Monday, July 26, 2004
Con Artists and the Fear of Fraud
"Why should anyone trust their verdict on the integrity of voting machines..."The partial sentence above comes from Paul Krugman's latest op-ed "Fear of Fraud" (in the GuvWurld News Archive, links to NYTimes). He is referring to Florida election officials appointed by Jeb Bush:
"Jeb Bush says he won't allow an independent examination of voting machines because he has "every confidence" in his handpicked election officials. Yet those officials have a history of slipshod performance on other matters related to voting and somehow their errors always end up favoring Republicans. Why should anyone trust their verdict on the integrity of voting machines, when another convenient mistake could deliver a Republican victory in a high-stakes national election?"It is certainly positive to see increasing attention focused specifically on "voter confidence." Krugman comes very close to introducing the standard frame of the No Confidence Movement, though he doesn't quite come around to the key word, BASIS (for confidence). The full value of Krugman's case is also diminished by singling out Republicans. The point is really that the entire electoral process has become a charade, one intentionally propped up via cooperation disguised as competition between Republicans and Democrats. Krugman concludes "Fear of Fraud" with the promise of a future column about what can be done.
I do actually look forward to what else he has to say. But in the meantime, we are making an exponentially bolder stand behind the No Confidence Movement. My promise for a future column is a big kick in the ass for the Greens, Libertarians and other marginalized third parties. The teaser is this: no favored third party issues will ever be won if they must be fought for in this rigged system. Address the myth of democracy or perpetuate it at the peril of every other desired change.