Meta election.

Charles Fiterman cef at
Tue Oct 27 05:45:03 PST 1998

At 12:00 PM 10/27/98 +1000, you wrote:
>Um... Charles... you're in desperate danger of looking like what we
>scholars of the University of Queensland at Brisbane call a graduate of the
>"Wolston Park School of Politics, Economics, Philosophy and Physics." We 
>often see them giving out fordigraphed handwritten pamphlets while we exit
>the bus to uni. Wolston Park's proximity to a very large hospital should
>also give you a good clue as to the nature of "enrolment." Assassination
>is going a bit far just to suggest the removal of the candidate/corpse in

Yes assassination is going too far, and last week I wouldn't have included it.
But if you follow American news we just had a Republican candidate for the
Senate murder his Democratic opponent. If you follow the news from Colombia
you will see that kind of thing is common there.

When this happened I asked "Why didn't I see it coming?" not "How shocking."
or "Oh! what a great surprise." I should have seen it coming. Politics here
has been getting louder and angrier every day. I should have seen it coming.

Now its here, a candidate in an American election has murdered his opponent.
What are the consequences to the process. The Dead democrat has been removed
from the ballot. His opponent, in prison but not convicted remains on the
ballot. The Democrats are mounting a last minute write in campaign for the 
widow but such campaigns generally lose and she is expected to lose. The
Republican was 20 points behind in the polls and now is likely to win because
he is running unopposed unless you know about the write in.

Now hear this! In America some offices have the right of pardon. Murder is
a state offence not a national one and the governor has the right of pardon.
So if this had been a governor's race one candidate could murder the other,
win the election by running unopposed and then pardon himself.

The unthinkable is now here. A flaw in the rules makes it logical to stand
before TV cameras and shoot your opponent. In some countries this is an
established part of the process.

So how do we change the rules to stave off this new problem?

Taking things in proportion for a large nation to go 70 years without
civil war is historically unusual and an accomplishment. Rome only did it
between Actium and the death of Nero. Our last civil war ended 1865.
I suppose we are now overdue.

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