November 03, 2004

Where to from here?

The final gap in Ohio between Kerry and Bush will probably be somewhat narrower than its current 135K, but it certainly appears that the advantage will remain to Bush.

But it bothers me, as it has always bothered me, that if Kerry concedes then a lot of votes will never be counted. Just how many of the provisional ballots will turn out to have been valid? What about all the military ballots that haven't even arrived yet, that 90% of the commentators don't even seem to be aware of?

Both of these numbers can tell us a great deal. If the provisional ballots break strongly for Kerry (even if they don't bridge the gap!), then we have to ask a lot of hard questions about why so many more Kerry voters than Bush voters were nearly disenfranchised. And then we have to ask how many people who could have requested a provisional were not aware of that opportunity or were discouraged from taking it (as I have heard anecdotal evidence of in Illinois).

If the military ballots break strongly for Kerry, then it tells us a lot about how the soldiers on the ground feel about the way the war is being run.

On the other hand, even if it were to turn out that Ohio went to Kerry, or anything else that eventually turned the election to Kerry, there's a really big problem we need to address: by all accounts, half this country voted for someone who approves of the death penalty and torture, who has prosecuted a war under false pretences and continues to intentionally mislead the American people as to its rationale, who has converted a stable national surplus to the largest deficits ever, and who has explicitly and repeatedly told the whole rest of the world to kiss off (except when they're providing cheap offshore labour to increase CEO profits and steal jobs). And who pushes a national security agenda which, while still far from anything truly fascist, bears enough similarities to the authoritarian states of the last century to give one pause for thought.

Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, we need to think long and hard about why an awful lot of people are demanding to be ruled very badly.

"If it were up to me, Riffany, I would have liked to see it end in compulsory couples ballroom. You expect blood in sudden-death armorball, but it's so much more vivid when it's dealt during a foxtrot." --Schlock Mercenary, Howard Tayler

Posted by blahedo at 7:52am on 3 Nov 2004
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