Election 2004

Let’s Get Rid of Voter Fraud

Are any of you tired of hearing whining cries of voter fraud every time there is an election?
Some US dems raised the cry after the recent presidential election and it certainly isn’t something that is limited to the US as this plaint about Sunday’s election in the Ukraine highlights and Google currently lists 388,000 entries for “voter fraud.”
It seems to me that if we dramatically reduced the power currently vested in these elected positions we would simultaneously get rid of the voter fraud issue. After all, who would want the positions if they wield no power and who would care who held these powerless positions.

The Majority of Americans

Did not vote.
Let me repeat: the majority of Americans did not vote in the November 2 election.
As of Friday evening (11/5) bush has tallied 59,651,891 votes. This is not a majority of Americans.
Approximately 20.2% of the US population voted for bush.
Approximately 22.0% of US citizens voted for bush.
Approximately 29.4% of US citizens eligible to vote voted for bush.
And, yes, a slightly smaller % in each category voted for kerry.
When you read or hear someone stating that a majority voted for bush remember to put it in perspective. And, if they don’t clearly qualify what they are saying, specifically that it was a majority of those who voted, you just might want to question the rest of what they are saying as well.
NB: The above calculations based on US Census Bureau data from 2002, 2003 and the estimated November 2004 US population.

The US Election

Disappointed but not surprised.
I was not and am not a bush supporter. Regular readers know that I was not a strong kerry supporter either. For me, the one possible result worse then a kerry victory is the one that happened: a bush victory.
It does puzzle me that many thoughtful, well educated folks looked at the available evidence and chose to vote for bush. By any accounting I would choose bush has been a failure. But, for instance, Megan McCardle looked at a wide range of issues and came up bush. Yet, even after reading her long, thoughtful discussion I could not come to her conclusion. Rather it was still clear that the devil I knew was, indeed, the devil and needed to be cast out.
Did I have great expectations of kerry? No, not at all. Perhaps some modest improvements in protecting civil liberties; some effort to begin rebuilding international credibility for the US; possibly some improved fiscal responsibility; maybe more palatable supreme court nominees; hopefully some success in reducing the terrorist threat which, at least according to bush’s campaign messages, bush has failed miserably at achieving; and not much else.
The world is not going to end with bush’s election to a second term nor would electing kerry have been its salvation. Both kerry and bush were seeking leadership of the largest gang state on the planet. This is a position vested with far too much power and one that seems focused on maintaining or increasing the influence of the state and corporate special interests rather than the interests of the people.
Be it bush or had it been kerry there is a tremendous amount of work to be done over what will undoubtably be a long and difficult time to evolve human interactions and institutions to a place where the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of each human is fully respected by all other humans and our institutions.