January 07, 2005

Understanding The Ohio Election Challenge

CNN.com - Bush carries Electoral College after delay - Jan 6, 2005

I'm sure a number of pundits will claim that this is a stunt by the Democrats, and even the Democrats who speak of it think it's a stunt.

I'm not as elegant as Kos, but I'm going to try to explain why this is not something that can be a lost cause, unless we're ready to give up any notion of a democracy.

To start with, one of the most fundimental principles of a democracy is citizen participation in government. The Constitution practically shoves it down our throat with the opening lines: "We, The People." We, the people decide who the government is. We, the people, decide who gets to make the laws, who gets to enforce the laws, who gets to judicate the fairness of the laws. Basic tenet of our constitution.

The only way that we can find out, fairly, what the people want is by asking (no matter how many people claim they know by divination of any kind). We ask, by means of voting. So, if voting is found to have been corrupted in any way, it's a direct shot at the heart of our country's values: we'd have a problem laying claim to being a democracy. We'd be the Ukrane, but with fancier booths and more cattle-like behavior.

The problem is, there's no -- I mean NO -- current way to challenge election problems on a federal level outside of congress. (The Federal Elections Commission, despite it's name, is about the financing of elections. Sad, really.) State level challenges aren't working: the people who should be complaining, are often the people *causing* the problems. So what's left? This so-called "stunt".

It's not a stunt, it's a death-rattle of democracy.

Posted by Ted Stevko at January 7, 2005 03:28 AM | TrackBack