The US Election “11”

Oh, it sure is heating up!

Last night I watched a BBC Four debate from 1.15am to 3.00am ('twas a late night), which was entirely enthralling, and even featured that annoying man from Fox News (Bill) having a go at the BBC because they said that the poor weren't being treated very nicely (although, they did have rather good evidence for this statement).

The BBC's own website is, as usual, brilliant for this kind of thing. It has just managed to bring me up-to-date with all the clauses and terms of election.

Now that I know the rules (and the 0.01% margin by which Bush won last election), I realise how flawed, in my opinion, the US elections are. They just aren't representative, and remind me of the Jerryrigging that occurred in Northern Ireland last century. Perhaps the US should try to be more, truly democratic, is they advocate it so. If they did, Gore would have one last time round, and there wouldn't have been even a nibble of dispute about that.

Blimey, even I'm excited about this one.

[top] That's right: you had better make friends with those black people!
[bottom] Our one looks better. :P

11 Comments ~ Post a Comment

Anonymous Anonymous: Actually, George Bush lost the popular vote.
According to Elbridge Gerry, one of the Framers (although not signers) of the US Constitution: "The people are uninformed and would be misled by a few designing men..."
Read this article courtesy of
Here's some excerpts:
"Regardless of whether a candidate wins 52 percent of the votes in a state, or, in a multi-candidate race, say, 40 percent of the votes in a state, why does he get 100 percent of that state’s electoral votes?
Forty-eight states have laws that mandate a winner-take-all system for electoral votes: The person with the statewide plurality (even if it isn’t a majority) gets all the electoral votes.

In the 1968 election, for example, Richard Nixon, competing with two other candidates, Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace, won only 38 percent of the vote in Tennessee, but he got all of Tennessee’s electoral votes.

Maine and Nebraska do not use the winner-take-all system. In those two states, one elector is awarded to the candidate receiving the most votes in each of the congressional districts, and the remaining two electoral votes are awarded to whoever gets the most votes statewide."

and also

" is undemocratic. But the Framers of the Constitution did not want a system in which the president was chosen directly by the voters. “The people are uninformed and would be misled by a few designing men,� said Massachusetts delegate Elbridge Gerry during the debate at the constitutional convention. (Gerry ended up not signing the Constitution.)

Since 1789, no majority in Congress and in the state legislatures has been able to muster enough support to change the system. "

Blogger Dooey: Uh ooooh.. you've opened up a can of worms now Fintan. I live in Florida so I hold the 2000 election close to my heart.

Not only did Bush lose the popular vote, he should have lost Florida (coulda, woulda, shoulda). As it stands, no matter how you count it, Bush won by 537 votes in Florida. They like to make a big deal about 'hanging chads' and 'butterfly ballots' yada yada yada. That's all fluff. He did win by 537 votes.

Now, in Florida if you have been convicted of a felony you are not allowed to vote in any election. You've served your time in prison, you're back out on the streets: you're not allowed to vote ever again here. Whether I agree with it or not that's how it is.

So in 2000, the state of Florida had a company that would comply a list of all the felons in Florida and send it to the polls to take any of the names off the list of registered voters if they happened to match up. That company was charging us $5,700 (3,100 pounds) per year. The NEW company they hired charged us $4.3 million (2.3mil pounds) per year with the reason being that the new company, DBT, was used by the FBI for their investigations and it would be a more credible source. Fair enough.

So DBT created a program that would pull the names of anyone in the United States that had committed a felon or even a misdemeanor. It then ran through the list of Floridians and if any names matched, they got thrown onto a Felon list. Their plan following this was to then compare the addresses and financial records attached to the names on the Felon list to the addresses and financial records of the Florida citizens, thereby ensuring that these people were ACTUALLY convicted Felons.

This safeguard plan went directly to Katherine Harris' office to receive her approval. Instead, DBT got the plan back with a handwritten "Do Not Need" next to the plan to doublecheck and Ms. Harris' signature. They were being paid 4.3 million to do half a job.

As a result, there are stories like Thomas Alvin Cooper, 28, white, who was not allowed to vote in 2000 for a felony that he committed in 2007 in the state of Ohio as a black man.

As for the percentage of errors on this list, I've seen estimates as high as 92%, but the very lowest that everyone can agree on is 14% which is 8,000 Floridians. That's 15 times the margin that Bush won Florida, and since the majority of those on the list were black voters and black voters traditionally vote Democrat... you do the math.

Add to the fact that Katherine Harris was the co-chair of Bush's campaign in Florida and that Jeb Bush is his brother... it sounds fishy to me.

Greg Palast works for the BBC and the Observer among other newspapers and has done extensive reporting on the 2000 election. He wrote about it in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

Blogger Dooey: Oh, one more thing. As it stands with the program they used.. had Bush been a resident of Florida, he probably wouldn't have been allowed to vote in 2000 due to his misdemeanor in Texas. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Blogger Fin: Brilliant information (especially Dooey).

The whole idea of the public being uninformed may have stood ages back when the constitution was made, but not really any longer. Perhaps now they're just more likely to be swayed by the media (like this!). For peace's sake I won't talk about where the true battle for electoral votes lies, but I will say that no election is truly democratic unless it is a person-by-person, vote-by-vote system. Otherwise, some people's votes matter more than others: an unfair and unwise system.

The more I consider the margin by which GWB won, the more I feel that there may be a serious need for a third party in the US. It doesn't really work like that, but over here it does provide a viable alternative (in the form of the Liberal Democrats).

The corpo-government scandal that Dooey speaks off appears to be rife in the US, from what I gather. Those kinds of things really do degrade the US as far as international opinion goes, and perhaps you should consider electing someone else solely on this issue.

I think that should GWB be re-elected, there will be more trouble for the US and the rest of the world simple for what he stands for to many people all over earth. At least with JK, you have some kind of hope that with a change in leader might come sensible and conscientious international policies that move the world towards happier times.

The US really does have the power to change the world, but to do so its public must first look to within the country. What is going wrong? Why do people think of us like this? How can we change this for the better? How can I change this for the better?

It's a bit of a cliché, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Anonymous Anonymous: look here.

Blogger Fin: Ooh it really is getting exciting! I't like the Big Brother but... real! I think I'll stay up (late!) to find out who wins it.

You make like:

Anonymous Anonymous: And Bush wins...

Blogger Fin: Yeah - and you can't really argue with that.

Blogger pirate_freak: hey everybody!!! i just got my internet back this morning. i have not had it for a month! i HATEHATEHATE Bush!!! Kerry should have won the election this year. Bush cheated last election. oh! i have a new campaigne for the next election:: Fintan Daragh for prez!

Blogger pirate_freak: you ppl's comments are too long....

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