Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Contested Quote For Contested Elections

So I thought I'd just paste up that quote from Stalin that goes rougly like this: "It's not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes".

The reason I wanted to put that up here was that just the past 2 days, I read a reference to it in 3 books, plus heard it on a podcast - how's that for weird? When I searched for the exact quote, I turned up this little link questioning that Stalin ever said it.

Well, regardless of whether Stalin said it or not, it seems like a good time of year and good conditions to consider the thought, anyway. I hate to beat a dead horse, but I thought I'd link 20 facts about voting in the USA again.

Here is one more voting fact that I found ironic, and hence why the author mentioned it. I recently finished Greg Palast's book, Armed Madhouse, and he brings up the fact that during the elections in Venezuela they used touch screens that generated a paper trail, so you could actually do something democratic and freedom-loving like, oh, a recount. The final bitter irony is that those machines were made in the U.S. - in Florida.

Palast also says how provisional ballots are usually just thrown out, something I wasn't aware of.

Look, this voting stuff shouldn't even be a partisan thing, but right now it appears to be. Republican politicians have no real interest in changing things because they are currently on top - and Democrats don't seem to be doing much about it either. All I'm saying is that before we start babbling about spreading freedom and democracy abroad, we had better get our house in order here, and citizens should demand consistent voting rules, consistent oversight, including international bodies to monitor it, paper trails, etc.

Ah, but again I'm dreaming. We had better worry more about what Paris is doing this week, or why Tom Cruise didn't show his baby to the press immediately. If we are going to worry about any politics at all, it should be to fret over abortion or the "war on Christmas", etc...

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