|November 12, 2000:
Florida election official
trying to see
which Presidential candidate,
from the Nov 7, 2000 election
is a valid vote for.
|Who will be the 43rd President of
The United States of America
still (Nov 19...) awaits results of
ongoing Florida recounts.
|Judge Charles E. Burton, chairman of the Palm Beach County Canvassing
Board and a man swept up by the runaway train of the 2000
presidential election... at times... seems to be all that stands between an orderly
process and a name-calling political free-for-all.... [H]is voice...
demands reason and civility. "The thing that hurts me is that
the parties who are allegedly for the people don't seem
to be acting that way," he said.... Both sides say Judge Burton is not doing his job correctly -- the Democrats
say he is not counting enough votes for... Gore while the Republicans say he has
shifting standards and is counting too many.... "Why me?" he has asked more than once.
("Voice of Reason Directs Thankless Task in
Palm Beach County", NYT, 26Nov00, p.A38)
Florida's Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris ignored all the Palm Beach recount in her "officially certified" Sunday 26 November 2000 "5PM deadline" election results. The (mostly Democrat appointed...) Florida Supreme Court "said manual recount totals must be accepted by the secretary of state's office through 5 p.m. on Sunday if it is open, or 9 a.m. Monday if it is not" (NYT, 21Nov00). Harris was on the job Sunday, seemingly to avoid accepting any more recount results than she had to, to try to protect the slim "lead" of the candidate whose state campaign she had co-chaired, George W. Bush -- whose lead got slimmer each time more ballots were recounted. Palm Beach's recount was completed just before 7:00PM Sunday....
Friday, 08 Devember 2000, the Florida Supreme Court ordered recount results Harris had ignored to be included, reducing Bush's lead from 537 to less than 200 votes. The court also ordered more recounts. (NYT, 09Dec00, p.A1)
|ow do I think the election should be resolved (23Nov00)? This election seems to me much "too close to call". Whichever candidate ends up with a plurality less than one-twentififth of one percent (<0.0004) of the Florida ballots counted (and nobody may ever know who received more of the Florida votes cast, and, further, Gore undisputedly won the "popular vote", nationwide, by about 200,000 votes...), there will be no clear-cut winner.|
|Even though, personally, I am appalled at the prospect of George W. Bush becoming President, I do not think there is any fair way to settle this election by either side gaining an equivocal and tainted "victory" through the vicissitudes of court challenges and/or possibly dubious hand recounts. Even if Ralph Nader had not functioned as a "spoiler", Al Gore would have won by a still underwhelming 1% (ca. 60,000 out of 5,800,000). It does not seem right to me for the "winner" to take all when his or her margin of victory is less than the margin of error.|
|I think we should have a nationally televised flip of a coin. That way everyone would have an outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual disgrace. The winner could not boast he was "chosen" by the voters, nor could the loser say he lost due to the other side's chicanery. Alternatively, we could establish a "dual presidency", as if Bush and Gore were siamese twins, or they could settle the issue by a --- duel.|
|Imagine the respect for his gentlemanly magnanimity George W. Bush would earn, if he was to propose:|
|Some such scenario would be far less divisive than one side or the other pretending the voters chose them when almost exactly half of the voters chose the other guy. (The only problem I see with the "flip of the coin proposal" is that Bush might take offense at being "tails" and Gore "heads", since the metaphorical sense of these two sides seems all too apposite, and even if Gore graciously accepted to be "tails", that would still point up Bush's constitutional deficiency....)|
|A Republican opponent of the still continuing manual recounts explained his party's position to the Florida Supreme Court (NPR, Morning Edition, 21Nov00): Nobody, he said, was claiming fraud (etc.). Rather, he continued, they were "asking what to do about [the ballots of] people who did not follow directions". [Persons who claimed that the ballot was so confusingly designed that they fear they voted for the wrong candidate; persons who selected more than one candidate in a voting system that permits duplicate selections where only one is allowed; persons who did not punch holes through their ballots sufficiently cleanly to make it clear to the tabulating machine that they voted for anyone; etc....]|
|I think this illustratives a difference in "social perspective" between "liberals" and "conservatives": Conservatives think stringent criteria should be established, and that persons who fail to meet the criteria (e.g., by "not following instructions") should suffer consequences, whereas liberals think the system should be designed to make it difficult for individuals to fail, and then help those who do so nonetheless. (For more on the relative merits of character building vs social welfare, please click here.)|
Why not vote?
|See 2004 Miami modern [architecture]!|
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09 April 2006CE (2006-04-09 ISO 8601)