Thursday, October 14, 2004

Election Concerns

Stephen Green has some serious and valid concerns about how troubling this election is getting. And it has nothing to do with who wins, but about what's happening to the process of elections in this country. Or what's being done to it.

I worry too. What it calls to my mind is when, back in the 1980s, Ferdinand Marcos was finally ousted from power in the Phillipines, after trying so clumsily to rig an election that it became an international joke. Eventually he was out, and was replaced as president by Corazon Aquino, the widow of Marcos's most prominent opponent, a man whose murder many suspected was ordered by Marcos.

It was well and good that Marcos was gone, and that Aquino had been elected by a truly fair election process. But it was not until the second election, and the smooth transfer of power to a new president, that I began to feel I could relax and feel confident about the fate of the Phillipines, a country I cared about more than most due to family ties.

Which echoes Stephen's point. Confidence in the election process and the results it produces is a precious and fragile thing, something that takes time to create and which can be quickly eroded. The possibility that we, of all nations on earth, might be in danger of backsliding is just unacceptable.


Harry said...

The trouble with Green's thing is that he doesn't talk much about similar tricks coming from the other side. The idea that the Democratic Party is trying to destroy democracy is a real howler. He doesn't mention things like the republican mob, largely composed of party faithful bussed in from out of state, who did their best to disrupt the recount in Miami in 2000 by pounding on the windows and doors of the room where it was taking place.

I too am concerned about what's happneing to our process, but to assign all or most of the blame to one party is ridiculous.

Steve T. said...

Good point, and I remember about those intimidation attempts in Florida in 2000. Maybe the general principle is that the party out of power is more likely to be desperate enough to cross the line.