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October 26, 2004



I predict a narrow Bush win on the popular vote, and make no prediction one way or the other on the electoral vote.


And if Kerry loses the popular vote and wins the electoral college, I'm confident that we will hear the same howls of complaint from the GOP that we on the left were uttering in 2000. Still not sure it would be enough to get rid of the darned thing.


regarding the electoral college...something has to slow the marginalized from inheriting the earth.


The electoral college is the legacy of having a classical Republic. I've always said the American Revolt against the Crown was a bad idea. Such a waste of tea, too.


Agreed, John. When I look at the social contract that is intact, more or less, in places as diverse as Canada, England, and your own Antipodes, I often regret our revolution. When I go to Devon and see the sparkling-new NHS building in central Exeter, and compare it to my crumbling local private hospitals (those that aren't closing down) I wish Lord Cornwallis had done a better job.

Hey -- I'd take NZ's government in a snap.


Of course, Hugo you are referring to the crumbling hospitals that are not as local as the ones that are expanding, Huntington Memorial and Methodist Hosp. in Arcadia. The crumbling and more distant hospitals are those that serve communities largely of migrant works, illegal aliens, and the poor i.e. those that don’t pay and become an extreme burden to the local.

I do agree we need some type of socialized medicine. However, hospitals should be subsidized by the countries in which their citizenry is being serviced in this country. Then there are the deceptive poor, those that offload their wealth to their children and then sign up for Medicare and medical. The later vote, but both play largely on the sentiments of the uninformed. I really don’t want any of these folks casting votes due to their bias, especially a direct vote. It is the idea that other regions of this great republic might keep in check the uninformed vote that the Electoral College is appealing.


It's always the other guy whose vote we want to check, and it somehow never works out that way.

Col Steve

When you write,"I often regret our revolution. When I go to Devon and see the sparkling-new NHS building in central Exeter, and compare it to my crumbling local private hospitals (those that aren't closing down) I wish Lord Cornwallis had done a better job." I'm reminded of the lines in the movie Patton:

Aide: You know General, sometimes the men don't know when you're acting.
Patton : It's not important for them to know. It's only important for me to know.

because I find it hard to believe, individual public policy issues aside, that on balance you're serious about the full implications of your statement. But then again, it's always easier to bury Caesar than to praise him.

I do hope you're right that the electoral vote is close to 300 for either the President or Senator Kerry so we avoid the courts (did you notice Justice Breyer's comments that his vote (shocking!) in 2000 in Bush v. Gore was probably grounded more in his political views as opposed to the law?).

From a government spending perspective, the FY 05 budget is already being executed (at least most of the big appropriations bills) and the bulk of the FY 06 budget estimate submissions (being prepared by the current administration) are in the works. In reality, especially if the Congress is divided and there is not a corresponding coattail effect in the Congressional elections, a new President has little opportunity to make substantial impacts for at least 12-18 months. Senator Kerry will find (just as the President would) that Germany,France, and Russia still don't want to play in Iraq, the Department of Defense will ask for 70 to 100B in a supplemental, and GEN Abizaid will ask for 20-30K more troops in Iraq in order to ensure some form of elections occur.

Joe - Yep, let's call "them" the "greatest generation" to make them feel good, but we certainly don't want them doing something as important as voting, would we?


Can we swap our Prime Minister for your President, please? Dubya would go down very well in the rural districts here, and could bow to Her Excellency and Her Majesty very well, I think. Our health system here isn't too bad, but it needs greater involvement from the private sector to make it more efficient, just as I suspect your own needs more public involvement to protect the poor. For-profit health-care is insane (Yes, you may quote this Tory on that), but no less insane than bloated bureaucracy.


Check out my "World Wide Blog" posting by eleven authors on the topic of "You Have a Choice."

Awesome writing, IMO.

Hugo, man oh man, do I hope you are right.


Of course, Col. Steve, I'm joking on one level -- America has, at times, been a genuine beacon of hope and a force for good in the world in the past two and a quarter centuries. That said, having seen both the British and the American approaches to domestic policy in action, I can say that on most issues, not all, I prefer the former.


Well, uninformed and check, weren’t the best words to use. I should have left it to informed and balance. I don’t think the issues in three or four states should dictate or control the nation’s agenda by way of popular vote. The Electoral College allows for a broad consensus and gives other regions of the nation an important say. Maybe the greatest benefit of the EC is its ability to make an election decisive. If there were no EC in 2000, yeh, a majority of folks would have been extremely happy. There would have also been a near majority of folks extremely unhappy. I would guess that the little court battle would have also flared into something quite worse, leaving any transfer of power difficult for the incumbent—whoever that may have been. So I would imagine that if Gore became President, then the GOP would have but up an intolerable obstacle to the entire Democratic party.


Hugo, I disagree. If there is a perception on the right that someone has cheated, expect plenty of howling about that. But howling about the Electoral College? Not a chance. If the 2000 popular/electoral split had gone the other way (as some analysts predicted at the time), then we might have heard some good "Electoral College, what's it good for" whining from the right. After 2000, though, we basically gave up any right to make that kind of argument anytime over the next 50 years or so. This time, if the shoe ends up on the other foot, we'll have little choice but to take the good with the bad.

Here's one thing for all EC abolitionists, on the left and the right, to consider. If you thought the endless lawsuits and recounts in Florida were bad in 2000, just imagine how much worse things would have been if the candidates had been squabbling over the national popular vote rather than just Florida's. Rather than having a month of choas in one state, we'd have have seen multiple court challenges in every single county of the country.


choas = chaos

La Lubu

Sure hope you're right about the election, Hugo. I don't really care what the margin is as long as Kerry wins. I have a lot of issues, but first on the list for me is the economy....this is the worst economy my Local has weathered since the Depression....and not the Reagan Depression either..the big one. There's a lot of unemployed tradespeople, and I know many who've run out of unemployment insurance. They need a better way to make a living than begging for charity from food pantries and church groups. When Bush said in the debates that he'd put money towards "retraining", I threw my shoes at the set. Skilled tradespeople don't need retraining; we need jobs. The infrastructure of our nation is crumbling (at least here in the Midwest)...hello! Anybody home?!

I went down to St. Louis recently to volunteer in the election effort, and am glad I did...I'm more hopeful about Kerry's chances now. Only one household that I canvassed said they were going to vote for Bush. Granted, we only canvassed union households, but the focus was on areas that traditionally voted Republican. The most anti-Bush people I came across were elderly widows...they were very bitter, and quite frank about it, too! I also saw a lot of first-time volunteers, some of whom were also voting for the first time. Glad to see more people getting involved.

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