READER COMMENTS ON
"Arizona: Election Standards Ignored! Secretary of State Ordered To Appear In Court!"
(32 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 10/11/2005 @ 10:22 pm PT...
What a surprise!
Looks like we found Tom Feeney's and Thomas Noe's friend....
I bet she desires a "promotion" for that electronic-voting stunt in Arizona......
I'd say oh....a year in jail? Oust the corrupt secretaries of state starting with Ohio!!!!!!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 10/11/2005 @ 10:37 pm PT...
Why is it so important that everyone here entrenches the notion that the election was fixed? How can you possibly argue that Kerry actually won the election? If Republicans have this much control over state-controlled popular elections, how did Clinton win two elections?
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 10/11/2005 @ 10:59 pm PT...
re #2 This is not about whether previous elections were fixed. This is about whether future elections will be fair.
"Do we keep this or pitch it away?" is a fair question, is it not? Of course it is! In any context.
Seriously. How do you decide whether what you have is good enough? That's the sort of question we ask all the time, about all kinds of things. Why shouldn't we ask it about our elections?
And if the answer is "We can't because we don't have any standards" then it's quite reasonable to ask "Why have we no standards?" Is it not? Of course it is!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 10/11/2005 @ 11:28 pm PT...
Just for kicks, take a 2 minute break and laugh at my latest political parody music video of C-Span's debate between Randi Rhodes and Janet Parshall (the crazy lady that stuck her ears in her fingers):
Hey LaLa.wmv (Windows version)
Hey LaLa.mov (Mac Quick Time version)
After you are done, get back to work!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 10/11/2005 @ 11:31 pm PT...
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 10/11/2005 @ 11:47 pm PT...
Cheney & Bush have turned against eachother big time, White House civil war beyond compare...
Cheney & Bush are now not even on speaking terms.
Bushie finally figured out old "Uncle Dick" had completely conned him into Iraq & everything else, and his masters...his terrorist masters no doubt told Cheney that Bush was bad luck.
I've heard stories about Cheney trying to kill Bush, it's like a feud between dumb and dumber. And anyhow, it seems the whole thing's about to explode as Cheney is fingered in the downing street memos!!!
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 1:15 am PT...
Doug E., I don't think that using exit polls or any other polling for that matter is a good way to predict who should have won an election. I've always just been very skeptical of polling. I'm sure if I tried I could find plenty of exit poll data supporting Bush winning the election, and I'm not going to waste my time on it.
As for Diebold, I will admit I don't know a lot about it. I'm going to save you and others from wasting time reading any arguments from me about it for now because frankly I haven't read up on it, and now that you point it out, I should read up on it (because it's obvious they were doing something wrong). I will respect your view on it and see what I can find out. What I do know about it, though, is that all of these machines will have voter-verified print outs that show that their vote was correct by the 2006 election. I guess that only Nevada had this state-wide in the 2004 election, and obviously the state in dispute is Ohio, not Nevada. Most probably, you won't have to worry about any Diebold conspiracies in the future (which saves us all a lot of trouble and debate).
Also, off topic, is there a good place for me to debate liberals on issues like social policy? I find that blogs more often than not get caught up in politics and don't talk enough about the issues. I'm very new to blogging, and I'm mostly using this as a way to hone my arguments (I'm a Poli Sci student in college, about to go off to law school, I need some practice.)
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 1:35 am PT...
This is a great place to debate on social policy since we get alot of that....
Diebold is a must read for anyone serious about democracy......Since they are basically the most corrupt company in the voting business.
Perfect history plus testimony relating to Diebold.
Diebold & Sequoia, but especially Diebold alone are definitely enemies of democracy. They almost "exclusively" elect neocons/neoliberals.
Some "elections" where the good candidate looks like he/she will win, errors happen all over the place in the final hours of the vote.....Diebold machines show the bad candidate wins instead. Its definitely no tin-foil hat, the Diebold company is totally corrupt.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 10/12/2005 @ 7:22 am PT...
Rumor has it that Bush told Brewer, "You're doing a heck of a job, Brewie."
Let's give some of the credit to John Brakey and his colleagues at AUDITAZ (AZ for Arizona), who have worked tirelessly since last November on election fraud. If a red state like Arizona is finally waking up and smelling the coffee, it can only be great news.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 10/12/2005 @ 7:40 am PT...
Sorry for posting twice in a row, but I'd like to comment on Nittany Lion's analysis of the election.
Nittany's message, as I interpret it, is as follows: Kerry was a poor candidate (agreed). Bush appealed to dumb voters, especially those who think God sent him to preserve freedom (agreed). The Democratic party has no message (not quite...they favor universal health insurance, a higher minimum wage, and non-renewal of Bush's tax cuts). Given all this, it's foolish to concluded that Bush stole the election.
Wrong. I'd argue that Kerry won the election by 3% in the popular vote, and by a clear margin in electoral votes (he won Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada, and might have LOST Wisconsin...the one state where Democrats committed as much fraud as Republicans did). If Kerry had run a better campaign, he'd have won by more a bigger margin.
It's like saying, "The umpire's call didn't cost us the game, because we played poorly, didn't pitch well, didn't hit in the clutch and made errors." Well...if in fact an umpire's call did determine the outcome of the game, why should we be afraid to say it?
In 2004, John Kerry won the election. Period. It was stolen from him by fraud. The discrepancy between exit polls and tabulated votes is solid proof. The fact that virtually every flipped vote and every "voting machine irregularity" favored Bush is even stronger proof...that couldn't happen randomly. The silence in the mainstream media toward the election, in glaring contrast to their coverage of the Ukraine fraud, is silent evidence that people "in the know" want the 2004 election issue hushed up.
After all, Nittany...if there's nothing to hide, why haven't the major newspapers and TV networks conducted a full investigation to prove it? To contrive a standard political rationale for Kerry's defeat is sophistry...yes, he was a bad candidate, no, that wasn't why he lost. He was cheated.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 7:45 am PT...
Nittany Lion wrote:
I'm sure if I tried I could find plenty of exit poll data supporting Bush winning the election, and I'm not going to waste my time on it.
Well, good luck! There IS no such data --- and yet you're SURE of yourself!
What could be worse than somebody who is sure of something that is false?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Somebody who is sure of something that is false who also happens to occupy the Oval Office. That would be worse.
I've got an idea for you, Nittany Lion. Why don't you stop wasting OUR time with your unsupported bullshit?
And how about this for a theory: You're HALF RIGHT! Most of the people in this country ARE dumb, but YOU are ONE OF THEM!
If you want to stop being one of them, you should stop being so sure of things you know nothing about; knock off the crap about "it wasn't a conspiracy" and "the election wasn't fixed" and do some reading, and learn something about what we're talking about ... but then you wouldn't be a troll anymore, would you? Oh well...
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 8:43 am PT...
Hey Fletch... You should send your video to Crooks and Liars. What a hoot,Great to have a belly laugh first thing in the morning Thanks!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 9:42 am PT...
Winter Patriot - Please be mindful of those kind of attacks on other commenters. I appreciate Nittany's attempt to discuss the matters, whether there is a lack of factual information there or not, in a respectful manner. Please show that same respect in return.
Nittany - You said:
Take Ohio for example - they had the gay-marriage amendment on the ballot, so more conservatives who wanted to ban gay marriage showed up, and they voted for Bush.
...What exactly is your proof of that, other than that's what you've been told by Bush Admin advocates? The existing information on that matter, simply doesn't add up to the conclusions you've re-parrotted here.
Then you said:
I don't think that using exit polls or any other polling for that matter is a good way to predict who should have won an election.
Well, apparently George W. Bush and Colin Powell would disagree with you, since it was the Exit Polling in Ukraine (conducted by the same firm who ran the Exit Polls here in U.S.) that both of them pointed to when stating that the Ukraine election was fraudulent.
Why do Exit Polls indicate fraud in the Ukraine when they show the challenger winning in contrast with the final results showing the encumbent winning? But in the U.S. such Exit Polls mean nothing?
I've always just been very skeptical of polling.
In case there's any confusion, we're not talking about standard "polling". There is a huge difference in the accuracy of Exit Polling versus regular phone polling. Exit Polls are *incredibly* accurate and are used all around the world as a guage to determine fraud in elections. Everywhere, apparently, except in the US!
I'm sure if I tried I could find plenty of exit poll data supporting Bush winning the election, and I'm not going to waste my time on it.
You would not be "wasting your time" on it. You'd be doing a great service to the country by helping to show that there was no fraud in Election '04 and we should stop being concerned about it.
However, you will find so such exit poll data from '04 to support your faith-based conclusions. Feel free to try.
Finally, you said:
What I do know about it, though, is that all of these machines will have voter-verified print outs that show that their vote was correct by the 2006 election.
Well, if that's what you "do know about it", your in still more trouble than you realize. Since you are simply, out and out incorrect in your above statement. Flat out wrong, Nittany.
I encourage you to get out there and learn what has *really* happened to your Elections in the world's greatest Democracy. If you are as intellectually honest as you suggest, be prepared to be appalled.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 10:15 am PT...
Nittany - whether you believe the election was stolen or not, isn't it disturbing that so many people believe it was? Surely public confidence in the election process is a key to having a stable democracy, and you in the US are losing that. No one in Canada ever doubts the result of an election - it simply doesn't happen here, and you ought to be asking yourself why that is.
Even if the result was accurate, there's a problem with transparency. There were serious questions about exactly what happened on Election Night in 2004 (and before it, and after it), and they've never been answered, or even addressed, by the administration or the media.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 10:32 am PT...
Doug E, #8
I haven't heard the allegations of Blackwater ripping up ballots. Do you have a link pertaining to this?
Nittany Lion, #7, 9
Karl Rove's instinct and ability to mobilize three million right-wing christians (which may have been illegal it seems) was definitely what put Bush over the edge in many states. But not Ohio. Without knowing anything about Diebold or the corporate controlled e-voting that is the main focus of this blog, you don't bring much to the argument here. Good luck in law school, hopefully it will shape you into a more critical and structured thinker.
Robert Lockwood Mills, #12
The exit polls were not solid proof of fraud, but solid evidence. We used exit polls as the prevailing evidence to challenge the election in the Ukraine, supported by reports of vote tampering and mob-like suppression. Not all dissimilar to the videos and reports of mile-long voting lines and flyers advertising the wrong date to vote in certain precincts.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 12:25 pm PT...
Doug E., Bush won the election because a slim majority of people in this country believed in Bush's message and leadership and John Kerry had no message. Unforturnately, most people in this country are simple and do not have an understanding of complex issues, and Bush's message, especially in foreign policy, was simple and easy to understand. Bush's understanding of foreign politics is simple - be aggressive and go after those who threaten our freedom. To a majority of people, that sounds like a good idea (although now almost a year after the election, a mojority of people have seen the light on the War in Iraq) Also, many people underestimated the pull that the Christian right has in getting votes. Take Ohio for example - they had the gay-marriage amendment on the ballot, so more conservatives who wanted to ban gay marriage showed up, and they voted for Bush. It was no conspiracy, and no fixing, but a brilliant campaign by Bush and a horrible campaign by Kerry that led to Bush getting reelected.
Now, I will admit that I am a conservative (although moderate), and I am a registered Republican. I will never become a Democrat, because I know the fallacies of most liberal ideas (if they actually have any ideas.) Kerry had no plan for the country, he only told people what they wanted to hear. Smart people like me (at least I like to think I'm smart) saw through Kerry, and many voted for Bush just because they thought he would do a better job. In my case, I voted for Kerry because Bush's foreign policy scares the hell out of me, he's an idiot, and I think that Nanci Polosi is probably the only person I hate more than Dick Cheney. For me, it was more of a vote against Bush than a vote for Kerry. For months, I was begging for Kerry to give me a reason to vote for him, and finally just gave up and voted for him anyways. But some people with my views weren't strong enough to pull the trigger on a Kerry vote. I think it's easy to see how Bush won the election without fixing it. Most people in this country are just dumb, and Bush appealed to those people.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 12:32 pm PT...
That was only part of it, unfortunately. There was enough fraud to tilt the election.
However if Kerry had been less of a waffler he would have won the majority of moderates easily. Kerry did not have a message. His message was "put more troops in Iraq and do it right" and it seemed the same bullshit message as Bush.
But he did not lose the election. Kerry won, of course that was only after the undecideds broke for him. And he didn't win by more than 3 million votes in the popular vote. And this allowed Karl to have Tommy Noe & his friends steal the election for Uncle Karl.
Karl gleefully had Blackwell rip up ballots and alter the vote computers, because he knew the election was so close it could be stolen easily.
If Kerry had run a much better, populist campaign stealing of any sort wouldn't have mattered.
But Kerry the Skull& Bones man let them steal the election and rolled over. That is what truly happened, and how history will tell the tale since many of those election workers in Ohio have already been indicted....dragged off the premisise, and won't be heard from again or Gitmo.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 12:58 pm PT...
Brad, thanks for sticking up for me. I just want to discuss the issues.
Cuthbert Calculus, you said "Nittany - whether you believe the election was stolen or not, isn't it disturbing that so many people believe it was?" Exactly. If you look at my post on #2, I was asking legitimate questions about an issue that up until this point I have learned virtually nothing about. My best concrete argument that the election wasn't fixed is that there is no statistical proof that it was. Everything else I have to offer is defense. I am immensely interested in political systems (hence the reason I am a political science major with an emphasis on comparative politics) and am proud of the genious behind the American Constitution. I don't want to believe that there is rampant election fraud (obviously). But I'm not here to waste your time by spewing out conservative defenses of Bush. I feel rather confident I can take you all on in an issues debate, but the reason I posted under this headline in the first place is that I can't argue my way out of this one. Thanks everyone for the information, I absolutely will read up on this.
As for #12, when you said that the Dems/Libs do have policy ideas, you're right, and even though I disagree with Dems on those issues (and I could actually pick plenty of Liberal stances I do agree with), I was wrong to make a broad generalization of liberals in general. To put it bluntly, Kerry really disappointed me, and it has affected the way I look at Democrats in general.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 4:28 pm PT...
Hi there. You raise a lot of interesting points.
I don't blame you one bit for being disappointed in Kerry as a candidate. You may be interested to know that quite a few questions have been raised about the integrity of the Democratic Primary Election. Kerry may not have won that fair and square. I have heard the same thing about Bush's unexpected win when he became Governor of Texas.
You are right to educate yourself about the election fraud issue. Election fraud has a long history involving both main parties. (Neither Dems nor Reps want the voting machines to be inspected. I wish you were right about those paper trails--read up some more and you'll see what I mean.) The closer you get the worse it smells. That doesn't mean that ALL candidates are crooked; in many cases they may not be aware of what is going on behind the scenes. The kinds of fraud are different depending on the local expertise, opportunity, etc. It is pretty clear that members of the Rep. party have been homing in on ways to exploit electronic voting for decades (look into Hegel in Nebraska) and their expertise shows.
You'll find a lot of info on non-partisan websites such as VotersUnite.org, Blackboxvoting.org, etc. You should inform yourself with factual non-partisan information before you form an opinion about the 2004 election.
Cleaning up elections should be a non-partisan issue. Unfortunately all the folks who have been successfully elected don't want to change the system from which they have benefitted.
Even the bills which would make small steps to cleaning up elections don't address the real issues (the fact that there is no integrity to the process of inspection/certification of voting machines; the fact that election rules/laws are consistently flouted; the fact that partisan officials are often put in charge of elections; the fact that elections that use electronic machines take vote counting out of the hands of ordinary citizens so it is no longer truly observable). Even if every state were to require a paper ballot this would not solve the problem. Paper ballots are typically counted with optical scanners that are proven to be easily hackable. What's more, states have laws that make it virtually impossible to use those paper ballots for counts or recounts. Then when they have a recount that requires them to use the paper ballots, they break their own rules about picking precincts at random.
Re: policies, in both major parties one must distinguish carefully between party grassroots and the (often) very different policies and actions of party leadership committees. I don't believe the current government reflects genuine conservative policies (other than superficial faith-based appeals, e.g.) any more than the Dem. leadership (with its war-mongering and bizarre support for many current gov't policies) represents Dem. grassroots.
Both major parties are disconnected from their grassroots. The reason for this is clear--it's corporate interests who are ruling the show, and this influences both main parties. That's why both campaign finance reform and election reform are important if we are to be sure that winners of elections are there because they actually got the most votes. (And ideally if these votes came from people informed about the issues such as those you want to discuss. But being informed is pretty challenging since corporate interests also control all the main media outlets. It's no wonder--and no accident--that you're not aware of the many election problems.)
So--we need media reform, election reform, and campaign finance reform for starters.
Some parties are treading a third path--not necessarily right or left. I can relate to this myself. There are conservative policies I could support (e.g. financial responsibility) and liberal policies I could support (government regulations necessary in many cases such as environment, regulation of corporations; social safety net; universal health care).
Living in Europe there is much greater acceptance of the view that one of the most important role of government is to look after the most vulnerable members of society, and to provide basic services such as health care for everyone.
The US divisions of Dem/Rep are meaningless since they're both financed by the same vested interests. The leadership of both parties serves the interests of those who hold wealth & power--not the interests of most US citizens.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 7:48 pm PT...
Catherine, great post. I want to address election reform, campaign finance reform, and media reform.
First election reform. It is unconstitutional to reform elections at the national level, so the reform would have to come from grassroots pressure on state legislatures and local election boards. My advice to you all is to come up with some ideas on means to mobilize support for election reform at the grassroots level (obviously you already have one in this blog.) I'm sure the blog could be used to distribute concrete strategies, which would be increasingly more useful than just news posts. Now, although most people believe the election was not fixed, it is hard to find anyone who thinks this system works as it should. With proper reform, you can change the course of election fraud without trumpheting the fixed election.
I also found this website: Maryland Election Myths
This isn't meant to attack your Diebold theory. Of the 4 systems Malyland tested, 3 of them were considered to be virtually flawless (guess which one had problems). There's a link to Maryland's Election Board on the page, it would be a good idea to contact them directly about your claims. (I may be behind in the game and most of you may have already seen this page, and if so, sorry.)
I'm also going to give you an example of some problems with my local election board. There have been many occurances of voter registrations filled out at my college campus being "lost" by election officials. There are safeguards to protect these voters (have a judge give a court order for a voter registration the day of the election.) The person in charge of bringing this to the judge wouldn't do it (it was from laziness or something.) We've put some pressure on this person to take some initiative and not let this happen again this year.
I'm going to address your claims about corporate control of government and campaign finance reform at once here. Interest groups are one of the most integral parts of this government, meant to be included by the constitution. In Fedearlist #10, when James Madison gives his analysis of faction, he describes how the inclusion of as many interest groups as possible is needed to stop any one interest from taking control of policy direction. Thus, the presidential form of governement was argued for to separate the executive from the legislature, etc., to give interests as many entry points into the policy making process as possible so that only the majority of interests coming together and compromise on issues would lead to policy. In Europe, the parliamentary system is primary used, in which the executive is chosen by the legislative majority. This causes the executive to control policy direction (what a disaster that would be in this country right now), and interests have fewer entry points into the policy making process. A larger social net exists in Europe because they have different values than we do and are willing to pay more taxes.
This is our system of government, so our main goal should be to limit the amount of power that one interest group can have over a member of government via donations. If you empower the smaller interest groups, you reconnect the grassroots with the government. This is why we need more support of moderate candidates, because they are the ones willing to take a chunk out of the extremes that exist on both sides, and they are the ones that support capaign finance reform. How exactly you mobilize support at the grassroots level, is up for debate. The most obvious way is to write to one of your senators or representatives that would support campaign finance reform (and this does work sometimes). With the DeLay indictment, this is the time that it could gain some momentum.
As for media reform, how do you reform it without violating free speech. Any ideas? (I realize this isn't germaine to this discussion).
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 8:21 pm PT...
BVAC: I read so many stories about Blackwell-water doing illegal things its hard to keep track. Try here for just some of them:
Ohio Honest Elections
If it wasn't enough he laughed when telling provisional ballot voters their ballots wouldn't count because they went to the wrong table, he also had several boards of election, Lucas also throw out registrations "purging voters" (a little spring-cleaning right?) and he also had two-way access to tabulators. Why would he have two way read-write access on election night?
My god Blackwell is one of the filthiest crooks in our nation! I can't imagine any judge letting him get off. Its time he is deposed. I heard he may be made to testify in the Thomas Noe/election fraud scandal by December....they're trying to replace Julia Bates.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 10/12/2005 @ 9:01 pm PT...
Doug E, #21
My mistake, I read your initial comment as 'Blackwater' as in the private security company. Images of armed mercenaries shredding ballots in front of old grannies danced in my head. I know all about Blackwell's exploits.
This Fitzgerald investigation needs to end soon, i'm getting extra paranoid lately.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 10/13/2005 @ 8:22 am PT...
BVAC says the exit poll/tabulated vote discrepancy is solid evidence of election fraud, but not solid proof. I submit that in this case this is a distinction without a difference.
A panel of 12 prominent statisticians from 12 different universities has concluded that the odds of a 5-1/2% differential (Kerry 3% ahead in the exit polls, Bush 2-1/2% ahead in the tabulated vote) occurring randomly is one in 959,000. That, for me, constitutes proof, not merely evidence.
The laws of probabilities cannot be repealed by partisan political argument from either side. People of good will can argue about the reliability of electronic voting machines, about the integrity of election officials, about the performance of the candidates, and at the end of the night an honest difference of opinion can survive. But anyone who looks at odds of 959,000 to 1 and cries, "Get over it" or questions the objectivity of the statistician isn't a person of good will.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 12:45 pm PT...
Nittany - Sorry for this too short reply. But I have no choice.
My best concrete argument that the election wasn't fixed is that there is no statistical proof that it was.
True. In as much as there was no statistical proof that Osama bin Laden had any interest in attacking the U.S.
There are mountains you need to look at, Nittany. Since you mention "statistical proof", you can start here and then read the followup report here. Both are PDF's. And both are just a beginning for you. Since you like statistics.
As to Maryland, I have indeed spoken to folks there, and can give you their laundry list of problems that occured on their shitty Diebold machines in the 2004 Election. (Let me know if you want it).
Diebold has "bookoo" bucks invested in Maryland and has worked overtime to sell their system there any and every way possible. Just FYI. The claims made to the public, do not match the facts of what they have dealt with internally.
As to what else we do that is "more useful than just news posts", please see the organization I've co-founded dealing with precisely the issues you discuss: VelvetRevolution.us
We take action here, Nittany. We're informed. And yes, the Feds *do* have a say so concerning the way elections are run. For a start, there is the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (celebrating it's 40th Anniversary last August). But that's just a start. If you're not familiar with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, you can start reading up there. And again, prepared to be appalled what has happened to your democracy.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 2:06 pm PT...
R. L. Mills, #24
To clarify, I believe that the statistics are the evidence, whereas the videos and other testimony of disenfranchisement are the proof. According to the second part of the 14th amendment, the number of electoral votes of a state shall be reduced in proportion to the number disenfranchised. Therefore, electoral fraud took place both electronically as well as the good old fashioned way.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 2:13 pm PT...
Your assertions about "interest groups" being desired by the founders of the Constitutions are a distortion at best.
If we were to use today's terminology we could substitute the word "stakeholders" and in this case I'd agree that all stakeholders should be represented. The trouble is, they're not. The only stakeholders who have any representation are those stakeholders who have lots of $$$ and a financial vested interest. To hell with the rest. They have no effective voice. No way of enticing legislators with campaign donations, golf trips, jobs for the boys, etc. Moneyed interests have many more ways to access and influence legislators that others. One of the most important avenues of influence is campaign financing.
Have a look at Greg Palast's book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" for impeccable journalism and documentation. Don't take my word for it.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 4:03 pm PT...
Nittany Lion #18 You strike me as one of the honest conservatives, rather than one of the neoCons that have infected the republican party (and in fewer cases, the democratic party).
You stated "My best concrete argument that the election wasn't fixed is that there is no statistical proof that it was. Everything else I have to offer is defense. I am immensely interested in political systems (hence the reason I am a political science major with an emphasis on comparative politics) and am proud of the genious behind the American Constitution."
First of all, as a political student you need to be aware that Exit Polling is a statistical science. This has been discussed many times on this BLOG.
Notice what is said about exit polls:
Exit polling is a well-developed science, informed by half a century of experience and continually improving methodology (link here, emphasis mine; see also the links Brad provided in his post #23).
So you come across as a relatively fair minded person, but yet one who is studying politics and yet one who is unaware of the science of exit polls.
Read up on it and lets chat.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 4:20 pm PT...
Re: corporate vested interests, consider as well what this means in terms of media content and coverage. Corporations own the media. Media serves its owners. That means "sell as many ads as possible" (and guess what--political ads are a MAJOR source of revenue--and there are no accuracy standards like there would be for false advertising of a product or service).
The media does NOT have to report the news, or report anything accurately, or serve the public. While theoretically the public owns the airwave and theoretically media are supposed to include a tiny amount of public service broadcasting as a gesture to its suposed true public owners, this is so minimal (and usually in the middle of the night) that its impact is non-existant.
All stakeholders do NOT have equal access to the media. There is no way the general public can compete on financial terms with the power of corporate interests. This is all very different from the times in which the Constitution was developed, in which virtually all citizens (free white males at least) had access to the media and self-published pamphlets were a main way of disseminating news and opinions.
We need to rebalance the playing field so that all stakeholders have a voice.
And corporations should NOT begin the same kind of "voice" or First Amendment rights as a person.
My suggestion--run for office a couple of times. You'll quickly learn how the system works. You'll learn more about the real world (and you'll learn it a lot faster) than by going to a university course.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 6:22 pm PT...
Brad, Why can't we have a class action lawsuit against diebold? There is plenty of evidence that you have been working on so diligently. They stole our vote.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 10/13/2005 @ 11:20 pm PT...
Molly - Be careful what you wish for
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 10/14/2005 @ 12:35 pm PT...
I have a question for you guys - the NBC/CNN/CBS exit polls for the 2004 presidential election in Ohio showed that Bush should have gotten around 50.5% of the vote and Kerry 48.5% of the vote. Am I misinterpreting this, or are you using different exit polls to show Kerry won Ohio? Just curious.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 10/14/2005 @ 3:26 pm PT...
The problem with the exit polls is the 12AM exit polls showed Kerry winning, while the 1AM exit polls showed Bush winning.
The latter were "adjusted" it can be shown.
If you go ahead and weigh all 18 pre-election polls with the undecideds, Kerry also wins. If you do it with the exit poll from Edison-Mitofsky he again wins.
Basically in every scenario he wins by a certain percentage, pretty infallible.