Another perspective

Chuck Tucker 121100:1555EST


A Zimbabwe politician was quoted as saying that children should study the US
election event closely because it shows that election fraud is not only a
third world phenomenon.

To illustrate the point, he made the following comments:

"Imagine that we read of an election occurring anywhere in the third world in
which the self-declared winner was the son of the former prime minister and
that former prime minister was himself the former head of that nation's
secret police (the CIA).

Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote but won based on
some old colonial holdover from the nation's pre-democracy past (the
electoral college).

Imagine that the self-declared winner's 'victory' turned on disputed votes
cast in a province governed by his brother!

Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one district, a district heavily
favoring the self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands of voters to vote
for the wrong candidate.

Imagine that members of that nation's most despised caste, fearing for their
lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in near-universal
opposition to the self-declared winner's candidacy.

Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised caste were intercepted
on their way to the polls by state police operating under the authority of
the self-declared winner's brother.

Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed province and that the
self-declared winner's 'lead' was only 327 votes. Fewer, certainly, than the
vote counting machines' margin of error.

Imagine that the self-declared winner and his political party opposed a more
careful by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the disputed
province or in its most hotly disputed district.

Imagine that the self-declared winner, himself a governor of a major
province, had the worst human rights record of any province in his nation and
actually led the nation in executions.

Imagine that a major campaign promise of the self-declared winner was to
appoint like-minded human rights violators to lifetime positions on the high
court of that nation. None of us would deem such an election to be
representative of anything other than the self-declared winner's

All of us, I imagine, would wearily turn the page thinking that it was
another sad tale of pitiful pre- or anti-democracy peoples in some strange,
faraway elsewhere."


Subject: Democracy in America?