Monday, November 06, 2006

Government of the people, by the people, will be missing a lot of people Election Day

That was the first line on this Associated Press news article..

Compare U.S. voting with foreign voting and it's not a pretty sight. Americans are less apt to vote than are people in other old democracies, in new ones, in dangerous places, dirt poor ones, freezing cold ones, stinking hot ones and highly dysfunctional ones.

Even that theocratic "axis of evil Iran, has bragging rights over the United States in this regard. So does chaotic Iraq, where an estimated 70 percent of voters cast ballots in December parliamentary elections.


Participation, paradoxically, is highest in states where making it to a polling station can be misery on a wintry day. Minnesota, Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming are among states that lead the nation in getting voters out, and they put the Sunbelt to shame.

About 40 percent of U.S. citizens of voting age population cast ballots in nonpresidential year elections.




The United States lags about 130 countries in voter participation. Discount ones that enforce compulsory voting laws — fewer than a dozen — and America's standing hardly improves.

This has always mystified me, and then I look at how people voted in Iraq or more recently in Congo. Some pictures of the recent election in Congo here

Polling has generally been peaceful but Mr Bemba's supporters have burnt ballot papers in the north-eastern town of Bumba, after claims of rigging.

Heavy rainfall in Kinshasa meant some polling stations stayed open into the evening.

Years of conflict and mismanagement have devastated DR Congo's infrastructure, such as this polling station.

There is a lot at stake in this election an yet if only 40% people vote again, it will be disappointing.


"GOP Congressman Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania was recently sued by his Peruvian mistress for allegedly beating and strangling her. Now Sherwood has admitted to having a mistress but denies beating and strangling her. Still, there's probably not a Republican that would be caught dead in the same room as that guy [on screen: Pres. Bush speaking at a Sherwood event]. Oh. Apparently, the president believes his popularity still slightly lower than an alleged Peruvian mistress strangler." --Jon Stewart

"According to Google trends people in the world most likely to look up homosexual activity are in Saudi Arabia, which is the ultimate dilemma for Republicans: gays with oil -- what do we do now?" --Jay Leno

"Former Congressman Mark Foley has decided to remain in rehab even though his 30-day treatment ended last Tuesday. Apparently, phoney alcoholism is the trickiest kind of alcoholism to treat. It's hard to detect because it never existed." --Jay Leno

"Charges of racism are all over the electoral map this year. In Tennessee, Republicans ran a TV ad against African-American Democrat Harold Ford that suggests he is a threat to Tennessee's white women. I don't see what the big deal is. If Ford is elected, he won't be a threat to Tennessee's white women. He'll be a threat to Washington's white women." --Stephen Colbert

"Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney got full endorsement from President Bush. That's like Curly and Larry getting a vote of confidence from Moe." --David Letterman


Maggie said...

Ok the funnies had me literally laughing out loud. I loved Colbert and Letterman the best!

And like you said, get out there and vote so Larry, Curly and Moe will get the boot. Let's get some serious reform going.

Sai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sai said...

The reason, why the newer democracies have a higher voter output, could be attributed to the fact that these countries previously had oppressive regimes and the people want their voices to be heard.

If one has always lived in a democracy, then one takes freedom for granted, which is the sad truth.