it should be noted that the democrats designed the ballot. If there is any illegal activity as the democrats have suggested, then it is on the part of the democrats themselves. The democrats design the ballot, approve the ballot, then call it bad. This shows a complete lack of integrity.

I have a suggestion for future elections : Let people vote for more than one candidate ! Why not ? If they vote for Bush and Gore, then they only cancel themselves out. The iffy Nader voter could vote for both Gore and Nader, and let their support be known without sacraficing the election. The Bucannan/Gore confusion would be irrelevant because Gore would get his votes and the few extras that Mr. B got wouldn't make any difference.

I voted for a few Democratic candidates (local offices with no Libertarian challenger) in this last election, but now I regret that. In the future, I'll remember what they have done in this (post-)election, and not give them my vote in the future. Depending on how Bush acts (and so far he has really done nothing one way or the other) I'll consider any future voting for the reps.

In a similar situation not too long ago, Nixon stepped down when in a position similar to Gore's. Unfortunatley Gore has even less personal integrity than Nixon. This is truely a sad day. In Nixon's case, there was more of a case for actual fraud, an allegation the dems can only level at themselves in this case, having designed and approved the ballot in question.

The dems have also tried to use the popular vote as validation for what they are doing, but this isn't a valid reason to change the result. Perhaps the Constitution needs to be changed in this respect, but it hasn't been changed yet. Even if it were changed tomorrow to eliminate the Electoral system, it would have no effect on the current election because of the no ex post facto laws rule. Perhaps you want to do away with that as well ?

The only good news is that whoever wins, they will almost certainly be a lame duck one term president, and many, many more people will be looking to third parties next time. The failure of the two major parties has never been more evident than right now.

// mod down - troll


[ Parent ]

Actually, they couldn't wait. (5.00 / 3) (#67)
by Kyrrin on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 02:06:40 AM EST

> The Gore campaign could well wait for the absentee
> ballots to see if the challange is even needed, but
> instead the dems have rushed into a whole boatload of
> court challenges.

Three points to note here:

1). The Gore campaign has not filed any lawsuits -- the suits in question were brought by Florida voters who feared that they had miscast their ballot due to poor UI on the ballot design. (I've heard people allege that the Gore campaign put those voters up to it, but heard no evidence.)

2). The deadline to ask for a recount was Friday. Yes, Friday, 11/10, before the absentee ballots were in. If the Gore campaign hadn't asked for a recount by then, they couldn't have.

3). The hand count in Palm Beach County was not done at the request of *anyone* on a national level. PBC election officials decided to do it, as, according to FL law, they are obligated to do. The Bush campaign filed the first lawsuit directly filed on behalf of one of the candidates, namely, to STOP the FL officials from proceeding.

"I'm the screen, the blinding light; I'm the screen, I work at night. I see today with a newsprint fray, my night is colored headache grey, don't wake me with so much..." -- REM
[ Parent ]
A few problems... (2.50 / 2) (#72)
by greydmiyu on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 02:18:04 PM EST

To say that Bush is to selfish (probably true) and not say the same about Gore is just ridiculous. According to current law, it looks like Bush has won, and Gore has lost, but the Gore campaign won't let it go.

Actually, if you check Gore leads in the Electoral College and the popular vote before you toss in Oregon and Florida. Oregon, even if it went to Bush, would not put Bush into the lead. That leaves Florida to decide it which is exactly why everyone is pretty much ignoring Oregon. That is exactly why I posted what I did at the start of this thread.

The dems have also been excedingly vitriolic in their speeches and press conferences.
Depending on how Bush acts (and so far he has really done nothing one way or the other) I'll consider any future voting for the reps.

Bush hasn't done anything other than declare himself victor and announce portions of his transition team and hint at his cabinet. This is all before the recount is finished. Sorry, but you're entire message is on the presumption that Florida's election has been called in favor of one candidate over the other. IT HAS NOT.

Other problems in your message were addressed by other people.

-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
Maybe a little re-thinking... (2.00 / 5) (#15)
by sH on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 02:28:07 AM EST

I think perhaps people at large don't realize that their vote doesn’t count. The Electoral College picks the president, and they don't have to vote with the popular vote and sometimes they don't. If the poll stopped RIGHT now and the Electoral College went with Bush in FL, since he is now in the lead by 229 votes, according to cnn, Bush would win the election even though Gore had more popular votes.

Furthermore, I don't think people are taking into account that it was Florida law that the recount happen since the number of votes was so close. One party did not request it. I'm not weeding out any chance that one of the candidates could have been involved with some "fishy undertakings," but seeing as it is Florida law, it seems that the initial reason should not be under any dispute. Now, the fact that Gore gained some 2,000+ votes off the recount is anybodies guess.

So, point being 1) our vote doesn't count (yet) and 2) Florida called the recount.

Spin, recounts, bitching - been there, done that (4.00 / 4) (#16)
by skim123 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 02:43:53 AM EST

Yeah, it would be nice if these two candidates got together and handled it like men, but don't hold your breath. First off, it makes a bit of sense that each should fight tooth and nail, seeing as their appointment is (at least) four years (a very, very, very long time) and they will have such an impact on the world as a whole.

Secondly, such a close count has happened in the past... check out: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/elections_historical0001109.html. The year was 1876... four months of bickering before a winner was officially declared... recounts, threatened lawsuits, etc. So... expect it again! :-)

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

History comes 180 degrees (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:18:25 PM EST

From the article at the other end of your link:

“Honest Sam Tilden,” as his campaign posters said, wanted smaller government, states’ rights and spoke for a Democratic party opposed to the advancement of African-Americans. Hayes supported banking reform, subsidized economic growth, tariff protections and helping African-Americans gain a foothold in society following the Civil War.

A Democrat in favor of smaller government and states rights vs. a Republican bent on banking reform, socialized economic growth and the advancement of African-Americans.

They must have been from some weird parallel universe.

[ Parent ]

The parties changed radically (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by skim123 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 02:52:01 PM EST

A Democrat in favor of smaller government and states rights vs. a Republican bent on banking reform, socialized economic growth and the advancement of African-Americans

From my understanding, the Democrats and Republicans use to hold wildly different views than they do today... For example, Lincoln, our president who freed the slaves, was a Republican. Democrats use to control the South. I don't really know the history on the changes of the parties, how they seemed to swap sides, but I do know that, yes, they did use to hold widely disparate views from today's.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
Bare knuckle fight (2.20 / 5) (#18)
by FeersumAsura on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 03:26:09 AM EST

Forcing this out into a bare-knuckles fight where each side expends all of their energy to prove that their man was the guy who won is just going to *extend* the bitterness and the anger; it's going to cause each side to polarize, and drive us further apart as a nation.

Now a bareknuckle fight between Bore and Gush. That's something I'd pay to see.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
Presidential Smackdown 2000!!! (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by Zarniwoop on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 03:41:06 AM EST

I personally think a WWF style fight would be the best way to settle this.

It'd certainly be less of a hassle. The first one who can knock the other canadate out wins! None of this legal bullshit! =)

[ Parent ]
Well, a wrestler became governor (2.50 / 2) (#23)
by Precious Roy on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 06:46:08 AM EST

If one wrestler became governor of Minnesota (Jesse Ventura), and another can mount a somewhat decent, if failed, Congressional run (Bob Backlund)... who's to say politicians can't become wrestlers?

Ten bucks says Gore's finishing move is the sharpshooter... he just seems like the kind of guy that would go for a slow, painful finish. :-P

[ Parent ]

They can, but they probably won't (4.66 / 6) (#20)
by Precious Roy on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 06:08:38 AM EST

It seems to me that one of the "faults" of the Electoral College all of its detractors jump to is that electors are not legally bound to follow their state's popular vote.

While this is technically true, it really is not as much of a problem as some would have you believe.

Keep in mind the electors that go to the convention are different depending on which party wins the popular vote. Take my home state of WV, for example... it's not just five electors. It's 5 from the Republican party 5 from the Democratic Party, 5 from the Green Party, etc. The party that wins the vote sends its electors.

And these electors aren't just chosen at random from among the state's population, either. They are (usually) high-ranking members of their party, and aren't likely to cross party lines for fear of losing their stature among their peers, and (in the case of those who are elected officials elsewhere) their positions at the hands of angry voters.

And you'd be surprised that a lot of electors don't even know it's possible to change parties.

Take the case of one of WV's electors for the Democratic Party in 1998, when Dukakis won the state. She didn't even know she could change her vote until AFTER she was chosen as an elector. When she found this out, she actually reversed her vote and picked Bentsen for president and Dukakis for VP.

This, however, is an abberation. Dukakis had no way of winning the Electoral College regardless of that one vote. In an election this close, no upstanding Republican is going to draw a bullseye on his/her back by jumping party lines now.

Being the person I am ... (3.87 / 8) (#24)
by rednecktek on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 08:38:03 AM EST

As a father and husband:
I'm concerned that my (newly registered) wife and children see the "democratic" process in this light. I firmly believe this is the sort of thing that has led to apathy in voting in our country. And no, I don't believe apathy is a good thing.

As a United States citizen:
My concerns are the same as for my family with the addition of concern for violence, lawsuits, and the almost assured possiblity of fraud.

As a "closet" anarchist:
I'm disgusted with the entire affair and dearly hope this is the event that was need to wake up the American people to the fact that we are not truely being given a choice. I hope that the final decision is held up indeterminately. I hope that the citizens rize up and take back their government.
I hope that people finally learn what it costs to be free.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
My quick views (4.25 / 4) (#25)
by Narcischizm on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 08:51:08 AM EST

If Bush gets into office he is going to be neutered, because the next electon for congress is in two years, and it is obvious the country is split right down the middle, with the target audience for the republicans being at least 10% of the moderate vote that went to Gore. The republicans will have to step lightly to gain ground, and pay a lot of attention to liberal domestic policy. Democrats need not worry about the supreme court justices, because Bush will have to appoint moderate constructionist judges, he still needs 2/3 vote to pass, and there is presently a lot of bad blood between the parties.

If Gore gets into office, he will be neutered because the Congress is barely dominated by republicans. We still won't have to worry about the supreme court, but in 2 years congress will add numbers to the republican side, because they will do their best to show the country that Gore is incompetent. Will be quite difficult for a Democrat to win in '04 if Gore can't gain ground. Plus, Gore is likely to go after all of the Nader voters that didn't think he was liberal enough, instead of trying to gain more of the moderate vote. None of his 'liberal' plans will pass, like minimum wage.

As a moderate Democrat, I think that Bush should take the presidency.

who gets neutered? (3.66 / 3) (#33)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 10:58:47 AM EST

"If Bush gets into office he is going to be neutered"

Are you sure this hasn't already happened? Sorry, couldn't resist. 8D

Aside from that, this is the man who based his candidacy largely on his track record of getting things done as a governor with a bi-partisan legislature. If Bush wins the reigns of the country, he will be facing the situation that he has bragged time and time again that he can handle.

" If Gore gets into office, he will be neutered "

Maybe that's what we should have done to Bill. Sorry, couldn't resist. 8D

Given that the platforms that Gore ran on are very similiar to Republican platforms (in military spending, law enforcement, war on drugs, etc.) I don't see how having such a close vote will impact his regin if he ends up as president.

Either way, given the similarities between the two candidates (and I'm not glossing over their differences, I do realized that there are key differences), I don't think that either will have that difficult of a presidency. Neither will seek the type of deep reform that is needed. Both fallaciously claim we have a budget surplus. Both are beholden to many of the same special interests. Both will seek to continue the same brain-dead war on drugs.

My conclusion is that business will go on as usual in Washington D.C. just like it did under Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and Carter with no real changes from the back room deals and soft money that has controlled our nation's government for quite some time.

[ Parent ]

S'Funny, I couldn't use the term on my dogs. (3.50 / 4) (#37)
by Narcischizm on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 12:23:17 PM EST

I had to say 'affected' when I had my dogs, well you know *shiver*. My wife was less kind :-(
This is all from the perspective of a left-leaning moderate attempting a worst case scenario of partisan politics, and attempting to tell the future. You are correct, both candidates are finger-locked on being the most moderate, but both can and probably will be swayed by their party affiliation.

The problem with Bush is he rallied bipartisan support that didn't help improve important issues in Texas, Education, Environment and Health Care at the top of the list. And we thought Arkansas was in bad shape when Billy was running. If Bush can rally bi-partisan support for important issues, which I doubt since the bitterness is building even more between the two major parties, then I could see something happening. But the Democrats want Congress back, at all costs, and a successful Republican president will not help them take it back.

On Gore's side, there is some very deep resentment of the Democrats by the republicans. Billy's 47% popular and 60+% electoral (someone want to correct these numbers?), a nearly landslide re-election (even though we all knew he was a lovable crook), and a rise in popularity during the Lewinsky/Jones fiasco. Democrats seem to be Untouchable and well oiled. Accusations seem to slide right off, and that really pisses the Republicans off, rightly so.

No matter how the vote goes, we are not in for a stellar presidency. I think both candidates will hit a few roadblocks, but neither will be particularly noteworthy. Congressional race in two years is going to be a coin flip for the Democrats to gain 4 seats and the Republicans to at least hold steady. In four years we can be sure that one or both of these jokers will get their party nomination, again.

[ Parent ]
Disagree... a bit (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by minusp on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:23:29 PM EST

No matter who get inaugurated in January, they are the candidate of the party that "stole" the election. That is all. Congress and the Senate go the other way in 2002, with acrimony aplenty in the meantime.
This could be as entertaining as Watergate, Iran/Contra, and the Bimbo Eruptions all rolled into one.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
You could be right, history could prove me wrong. (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by Narcischizm on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 02:26:58 PM EST

If you use Nixon in 1960 as an example, Illinois was in the same position as Florida as the hold-out. The difference in the popular vote was only like 8500 votes in Illinois. Nixon 'respectfully' conceded the election, showing him to be the better man, but he knew that both the Republicans and Democrats had stuffed the ballot boxes, the Democrats just did a better job, but it probably wouldn't have made much difference in the end result. When Nixon ran again in '68 he was able to position himself as being a moral superior and all-around nice guy (go figure). The democrats lost 10% in congress during the Johnson years, but still held the majority seats.

I still think it would hurt the Democrats more if Gore wins, and significantly soften the Republican party if Bush wins. Either way its numb times ahead for the US.

This is what happens when you are married to a political geek and talk politics for two hours almost every day.

[ Parent ]
GOP contested '60 vote in Illinois, elsewhere (1.00 / 1) (#68)
by rst on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 08:47:03 AM EST

The story of Nixon as "good loser" seems to be getting wide circulation, and in some pretty reputable outlets at that --- e.g., an R.W. Apple piece in the New York Times which cites Nixon's own memoirs as a source on Nixon's forbearance in the face of "flagrant" fraud in Illinois and Texas. The problem with that, of course, is that if Nixon was able to keep his story straight about the activities of his own presidential campaigns, he would have finished his second term in office.

A better account may be found in this L.A. times column, which describes extensive efforts by the Republicans to get the vote reconsidered, in Illinois and several other states.

If you prefer primary sources, check out this senate oral history, which describes in detail how the Republicans demanded and got a recount in Chicago to little effect, and abandoned an effort to get a wider recount only when it was clearly going against them:

Well, there was a recount in the city of Chicago, and the recount gave Nixon a net gain of 312 votes out of a total of 1,718,000 in Chicago. The voting there was by machine, machines that were very hard to tamper with. Then the Republicans asked that the recount go to the Cook County suburbs, which were controlled by the Republicans and which were paper ballot precincts. People voted by pencil on a long paper ballot, where one could do more to change the ballots than in voting machine precincts. What happened was that in those Cook County townships, Kennedy picked up about twenty five hundred votes. At that stage the Republicans dropped the call for a recount. They had planned to recount the rest of the state, but when Kennedy picked up twenty eight hundred votes or so and got to a majority of 8,858 instead of six thousand, the Republicans threw in the towel.

[ Parent ]
Difference Between Party and candidate. (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by Narcischizm on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 10:49:47 AM EST

I never suggested that Nixon was a good loser, or even that I cared for him that much (except for his sensible and effective views on drug policy). What I was saying is Nixon was a great political strategist. He knew there were crooked votes for him and for Kennedy. He conceded because he knew he was going to look like a whiner to the public, when he wanted to present the air of a moral statesman. The RNC disagreed with his decision and pushed for a recount. Today it would be the same as Gore or Bush conceding the presidency, but the DNC or RNC pursuing a recount in FL on principle. The decisions of the party do not always coincide with the decisions of the party.

[ Parent ]
how Gore can win by losing (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by opus on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 11:17:19 AM EST

As a moderate Democrat, I agree. If Bush ends up as president (and I think he will), he's going to have a really tough time governing, with a large portion of the country not recognizing his presidency as legitimate.

Gore, in effect, can become a shadow president. All he has to do is sit back, go on Letterman/Tonight Show/SNL from time to time, and try to keep up presidential appearances. Maybe spend some time figuring out how he lost TN, and help rebuilding the incredibly weak TN Democratic party. Republicans lose Congress in 2002 (the party in the White House generally loses Congressional seats mid-term). America tires of Bush after one term, like we did his father. Nader and the Greens disappear from the presidential ticket after this year's status as "spoilers". Any significant third-party candidate will be a centrist (Ventura?), which would draw more from a fractured Republican base, divided between social and fiscal conservatives. Gore wins in 2004 by an electoral landslide, and further strengthens the (by then) Democratic majority in Congress.

On the other hand, if Gore takes the presidency now, he will have an even more difficult time governing than Bush will. Republicans will gain seats in Congress in 2002, and Republicans will win back the presidency in 2004, with McCain, not Bush.

[ Parent ]
Negetive election (3.33 / 6) (#27)
by finkployd on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 09:43:13 AM EST

"What do we want out of this election? Is it just that our favorite candidate become President?"

Nobody wants that. Nobody was voting FOR anyone, we were all voting AGAINST someone. I was voting against Gore, meaning I voted for Bush. Many voted against Bush, meaning they voted for Gore. Still a few voted against both, casting their ballot for Nader. All of these are horrible choices, but there is always someone we hate or fear a little more than the others, and we wanted to make sure that he didn't get elected. Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but that is how I have seen this election since day one.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Speak for yourself! (4.66 / 3) (#30)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 10:46:52 AM EST

I voted for Ralph Nader.

Well, in actuality I voted for the state of Ohio to send delegates to the electoral college chosen by the Green party.

Aside from his keen wit ("The only person that can defeat Al Gore is Al Gore and he seems to be doing a pretty good job of it"), I think he is one of the few people willing to face the tough questions head on.

Is he perfect? No. Did I desire to see him president partly because I didn't want to see tweedledee or tweedledum in office? Yes, but only partly. I have no qualms about not voting for anyone if I don't like any of the choices. In fact, I have counseled people who don't like any of the choices to still vote and to not select a choice for president. Doing so certainly makes a louder statement than simply not showing up.

[ Parent ]

When presented with an unacceptable option... (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by Narcischizm on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 12:33:40 PM EST

Write in your vote. Vote for you mom or dad, vote for you sister's boyfriend's cousin. I had a multitude of reasons why I cast my vote the way I did, and it had nothing to do with voting against anyone, except for one local race for an at-large council seat. Many would have preferred to have been able to vote for McCain or Bradley, but that doesn't mean that they voted against Bore or Gush (did I get that right?).

[ Parent ]
Respect? (4.40 / 5) (#35)
by Merekat on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 11:32:54 AM EST

I've hoped that Bush and Gore would get into a room with each other, and talk, and issue a joint statement about respecting the process and the will of the people and all that, the way politicians are supposed to. They haven't, and perhaps it was too much to expect.

From what I can tell, there is no point in singling out just the candidates for criticism. Nobody appears to respect the process. If they did, they'd let the electoral officials get on with the recount and stop second-guessing and criticising and whitewashing and triumphalising. They'd quit passing off speculation as being a substitute for fact. Then you'd actually have respect for the process. But then you wouldn't have a new headline every five minutes, which doesn't sell papers and doesn't get you noticed.
I've always had the greatest respect for other peoples crack-pot beliefs.
- Sam the Eagle, The Muppet Show

This doesn't make any sense! (3.75 / 4) (#45)
by CentrX on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 01:53:24 PM EST

You're saying that we should just ignore fraud. This, more than anything else, makes everyone's vote not count. If, when there is fraud, it's ignored "for the better of the country" then people will just continue with fraud. There won't be any reason not to because no one seems to get caught and, more importantly, it actually makes a difference. Why should someone vote at all if there vote is changed because of vote fraud?
-- "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson
How can you tell?? (4.80 / 5) (#46)
by aphrael on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 02:00:31 PM EST

My point is that there is no real way to tell if fraud happened, or what direction it took place in.

I worked as an election official in the election in California. One of the many things i've been thinking about this week, instead of working, is this: if things were different, and *California* were as close as Florida, and the lawyers and/or police were interrogating *me* about my conduct during the election, what would they be asking me about, and what would my answers be?

There were irregularities in my polling place. Some of them were directly my fault, others were caused by other workers --- but either way, because I was the guy in charge, i'm ultimately responsible for everything that happened, whether it was directly due to my actions or not.

.There were three classes of problems:

(1) the polling place where I worked had *two* polling places in the same building. I thought this was a bad idea, but nobody listened to me; and it did cause confusion amongst voters about where to go. That, combined with the tendency of people to sign in as soon as they get to the table without waiting for their eligibility to be verified, resulted in *4* voters signing the roster when they weren't listed in the polling place index, and when they were supposed to vote in the *other* polling place; each of these four was not issued a ballot and sent off to the correct polling place. That's pretty straightforward, but it means the number of returned ballots is 4 less than the number of signatures in the roster, which is a technical irregularity at the very least.

(2) Several people were issued and voted provisional ballots but never signed the roster. I'm not sure why that is; it was really busy, and it looks like I just forgot to make them sign. (All provisional voters get treated as exceptions and thrown at me). This is unfortunate as it means they are almost certain to have their votes not counted. IN a situation like that which is taking place in Florida, one or more of them could claim that I didn't have them sign deliberately, in order to deprive them of their right to vote; I can't prove that that isn't true, all I can offer is my word, as an honorable man, that the error was unintentional. In a charged partisan atmosphere, would that word be believed? (3) Two voters got their ballot, walked down to the next spot on the table, and the person working at the ballot box took their ballot from them and dropped it in the box *before they got a chance to vote*. After much internal debate I issued them new ballots, figuring that the completely-unvoted ballots could be spoiled later, and that it wasn't fair to deny them the right to vote because the election board had screwed up. But there were potential problems with this: (1) what if they were lying? If we hadn't found unvoted-ballots to spoil at all, then they would have voted twice, and it would have been too late to do anything about it; (2) what if someone else had deliberately dropped in an unvoted-ballot and we had spoiled it, while allowing the person who lied about doing so to vote twice; (3) what proof do I have that I didn't chose to let those two vote out of some sort of subjective political criteria? I can say I didn't, and having done it once I was committed to doing it for anyone else with the same problem, but what *proof* is there except my word and that of the other members of the election board, fewer than half of whom understood what was going on?


The point here is that these problems happen all the time. Elections officials have to make snap decisions based on their sense of honor and their understanding of the process. Elections are inherently flawed, to a certain extent, like *any* large-scale human activity; and it doesn't require malice or partisanship to accomplish that.

I don't know what's going on in Florida. I do know that if a voter in my precinct accused me of election fraud, and the burden of proof was on *me*, I couldn't prove it. I believe the decisions I made were the right ones, but there's no evidence of that --- by their very nature, it's impossible to have such evidence.

I also know that in the court of public opinion, the people working in the polls in Florida have been tried and convicted of election fraud *by both sides in the political debate*, without a chance to defend themselves, and with the burden of proof being placed on the workers. This is deeply torubling to me; I don't know whether they were guilty or not, and the media isn't giving me anything close to the level of detail I would need to determine that. But it is clear that there *has* been a rush to judgement, and that that judgement, taken without deliberation and consideration of what actually happened, is manifestly unfair.

It makes me seriously wonder if I can continue working as an election official; I don't want to be involved the year the witch-hunt against volunteers comes to California.

[ Parent ]

Bad Process... (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by Parity on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 08:16:12 PM EST

Here (Massachusetts) the process went like this,
You presented yourself at the polling place, and were asked your name and address; then, an election official checked you off; then you were handed a ballot.

You went to the polling booth to fill out your ballot, and then went to another table of election officials, where, again, you gave your name and address, and were checked off.

Then, you placed your ballot, yourself, into the voting machine that displayed a current count of the number of ballots it contained.

There is no way for someone to take a ballot without signing in, no way for a ballot to be prematurely taken away from you, by the nature of the process. If there had been two polling places in the building, you would've been told your name did not appear on the roster and sent to the other polling place. (There weren't, but there could've been without problem.)

Also, here in Massachusetts, the 'butterfly ballots' are illegal, not so much because of voter confusion but because they are known to have trouble being mechanically counted. (Just in case anyone is wondering about the recount results, butterfly ballots with punchout voting often don't count correctly; the hand re-count may well show dramatic differences from either of the machine counts.)

Anyway; I think California should reconsider its polling place practices - not that Massachusetts has a perfect technique, but it avoids at least some of the mentioned problems - and any state using butterfly ballots should reconsider that too.

Parity None

Parity None

[ Parent ]
Editorial: This should've been your story (none / 0) (#55)
by winthrop on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 11:57:34 PM EST

This comment is far more interesting than your original story. I wish I could've heard your experience before I read the story, so I knew what was behind it.

[ Parent ]
Understood. (none / 0) (#74)
by aphrael on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 06:12:50 PM EST

Thank you for the feedback --- I wasn't able to formulate it into this post until about 24 hours after I wrote the first one.

The last two weeks have been among the most intense weeks of my life, so writing about them is a little unsettling.

[ Parent ]
Don't worry so much (none / 0) (#76)
by htom on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 02:00:18 PM EST

Thank you for your service to your community.

I've also been an election judge, and have had simular things happen. And I'm fairly sure that most honest poll workers could tell simular tales. We're humans, not gods.

I finally quit because I couldn't take the little old ladies who couldn't make up their minds between the "one with the pretty wife" and the "one with all of the kids"; I was afraid that I'd start smacking them.

Col. Jeff Cooper's First Rule of firearm safety: Always treat every firearm as if it's loaded. Always.
[ Parent ]
no evidence of fraud... (none / 0) (#56)
by gregholmes on Sat Nov 11, 2000 at 01:12:53 PM EST

at least on the winning side. Where fraud might come in is if we keep recounting and recounting until the loser somehow wins.

[ Parent ]
selection of president and vice-president (3.00 / 4) (#47)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 02:05:05 PM EST

jabber made a comment of the editorial type that contained this:

IMO, the honorable thing to do is to accept the results of the recount without further introspection; have the VP elect aparents step aside; and have the loser of the Presidential seat serve as the VP of the winner!

If I recall my history lessons correctly, there was originally no vice-presidential candidate. In days of old, the US gave the presidency to the person with the most votes and the vice-presidency to the person with the next-most. Needless to say, this system was changed after the first time a candidate from one party ended up serving as vice-president to a president from another party.

Personally, I'd rather see a return to the old system, but it ain't gonna happen.

Give that K5er a shiny new dime! (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by Mija Cat on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 11:43:44 PM EST

You've correctly answered the civics question!
The key is, there weren't political parties for the first 20-40 years after the Constitution was signed (which was a few years after the Declaration of Independence) so it wasn't like Bill Clinton would be saddled with Al Gore.
Remember, this is back when the Electoral College made sense - you vote for who in your town you want to pick the Prez, not for the Prez himself. The electors would ride in, meet all the candidates running, and vote. If nobody got a clear win, it went to the House of Representatives. Otherwise, #1 and #2 got the #1 and #2 jobs.

[ Parent ]
My take... (2.00 / 4) (#53)
by Zeolite on Fri Nov 10, 2000 at 09:28:04 PM EST

I gave a -1. I don't think the recount should be accepted as is. It needs to be investigated thoroughly. If there was fraud invovled, I don't want the side that it was on winning it. I really doubt that holding it off for a complete investigation is going to make things worse and "separate" the nation. There shouldn't be any accusations to either side until the investigation is complete and all the facts have surfaced.
We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence upon those who would do us harm.
Shouldn't that have been an editorial comment? (4.00 / 2) (#57)
by kjeldar on Sat Nov 11, 2000 at 04:24:09 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Interesting take on the "confusing" ball (3.75 / 4) (#58)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Nov 11, 2000 at 05:02:55 PM EST

A good friend of mine who is a professional statistician forwarded me an email of his with an interesting theory. His theory is that Pat Buchanan's extra votes came from both Albert Gore, Jr. and George W. Bush. A little noticed aspect of the numbers from West Palm Beach is that David McReynolds, the Socialist candidate also received more votes than one would suspect from the Palm Beach demographics.

So what may have happened is that some people that wanted to vote for Bush punched one hole to low and voted for Buchanan by mistake. (Bush being on top of the ballot only had one side to spill onto.) Some people who wanted to vote for Gore punched one whole too high and voted for Buchanan by mistake. Some people who wanted to vote for Gore punched one hole to low and voted for McReynolds by mistake.

I know for a fact that my friend is not particular partial to either Bush or Gore, but he might very well desire to see one candidate in over the other so I can't speak to his bias. Its an intriguing theory and makes much more sense to me than any other I've seen so far.

An interesting way to see if this is likely to be true would be to examine the 19k ballots that had two choices for president. If all of these ballots have Gore and Buchanan marked, that would make my friend's theory less likely to be true. However, if these ballots are a combination of Bush/Buchanan, Gore/Buchanan, and Gore/McReynolds, my friend's theory would receive a certain amount of confirmation.

interregnum 2000: america goes 'huh'? (2.00 / 6) (#60)
by beertopia on Sat Nov 11, 2000 at 09:10:25 PM EST

I've been trying to think of an analogy for the effect of Nader voters, & I think I've got it. Say you're with a group of 11 people trying to decide what kind of lunch to get. Five people want Mexican. Five want Chinese. You want Eskimo.

"It's my vote, I have a right to vote for whatever I want, & I want blubber & frozen seal blood. Come on, guys, blubber, it'll be great!"

Well, no one else wants blubber, you knew that to begin with, but you insisted on your rights. Now, no one can eat. I hope you're satisfied.

Note: I've never had Eskimo food, & I'm sure it's just fine, so please no flames from the Inuit population here. It's just an analogy.

I go 'huh' too (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by QuantumAbyss on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 01:19:22 AM EST

Look, this isn't dinner and this isn't 11 people - so bad analogy.

Also there are a whole lot more people than Nader, Bush, Gore to choose from.

What I do think is dumb is if somebody voted for Nader but wanted Gore (or Bush) to win - that doesn't make sense. But it is the fault of our current system for only allowing two parties to effectively have control. Then again, maybe that is why things are traditionally reasonably stable in this country (of course, we haven't really been around that long, so the whole stability bit might just vanish).

I also don't think it is right for Gore people to be mad at Nader voters cuz they 'blew the election'. They didn't blow the election. They just didn't vote the way Gore people wanted them too. Gore didn't do a good job of inspiring them. If they just didn't vote it would have had the same effect, and many of them wouldn't have voted otherwise (or would have voted for another third party candidate).

So why don't we just figure out how to get both Mexican, Chinese, and Eskimo. Some countries can do it, and they seem to work just fine (usually, there are certainly many improvements to be made in any system).

Science is not the pursuit of truth, it is the quest for better approximations to a perception of reality.
- QA
[ Parent ]
What kind of analogy is that? (4.33 / 3) (#62)
by Biff Cool on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 01:56:51 PM EST

Voting for president is so much unlike going out to eat that I can't begin to think where this analogy comes from.

  • First when I go out to eat with friends I've never voted on where we're going, we just throw around ideas as to where to go until someone comes up with something that everyone's okay with.
  • I'm not sure what to say about the seal thing except that maybe you thought the analogy wasn't gonna look very good unless you added some kind of surreal attempt at humor to it.

Ignoring the food analogy, why do you think that someone who voted for a third party should be blamed for the fact that there's between two other candidates? On the same note of logic I'd say it's all of the Bush or Gore supporters who went and voted instead of staying home. If a good ten percent of one side or the other would stay home, then we wouldn't be tied either.

It's like when you and 10 of your friends go to play minature golf but you can't decide to go to the one with the monkey or the one with the windmill. So half of them go to one and half of the go to the other because a round of minature golf with 11 people really sucks.

My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler

[ Parent ]
here's another analogy. (4.50 / 4) (#64)
by antizeus on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 03:22:26 PM EST

The teacher of this class of 11 children asks them how many want food from "Joe's Eskimo Hut" and how many want food from "Bob's Inuit Shack". Five children vote for each. Maybe Joe's has marginally better blubber, and Bob's has marginally better frozen seal blood. The eleventh student realizes that she doesn't want eskimo food at all, and votes for "Ernie's Burger Tent".
[ Parent ]
Just vote for who you want to vote for (none / 0) (#73)
by Mantrid on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 03:41:56 PM EST

There'd probably be a lot less confusion if people would just vote for the candidate they wanted, instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing. See what the candidates say, where they stand, how they act, and find out whatever else is important to you and just vote for that candidate. Otherwise what's the point of having hidden ballots? Opinion polls tend to annoy me sometimes too - I'm tired of politicians altering what they say they believe in, in order to impress the most people. I wish they would just tell us what they stand for and let each person decide.

[ Parent ]
No, it's more like... (none / 0) (#75)
by CrayDrygu on Wed Nov 15, 2000 at 11:05:21 AM EST

That analogy would make more sense if Nader had won the election with his 2% of the vote. However, it's more like this:

Five people want Mexican, five want Chinese, and the one guy wants Eskimo. They fight for a bit and eventually Chinese wins, but even though only one person actually wanted Eskimo food, at least the other 10 now know it's an option. Who knows, maybe next time they'll be a little more adventurous.

[ Parent ]

A modest proposal (3.40 / 5) (#63)
by antizeus on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 03:12:42 PM EST

Why don't we have two presidents? Gore could be the president of much of the northeastern and west coast parts of the US (and Hawaii), and Bush could be president in the rest of the country. Legislation signed by either president would only take effect in the states that voted for him. Likewise for executive orders -- only good in states which voted for the president giving the order. Gore would get to live in the White House because he carried the District of Columbia.
A Rebuttal [A modest proposal ] (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by vargrx on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 04:42:24 PM EST

Why don't we have two presidents? Gore could be the president of much of the northeastern and west coast parts of the US (and Hawaii), and Bush could be president in the rest of the country. Legislation signed by either president would only take effect in the states that voted for him. Likewise for executive orders -- only good in states which voted for the president giving the order.
Hmm... sounds like your ready to brew another civil war <now there's a paradox>. The Revolutionary war came about basically over 2 different set's of belief's <in it's case, the ethic's of owning human beings>. If this were to happen now, I shudder to think of what would come of it ([Tipper]Gore, on the one hand, would censor basically *everything* (I firmly believe that she's a closet right-wing fundamentalist), and Dubya would have the heartland firmly by it's biblical balls (please excuse the expression, but it's the only one that truly describes what the man's, IMO, really like)). Having been *invited* to attend previous "police actions" by our wonderful government, I can speak from some experience here. WAR SUCKS. People get hurt, or die. If what you propose ever come's to be, It would, IMHO, be a *religous* war of very large proportions, owning to the rather obfuscated socio-politico-religios views both side's push. Just my .02 VargrX

[ Parent ]
what about (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by titus-g on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 07:55:29 PM EST

a coalition instead.

I mean it's not like there's any real difference between them.

I vote that we get 2 crowds of hefty persons and that they ram GW and Gore into each other at high velocity and thus form a TRUE demopulican or republicrat.

Or preferably just mangle them enough that someone fitting of representing the US gets a chance (regardless of thier 'party')

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

Stop listening to the news for a minute. | 76 comments (66 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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