Vote rigging

2 November 2008

Watching Recount tonight on Channel 4 reminded me of the almost forgotten craziness of the 2000 Presidential election in the US. The to-ing and fro-int and how a handful (hundreds) of votes left the election not just hanging in the balance, but determined by the courts, not the people. Then I re-read a post I’d linked to earlier this week which said electronic voting machines that will be used in the 4 November election are not reliable and accurate – that they are prone to malfunction and may not record the actual vote winner.

Will the chads be hanging once more, or is it potentially even more serious this time?

Most election ballots next week will be tallied or scanned by four private companies… Three of the four companies have close ties to the Republican Party… Is it right and proper for partisan pro-Republican companies to count the votes? It is certainly not objective and impartial.

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Powell, Obama, McCain, Bush and Indigestion

19 October 2008

So Colon Powell has backed Barack Obama for US President. He had apparently been disturbed by the negative tone of Mr. McCain’s campaign, which has sought to promote the idea that Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists,” as Sarah Palin so diplomatically put it (a Socialist palling around with terrorists nonetheless). Of course this is Sarah Palin whose foreign policy experience comprises her proximity to Russia (oh and Canada too) – although she’s never met Russian delegates (maybe she wouldn’t think Obama a socialist if she had?).

Not only that, but Palin has no idea what the Bush Doctrine is. Now then, Powell “once considered as a potential candidate for the White House himself, fell out with President Bush over being forced to make the case for Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq”. This is Bush, the conviction politician, who knew what he wanted and went for it – not because he listened to people, but because he listened to his gut:

Leaders make things happen and they don’t need to ask permission. Isn’t it the job of a good leader to think the big ideas, take the long view, and make his vision a reality? Well, yes, provided said leader has formed his thoughts through rigorous research, consultation with experts, and deep, careful thought. Bush’s method? “I’m not a textbook player,” he says, “I’m a gut player.”

So there we have it. Bush listened to his gut and went to war in Iraq. Great.

So there we go – Barak Obama who offers a “calm, patient, intellectual, steady approach” or McCain supported by pro-Iraq advisers – offering Bush’s gut something to think about. Surely, Dubbya, it couldn’t have just been indigestion when you were listening to your gut could it? I know who I’d be more inclined to believe.

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I think this review means I now have to read Bob Woodward’s “The War Within” – not sure if that’s a daunting or exciting prospect.


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