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Political closedown - Grin with cat attached
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Political closedown Nov. 4th, 2004 07:59 am
Ok, this should be the last US election post on here for awhile, but a few last points can be made.


Firstly, this was no landslide - it's not 1984 (the year, not the book) again. Only one state appears to have "changed sides", and that (NH) has turned from Rep to Dem. AFAIK New Mexico and Iowa haven't called yet? The margin for most states, was around the 40/60 range. The popular vote difference was about 3%. These margins are generally enough to consider them beyond the bounds of miscounting or small-scale corruption.

As such, the red/blue maps of the States are misleading, making the (hopefully humorously intended) calls to split the US up themselves a red (or blue) herring. [ UPD refs: http://www.boingboing.net/2004/11/03/purple_haze.html http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/ ]

The reason this has caused such disturbance is not because the US has given one side a "massive victory", but because so many of us considered Bush to be far beyond the pale, and Kerry to have far greater skill and integrity. There seems to be a lot of "sour grapes" (in the original Aesop meaning) of "Well Kerry would have been almost as bad" or "maybe Bush won't be so bad" seem misplaced; both are the same people we were for or against 48 hours ago (and, in the main, still are now).

The question must therefore be asked of to what extent voters really understood, or supported, the policies they've now put their names to. Certainly there's a wide-ranging belief among the "Liberals" (in its US definition) that they were misled, even conned. While I hesitate to say "Bush can't last beyond the next four years", as we all said that 4 years ago, there are two possible paths the electorate will take; either they will allow themselves to drift further right and further into a war mentality (as 1984 the book), or they will really start to feel the pain of Bush's policies and look for alternatives. We can't yet say, but in a very real sense the campaigning for 2008 starts here; in this election campaigns were running up against mindsets which had entrenched themselves for the election - perhaps a slower, more persistent process can open up those mindsets. Politics, after all, doesn't just happen for 6 months every 4 years, and doesn't end with elections.

The administration, on the other hand, can only realistically be expected to take one path. And it won't be a pleasant one.

As a result of the international excitement, many people have taken a greater interest in politics (one of the fastest-growing interests on LJ in the last week), which hopefully will outlast this election. In the UK, we will have an election some time next year; now would be a good time to start researching the facts and policies that are laid before us, and to start spreading our conclusions. The view, for example, that the UK must move more firmly towards Europe seems to be growing rapidly (see link below), but it must be supported.

A lot of people in the US are now considering their "flight or fight" options. Much as I'd fully understand anyone wishing to get the hell out of the US right now, the borders of most of the world's nations have hardened. While most US citizens have the essential requirements for anyone seeking asylum in the modern world (money and skills), few nations would dare openly admit that US policies are bad enough to be worthy of flight - partly because they fear angering the US, partly because they won't let in people from far nastier regimes. Frankly I think national borders should be far more porous, but unfortunately the ruling tabloids are of a different mind.

Anyway, I think that's enough from me at the moment, although I feel I must point you at this post.

The following story covers a lot of what I've been saying:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1342935,00.html

In the meantime, allow me to borrow a sentiment from those opposing the moralistic constraints of the returning administration: "Go forth and debauch" ;) Enjoy yourselves - and each other ;)

Moving toward Europe...?

From: dennyd
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 10:24 am (Link)
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2004511727,00.html

Read the sidebar:
"Blair: EU have to back him"

*sigh*

Re: Moving toward Europe...?

From: wechsler
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 10:28 am (Link)
Why the fook are you reading that?

Rather unsurprising, yet still disturbing, to see the Sun acting as such a blatant mouthpiece for Republican Imperialism.

Re: Moving toward Europe...?

From: fellcat
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 11:32 am (Link)
Why the fook are you reading that?

To keep half-an-eye on what the unwashed masses are being spoon-fed?

I once bought a copy, but only because it was the issue in which Ozzy Osbourne came out about his childhood sexual abuse.

Re: Moving toward Europe...?

From: dennyd
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 12:05 pm (Link)
> Why the fook are you reading that?

To keep half-an-eye on what the unwashed masses are being spoon-fed?


Pretty much, yes.

The van I get my breakfast bacon roll from always has a copy sitting on the counter to keep the customers entertained while their food is cooking, so I usually scan the first half-dozen pages looking for things to be scared of.
From: ciphergoth
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 10:37 am (Link)
Of course, there's still plenty of scope to be suspicious that large-scale vote corruption has taken place, courtesy of Diebold.

I want a chart that measures how far the exit polls differed from the final counts, ordered by difference and annotated with information about the govenorship of the state and voting method used...
From: wechsler
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 10:44 am (Link)
*nods* my qualification there was indeed deliberate.
From: dennyd
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 12:03 pm (Link)
Yes, I'd particularly like to see that for Florida.
From: ciphergoth
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 12:27 pm (Link)
I believe Ohio also used Diebold touchscreen voting.

I look forward to this:

http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=285
From: steer
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 10:56 am (Link)
It's hard to get excited about the UK election though. I mean, does anyone seriously expect it to be anything other than a "how unpopular are labour" poll? We know that Blair will win (unless something really disasterous of the "caught in bed with Ossama bin Laden" scale occurs) -- the only interest is if the Lib Dems can get past the Tories (and I don't think they can).
From: wechsler
Date: November 4th, 2004 - 11:34 am (Link)
I don't know who will win the next UK election, and in particular what the ratios will be. But refusing to take an interest in it because you don't think you can make the desired change in one step is unproductive.

At the very least we can use the upcoming elections to build the basis for redefined government at the next, and the balance of parliament - not simply which is the largest party - can determine the tone of politics.