by way of Eric Kluitenberg on 1 Dec 2000 14:52:06 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] [ShahidulNews] US Elections

A Zimbabwe politician was quoted as saying that
children should study the US election event closely
because it shows that election fraud is not only a
third world phenomena. To illustrate the point, he
made the following comments:
"Imagine that we read of an election occurring
anywhere in the third world in which the self-declared
winner was the son of the former prime minister and
that former prime minister was himself the former head
of that nation's secret police/intelligence agency.
Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular
vote but won based on some old colonial holdover from
the nation's pre-democracy past (the electoral
Imagine that the self-declared winner's `victory'
turned on disputed votes cast in a province governed
by his brother!
Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one
district, a district heavily favouring the
self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands of
voters to vote for the wrong candidate.
Imagine that members of that nation's most despised
caste, fearing for their livelihoods, turned out in
record numbers to vote in near-universal opposition to
the self-declared winner's candidacy.
Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised
caste were intercepted on their way to the polls by
state police operating under the authority of the
self-declared winner's brother.
Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed
province and that the self-declared winner's `lead'
was only 327 votes. Fewer, certainly, than the vote
counting machines' margin of error.
Imagine that the self-declared winner and his
political party opposed a more careful by-hand
inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the
disputed province or in its most hotly disputed
Imagine that the self-declared winner, himself a
governor of a major province, had the worst human
rights record of any province in his nation and
actually led the nation in executions.
Imagine that a major campaign promise of the
self-declared winner was to appoint like-minded human
rights violators to lifetime positions on the high
court of that nation.
None of us would deem such an election to be
representative of anything other than the
self-declared winner's will-to-power. All of us, I
imagine, would wearily turn the page thinking that it
was another sad tale of a third world country.

Shahidul Alam
Drik Picture Library,

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