Voting

I’m a bit tied up here. I was invited to participate in a review of the scientific literature on my subject area, and agreed before finding out that the deadline is October 30th. It requires good copies of graphs and diagrams, some from as far back as 1985. Well, back then graphs and diagrams were all hand drawn and none of them have survived. It’s around the time I drew the cartoons for ‘Drawn Without Power’. I have replicated them as well as is possible and I think they came out pretty well. We’ll soon find out.

We didn’t get really good graph drawing computer programs until about 1990. I remember using one called FigP, but even if I found the files for it they’d be on 3.5-inch disks and modern computers don’t have a slot for them any more. Also, the program has probably dissolved in the mists of time.

Sometimes advancement is a bad thing. I have work I did in the past on 5.25-inch disks, some MS-DOS, some BBC. I had stuff on 3-inch Amstrad PCW disks, in Locoscript. Wordstar, Wordperfect, Lotus-123, all those files are lost to time because even if a modern word processor or database can read them, there is no longer a slot for the disks in a modern computer.

Fortunately I have prints of all my papers so I still exist.

Anyway. Voting.

In the UK you can get a postal vote and this is well known to be rife with fraud. Otherwise you turn up on the day and cast your vote in person. One day. Usually 7 am to 10 pm so no matter what shift you work, you can do it. You have a local voting place, the nearest one to here is five miles away but then so is pretty much everything else. If you live in town there’ll be one in walking distance.

I’ve been watching the American presidential election with some interest. It seems they can vote almost a month in advance. Now, I’m not going to say anything about who to vote for. I’m not American, not in America, never been there. It’s up to the rebel colonists which lunatic they want in charge. Besides, here in the proper English speaking land, we have quite enough to deal with with our own lunatics-in-charge without concerning ourselves with yours.

It does look risky though. Especially when both candidates are so old. Without trying to be nasty, what if one of them dies or gets too sick to continue in the month between voting and counting? Does your vote count towards the replacement, even if it’s someone you don’t want to vote for? Can you change it?

In some states it seems you can, but in most states you can’t. So you vote for someone, two weeks later they get sick or die or maybe you find out they’re not who you thought they were… tough. You voted. It’s over.

America also seems, in many places, to have a limited number of voting places. For something as important as voting for who is going to be boss of the entire country, you’d think they’d take it a little more seriously. I mean, we have voting places all over the country and all we get is a prime monster who, no matter which one you pick, is fuck all use anyway. Our chief cretin doesn’t get to issue executive orders or have a veto on what the government decides.

It’s a bizarre system for something so important. Does it work? Well that depends on who wins and on who you want to win. If those match up then it works, if they don’t, then it doesn’t. It’s purely subjective.

I know there are other parties but just like in the UK, realistically it’s between the two big parties. What if one of the candidates dies – even if they were both 30, there could be a car crash – or one drops out after thousands of votes have been cast before election day? What happens then?

Maybe there’s an American reader who knows.

15 thoughts on “Voting

  1. That’s something that has always seemed a bit strange. Voter id and doing it in person should be basics in casting your ballot.
    On the other hand the Electoral College is a brilliant instrument.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, that’s tricky. If the candidate dies before the vote is cast, the party picks another candidate (probably the VP) and it gets redone (theoretically, there is no precedent, though).

    As you may know, the popular vote does not elect the president, it’s the electoral college that does. If a candidate dies after the vote is cast – did the living candidate win the popular vote? If so, the EC will probably put that guy in office. If not, it’s probably going to be up to congress to decide who ends up in the White House. Yes, lots of probablies.

    Uncharted territory though. The closest the US came was when a candidate who lost the popular vote died, so as expected, the other candidate got the office. With the way the US Congress is stacked right now, I wouldn’t rule out anything. My constitutional law is a bit rusty, but I believe this is how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If the winning candidate dies/is proven unfit, the VP gets the slot. In our case, a career pol with enough brains to not get involved in shenanigans, but owned by the military industrial PTB, or a complete lunatic harpy. Either way this election goes we are going to have a fun time the day after, when all the never trumpers curl up into a ball and cry, (or burn down the cities) which they will do even if they win.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t think they could do that. Dangerous move though, now that the Tories are in it’s their spads who run the show. They really should consider, before passing new laws, what the opposition might do with it when they’re in power.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hate it when people refer to a government as being ‘in power’. They have no power, that belongs to the people. They are ‘in office’. If more folks realised that then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this shit show.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. ”They really should consider, before passing new laws, what the opposition might do with it when they’re in power.”

    Wouldn’t that be nice? Someone in charge who thinks further than the end of their nose (or their time in office). Not a skill that many of the Great and the Good in this country seem to have. Long-termism or precedent-setting simply doesn’t seem to come into their judgement processes. They’re like children – they want what they want and they want it NOW! So if they get a chance to have it, they grab it like they’re in a sweetie shop, unsupervised. Never mind that Mummy might be cross, or that they may end up feeling sick, or that they’ve got no pocket money left now, or that they won’t be able to fit any pudding in after dinner, or that the nasty big boys might steal the ones they can’t scoff from out of their pockets … that’s about the level of wisdom and restraint that our current politicians show in pretty much everything they do now. It’s understandable in little kids, but it’s utterly unforgiveable in supposed grown-ups who are running the country.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We have advance voting here in New Zealand.We also have the MMP system where you vote for a candidate and then for a party.So you can put your tick against Joe Bloggs because he is a good man and then pick a party who will do the opposite to Bloggs.The result is generally a coalition with a minor party tail wagging a major party dog.

    Liked by 1 person


  6. A question, I would think, is “Are the participants playing by the rules?”
    The answer, I would think, is a resounding “No, absolutely not.”
    This will range from politics, to government, to personal affairs, to business endeavors/commerce, to religion, to science, to sports, to education, to anything and everything imaginable. The objective, is to win. Not, to follow the rules. Not even to play the game because one finds the rules of the game an appealing enterprise. Like some side-quest embedded in the game where one simultaneously tests oneself against oneself as you test yourself against another or others. Nope, the objective is to win and following the rules is subjective, Optional. Following the rules can even be a convenience as opposed to a standard.

    Point being, a lot of “the rules” with respect to what happens during certain hypotheticals are currently bounding around in my head thanks to an absolutely fantastic teacher that I had in high school, and I could go look them up to give clarity to what I was taught all those years ago so I could share them with you and any other readers. But my thought(s) here and now are that those rules really don’t matter if no one is going to adhere to them should some hypothetical put the US Constitution to a practical test. And by that, I don’t mean to imply that I’m thinking here that “you filthy foreigners can’t and SHOULDN’T participate anyway, so fuck off and keep your snouts out of our business!” (rofl) No, what I’m thinking is that here and now is a really piss-poor time for the to be looking at the instruction manual when one considers that most of the world is under the impression that the plane is on fire, at a steep nose down attitude and headed for terrafirma, and no one is flying the fucking plane anyway, so what in the hell are we doing looking at the instruction manual? And especially, why are we looking at the instruction manual for the purposes of entertaining hypotheticals?
    A: So we in the here and now can decide whether or not it is advantageous for us in the future to follow the rules so we can win, or attempt to break the rules so we can win.

    The objective, is to win.

    I’d think you could ask the IOC, or FIA, or FIFA, or IOAC, or NASCAR, or NHRA, or MLB, or ISO, or UCI, or even USDA, or NOAA, or MI5/MI6, or the FBI or the NSA as to whether or not participants are following the rules, and the answer will have to be a definitive “no”, otherwise they’re lying. If anyone says yes, knowing full well that they are lying in order to protect their own or some other interests? They, themselves, are breaking the rules. We know they are lying even before we ask. I mean, why in the fucking hell do we need so many governing bodies if people are actually following the rules. If people are playing the game as it should be played, one would think that the governing body’s size would be relative/proportionate to this fact. But appearances are that, not only is no one following the rules, no one who plays the game(s) have any intentions of following the rules, and certainly not at the expense of victory. With the caveat that the rules are followed when it is beneficial for them to do so.

    We’ve now devolved to that scary area where we are not only questioning the rule makers and the rule enforcers, we are questioning the rules themselves. Not only that, we are questioning origins of rules, the origins of rule-making bodies, and the necessity for rules at all. Looking for roots. We feel so completely betrayed, and so completely rudderless, that the first thing to come along which appears to offer salvation, we’ll latch onto it. Likely never stopping once to turn inwards and consider that we were the ones creating the shit-storm all along.

    We, can recognize we are lost, yes.
    We, can recognize that we are in peril, yes.
    We, can recognize that we need help, yes.
    We, can call out for help, yes.
    We, can reach out to that help when it arrives, yes.
    We, can grasp the fact that we were the problem all along, no

    With that in mind, is there ANY, governing body, on this entire planet, that is serving to function as a more or less perfect model as to how things should be done? Damned anyone appears to be modeling themselves after it. The loyalties are too split. Too diverse. It’s like watching a single waiter or waitress in a restaurant trying to serve a single dish to two or more tables. Everyone may get a bite, but no one is getting the meal they really wanted and no one gonna be walking away from that restaurant satisfied and/ir fulfilled. If anything, they’re more hungry now than when they walked in the door.

    The 1992 US Presidential election seems to have done a something here. That third rail really REALLY ruffled some feathers. Not because that third rail didn’t win, but rather because of the dismay it caused in the other two “major parties”. Ross Perot pretty much single-handedly unseated an incumbent US President…no mean feat, as unseating a sitting President who is running for election is damn near impossible to do. If you buy a US President for 4 years, you really buying them for 8 years. Only you who voted them in in the first place can have any hope of voting them out. Unless of course, there are shenanigans. Which brings us to the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential elections. Le sigh. A living and real-time, real-world example of whether or not an individual voter’s vote actually counts and just how important an individual’s vote is, and what happens? Shenanigans. I’ve already written a damn novella, so I’ll keep any remaining thoughts on the topic of those two elections to myself.

    I will directly address the voting stations question tho. Voting stations are everywhere here. Usually one can count on public schools being regularly utilized as a polling station, and depending on where you are the local officials have typically already established polling stations well in advance which take into consideration those who might have special needs/special difficulties with voting. The one and only time I’ve voted in my entire life, I did so in relative ease as they had setup a polling station in the greeting center of the rural subdivision in which I lived. Yes, the government basically commandeered the public section of the private property of a commercial enterprise so that people could vote, all because our community was quite remote, but sizeable, and the next closest place to vote was about a 5 to 10 mile drive in any direction. Plus there are all kinds of rules, we were in an unincorporated area, the other polling stations were outside of our county, blah blah blah, we were a special case. But a special case for which there were rules, the rules were followed, everyone who wanted to vote in person at an actual polling station got to vote in person at an actual polling station, end of story.

    The mail-in stuff? Pretty sure that’s really there for those who have difficulties of one form or another with respect to actually voting. Was intended to accommodate those who would have to go to extreme lengths or have to make unreasonable accommodations in order to vote. Things like these are how a government gets to know its people and their needs, and its also representative of how a government addresses and responds to these needs. If you are living in rural Maine and have to take a 25 mile carriage ride in late fall just to get to a polling station, and this journey is going to take you two, or three or four days, and you are out great expensive and potentially at great personal peril by making this journey? Yeah, your government, your REPRESENTATIVE government not making reasonable accommodations to at least meet you halfway so you can exercise your right to vote, is…well, not very representative or the representation your representative government would like to make. As to whether people use or respect or abuse or even know about these accommodations? Welp, the door swings both ways. We kinda gotta meet them halfway too, But that part is up to us.

    ^01 The Gonk – Dawn of the Dead (1978) Unreleased Incidental Music^


    Me? Yeah, I really have only voted once in my entire life. Like, I went to a polling station and cast a physical vote in an election because I wanted to vote for one of the two lunkheads on the ballot, and I only did that because I felt my country was potentially in peril, and thought that a change in course at that particular point in history was a really fucking bad idea. Steer into the skid, as it were.

    Other than that, my non-vote IS my vote. Any pretentious prick that tells me that I HAVE to vote? That it’s my responsibility to vote? That it’s my DUTY to vote? I’m likely to suspect them of being somewhat dictatorial. I will have no doubt whatsoever tho that they are a fucking dunce who has no concept whatsoever of what freedom to vote actually is, which likely also means they have no concept of freedom itself. If I am required to vote, I neither have freedom, nor is my vote a vote at all. Having the ability to vote only for this candidate(D) or that candidate(R) because their parties have enough cash to actually get their names on the ballots in each and every state? Pfffttt. That’s not freedom. Even having the ability to write in my own candidate isn’t freedom. Even my own stubborn refusal to vote? Nope, not freedom.

    But the ability to pick and choose any one of those courses? Now we’re talkin’.


    ^Missing Persons – Words^

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