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« Strike Part II | Main | Also found on Juan Cole's site: »

Election troubles everywhere

Earlier this week i congratulated Bolivia on their elections of Evo Morales. Today i read:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking in an interview on CNN, said that if it's confirmed that Morales won the election, ``we will do what we do with every elected government, which is to say that we'll look to the behaviors of the Bolivian government to determine the course of U.S.-Bolivian relations.''

I wonder if Rice is equally concerned with the "behaviors" of the Ethiopian government, or the Columbian government, or the Uzbekistan government or many of our other allies who are known to commit actual atrocities that we could easily stop (as opposed to Morales, whose crime will be nationalizing Boliva's natural gas resources and legalizing growth of cocoa.)

Meanwhile, the much celebrated elections in Iraq seem to be resulting in their predicted outcome. We've essentially handed Iraq to Iran, as expected. Our allies got no votes.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the secular Iraqiya list of Iyad Allawi so far seems only to have 8% of the seats in the new parliament, though that tally may increase slightly when the 230,000 or so votes of expatriates are counted. (I doubt it will increase much). Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress did not get enough votes even to win a single seat, so far.
Cole: I think I pretty much nailed this election last October in this post (scroll down a bit). Note that I was often contradicted by observers on the ground in Iraq, who kept saying they perceived a groundswell for the secular party of Allawi, even in the Shiite-dominated provinces. This allegation never made any sense to me. Michael Rubin of the AEI was predicting 5 percent for Chalabi (the neocon favorite) and 20 percent for Allawi, a prediction that demonstrates that after 2 1/2 years the neocons still just can't understand anything about contemporary Iraq.

R.J. Eskow shreds the Neocon vision of what Iraq would become to pieces. Iraq is going to be pro-Iran, and will not recognize Israel (Muqtada al-Sadr will be part of the ruling coalition!) The 38 Sadrist parliamentarians and the 50 or so Sunni ones will form a powerful bloc calling for immediate US withdrawal from Iraq.

We used to be so good at this sort of thing. Now we can't even keep Latin America under our thumb, let alone invade other countries and install puppets properly.

Speaking of elections, though, here's what's going on in our own country:

Thompson said in a real race between candidates someone could pre-load 50 votes for Candidate A and minus 50 votes for Candidate B, for example. Candidate B would need to receive 100 votes before equaling Candidate A's level at the start of the race. The total number of votes on the machine would equal the number of voters, so election officials wouldn't become suspicious.

"It's self-destroying evidence," he said. "Once ... the machine gets past zero and starts counting forward for Candidate B, there's no record that at one point there were negative votes for Candidate B."

Thompson said a second vulnerability in the cards makes it easy to program the voting machine so that it thinks the card is blank at the start of the race. This is important because before voting begins on Election Day, poll workers print a report of vote totals from each machine to show voters that the machines contain no votes . . . .

By fnord12 | December 22, 2005, 5:19 PM | Liberal Outrage