Friday, March 25, 2016

American elections ranked worst of among long established democracies.

Five hour lines during Arizona primary
Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

What do Argentina, Costa Rica and Brazil have in common? 

They all outranked the United States in a comparison of election standards and procedures conducted by the Electoral Integrity Project. The United States ranked 47th worldwide, out of 139 countries. 

The survey is a measure of dozens of factors, including voter registration, campaign financing rules, election laws, the voting process and vote count. 

Worldwide, vague campaign financing rules and the quality of media coverage were identified as the most frequent problems. In the United States, "experts expressed concern about the quality of the electoral laws, voter registration, the process of drawing district boundaries, as well as the regulation of campaign finance," the report states. 

"In the United States, the 2012 Presidential election and the 2014 Congressional elections were ranked worst of any long-established democracy, especially on campaign finance and electoral registration," the report's authors concluded. 

"It remains to be seen how experts assess the 2016 US presidential contest,"the expert commission assesses. "But the overall country ranking seems unlikely to improve given persistent problems of campaign funding, heated partisan polarization over registration and balloting procedures, claims of fraud in the Iowa GOP primaries, and an early primary campaign season characterized by the politics of personal attacks, dissatisfied voters, and populist appeals."

Gee, isn't America great? 

And don't fool yourselves, it's not going to get better in 2016.

Now that the Supreme Court has essentially struck down the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we are going to see more voter suppression, and attempts to keep a certain segment of the population away from the polls by hook or by crook.

In fact we already saw that happen just this week in Arizona.

Remember folks THIS is the America we live in when the conservatives have the power. 


  1. If Jimmy Carter were to oversee American elections like he does in other countries. he would give America a fail.

    1. National elections need to be governed by the Federal Government. Leaving control in he hands of the individual states is a FUCKIN' MOCKERY !!! Parochial quirks allow too much finagling by nefarious legislatures, BASTA !!!

    2. Maple7:04 AM

      Precisely, Jonathan. You have a completely ineffectual FEC (3 Dems, 3 Repubs) and it makes absolutely no sense for individual states to have any control whatsoever over a FEDERAL election. Nor does it make any sense for redistricting, depending on which party is in power in each state. This Canuck is always gobsmacked on learning of all the shenanigans that go on with every election.

  2. Anonymous4:14 AM

    You can bet that if what is happening in American elections were to happen anywhere else in the world, the country in question would have US observers up the ass.

    1. Who polices the "world police"...

  3. Anonymous4:20 AM

    In Michigan the GOP legislature struck down straight party ticket voting, thus complicating voting for everyone. There will be endless lines in urban areas where there are never enough polling places or voting machines. Of course, our governor, the redoubtable Rick Snyder (GOP rich carpetbagger that he is) signed the measure into law. There can have been no reason for this change in the law than to make voting even more difficult for people who work long hours and live in cities. And not many of those voters vote for the GOP.

    1. I agree, Beaglemom. The reason given to eliminate straight-ticket voting, "we want peole to think carefully about their selections" was just total bullshit.

      We have many truly shameless state legislators in Michigan.

    2. Anonymous5:41 AM

      That happened in CT years ago but it turns out to still be an easy thing to do. Parties are listed horizontally on paper ballets so you can just pick a line and vote. I do miss those funky machines with the sticky curtain levers and all the little levers inside, though.

    3. Anonymous6:06 AM

      I fear that the next step will be to remove the word "Democratic Party" from the ballot. I would not put that past the Michigan legislature.

  4. Anonymous5:01 AM

    America has made elections a BUSINESS and therefore lots of money is to be made. This has led to Citizens United which allows tons of money to be poured into campaigns and the lead persons working on the campaign have a chance to make millions of dollars and the large donors are able to buy their congressional and senate seats as well as the oval office.
    Other countries know the difference between politics and governance. The election season is about politics, but when that SHORT election season is over and a winner declared it's all about governance. In the US the election season NEVER ends (it's a 24/7 and a 365 day process) and it's the people who suffer. In the US as soon as the presidential election season ends the mid-term election season begins with the media as well as the politicians discussing the mid-terms, and fund raising and all things associated with the mid-term elections begin. There is NO emphasis on governance and everything that happens in congress after the presidential elections is done with the mid-term elections in mind. Once the mid-terms are over the process is reversed focusing on the presidential elections. It's a sad and destructive process and the US needs to get the BUSINESS/money out of politics. Just as there is a separation of church and state there needs to be as separation of the business of politics and politics and and understanding of the difference between politics and governance.

    1. Yes. In many democratic countries, the election period is limited to mere weeks (and nothing on TV), but then those countries are smaller, but still...this endless politicking has got to go -- but how?

  5. Anonymous5:08 AM

    We were probably not the best candidates for an Iraq invasion in order to impose democracy on the locals.

  6. Anonymous5:21 AM

    That is vote suppressing Red Arizona, NOT the whole nation.

    Blue California would never tolerate that. In California we make it easy and convenient for voters to cast their ballot. We have bent over backwards to make sure everyone can get registered with ease(if they are not already), and that everyone get their votes in with no problems. We work to make sure we can make the voting process better and more convenient for the California electorate.
    California is a voter friendly state, I am proud to say.
    I worked for the California Registrar Of Voters for many years, so I know what I am talking about.

    1. Anonymous5:53 AM

      Good for you and your state! I live in Texas and unfortunately, it's not as progressive as Cali. But, we are trying!

    2. I've always thought that California is the future (in everything), and now that their "house" is solvent (with even a surplus!), is there hope for the rest of the country?

    3. Anonymous6:05 AM

      Most states with GOP legislatures and governors are engaging in voter suppression today. From extreme gerrymandering to making voting increasingly difficult (hours that polls are open, restriction on straight-party voting, etc.) everything is geared to make voting difficult for older and poorer voters. It is, or should be, a national disgrace. As I asked our GOP governor, what possible benefit could come from eliminating straight-party voting? Of course, I never got a reply.

      Pretty soon, the only polling places will be in country clubs complete with all of their restrictions.

  7. What I've always wanted to know was why we don't have national primaries? That would make sense, not that sense has ever been made on the subject.

  8. Anonymous5:33 AM

    It is obvious that the Repubs of Arizona are tying to keep Democrats from voting.
    I hear Texas is the same way.

    Arizona use to be such a wonderful state. It was 'blue'. Then Repubs from the Midwest invaded the state because of its dry clean air(which is good for allergy sufferers). Now the state is 'red' and full of hateful racist Repubs.

    1. Anonymous5:42 AM

      Good air, but a rapidly dropping water table. How are y'all gonna keep those golf courses green when it runs out?

  9. How do we get UN observers for this fall's election? Goodness knows this country needs them.

  10. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Nefer5:39 AM

    How do we get UN observers for this fall's election? Goodness knows this country needs them.
    No my Lord, has it come to that?

  11. I know a lot of people think We the People is a joke, but it's a start. I know the WH keeps raising the # of signatures, etc. but it is that rare thing: direct interact with government, however crazy the petitions are.

    But unlike voting, it focuses on issues rather than representatives, who seem increasingly unwilling to listen to their constituencies. And it's what the Founders were likely thinking of when they enshrined "the right to petition".

    Harvard's J.H. Snider said five years ago, "We the People" will likely have a short shelf life for the same reason so many political initiatives have short shelf lives: because the interests of the public and elected officials are misaligned.

    "The public," Snider noted, "is inclined to ask politicians to take controversial stands that politicians have no rational self-interest in taking." (That was five years ago and We the People is still around.)


    Petition published Date: Mar 22, 2016
    (It already has 140,000 signatures.)

  12. Anonymous5:56 AM

    I live in a blue state so voting is a simple, efficient process that takes about 5 minutes.

    My daughter just move to North Carolina and she had to jump through hoops just to get an NC drivers license.

  13. London Bridges6:20 AM


  14. Anonymous6:25 AM

    Sanders' campaign files lawsuit against the DNC

    Calling the decision “very procedural,” the campaign of Bernie Sanders officially served the Democratic National Committee its lawsuit over the December decision by the DNC to suspend their access to party voter files after a data breech:

    The DNC temporarily revoked the campaign's access in mid-December to all voter information after a staffer inappropriately accessed voter data compiled by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

    Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the DNC was holding the data "hostage." Access was eventually restored and one Sanders staffer was fired.
    The court filing on Thursday signaled the desire for an amicable resolution.


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