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 Post subject: Democracy Is More Than Voting
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:14 pm 
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Randolph T. Holhut: 'And they call it democracy'
Thursday, January 13 @ 09:49:15 EST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Democracy is more than voting.

We saw that in the valiant but doomed attempt in Congress to delay the certification of the Electoral College vote. More people seemed interested in preserving the illusion of a functioning democracy than investigating the many documented instances of crookedness in the 2004 election.

But to acknowledge that only some votes should be counted and others should not would shatter the illusion. Likewise for acknowledging that voter suppression and fraud is common and that there is little interest in changing things because the status quo benefits those in power.

And that's why democracy is more that just the show of casting ballots for candidates and hoping that those ballots don't get discarded or miscounted or just plain ignored.


Somehow, voting has become the only measuring stick for democracy, according to the people who rule us. They had an election in Afghanistan, and now it is a democracy. They're going to have an election in Iraq and soon that nation, too, will be a democracy,

Of course, anyone who truly believes that those two countries are or will soon be functioning democracies is either smoking crack or working for the Bush administration. Or perhaps both.


For instance, how can you have free elections in a forcibly occupied country? As long as U.S. troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither Iyad Alawi nor Hamid Kazai can be considered anything more than puppets.

Elections don't necessarily introduce democracy, particularly if they are used mainly to legitimize an occupation or assorted other imperial skullduggery. Without true self-determination, there is no democracy.

That is why the elections in Palestine were a sham. They can elect Mahmoud Abbas as the U.S.-approved leader of the Palestinian Authority, but as long as Israel continues to occupy the West Bank, Abbas is the ruler of nothing.

For all of the wonderful images of the people who protested the apparently rigged result of the elections in Ukraine, it's helpful to know that as much American money and expertise was pumped into the efforts to get Viktor Yushchenko elected as Russia did to get its man, Viktor Yanukovich, elected.

It's become almost a truism that when the United States promises to bring democracy to the world, usually the opposite happens. It is also a truism that countries to which the U.S. wishes to bring democracy usually have something that the U.S. wants. In the case of Ukraine, it is a chance to get yet another pro-Western government to border Russia. In the case of Iraq or Afghanistan, it is oil.

Most of all, the U.S. definition of democracy means putting into power only leaders approved of by the U.S. When you consider that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez was elected by landslide majorities in 1998 and 2000 and managed to win a referendum last August while the U.S. was funding his enemies, you have a good idea of why the U.S. doesn't like democracy when it means people electing a leader that isn't subservient to U.S. interests.

Lately, we've been hearing conservatives compare present-day Iraq to El Salvador in the 1980s. The only problem is that the wrong lessons are being learned from what happened in El Salvador.

There was a decade-long civil war in El Salvador that ultimately claimed 75,000 lives. But "terrorists" did not do most of the killing. The U.S.-backed, "democratically elected" government was responsible for 90 percent of the atrocities, according to a UN-sponsored truth commission in 1993.

There were U.S.-sponsored elections in El Salvador in 1982, at the height of the civil war, and the U.S.-backed candidates won. It didn't end the conflict. It lasted another 10 years and took the United Nations, not the U.S., to finally broker a peace treaty. That peace came because the UN accomplished what the U.S. tried to prevent - recognizing and legitimizing the insurgency and folding it into a governing coalition with the government forces.

The lesson to be learned from El Salvador that can be applied in Iraq is that a unilaterally imposed democracy won't stop a civil war, but a multilateral solution might.

The classic definition of democracy is that the power, authority and legitimacy of democratic government is derived from the citizenry alone. Citizens rule in a democracy, not the people who claim mandates from their God, nor the people who have more wealth and might than others.

What the Bush administration likes to believe it is spreading around the world is not democracy. It is just the same old imperial game, camouflaged for public consumption. From Columbus to Kabul, the story is the same. The U.S. wants democracy only when it can serve its interests and wants only leaders that will serve its interests. The desires of the people are not to be trusted.

We'll hear all sorts of bilge in the coming weeks about how freedom is on the march throughout the world. In the face of yet another tainted presidential election in this country, and phony demonstration elections in our client states, one doesn't have to strain too hard to see the lies.



Randolph T. Holhut has been a journalist in New England for more than 20 years.

He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at randyholhut@yahoo.com.
____________________________

Catherine

_________________
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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
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Quote:
This is what a smoking gun looks like (compliments of www.electiledysfunction.com)
http://www.electiledysfunction.org/Cony ... hunk_8.wmv (opens windows media player)


No explanation for the machines in Mahoning County that recorded Kerry votes for Bush, the improper purging in Cuyahoga County, the lock down in Warren County, the 99% voter turnout in Miami County, the machine tampering in Hocking County
http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/mi ... _6_05.html


Less access than Kazakhstan. Fewer fail-safes than Venezuela. Not as simple Republic of Georgia. The 2004 Elections according to international observers.
http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/11/1702712.php


Complete US Exit Poll Data Confirms Net Suspicions
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm


US allies say election 'did not meet democratic standards'

QUOTE
An international election observer mission - from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe - released a preliminary report on Monday declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.

The observers' findings were seconded by Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Citing the disturbing fact that official results diverged sharply from a range of surveys of voters at polling places, Lugar said, "A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."


http://nanovirus.blogspot.com/2004/11/o ... -meet.html


Electronic voting in Florida produces 130k-270k "ghost" votes for Bush
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1119-01.htm


Something is rotten in Denmark: Exit poll data in former Soviet Republic of Georgia vs. USA By Sara S. DeHart, Ph.D.


QUOTE
in three battle ground states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, with data based on exit polls predicted an outcome in variance with the tallied vote outcomes. Major news organizations, including CNN changed their exit poll data to conform with the tallied outcomes, most of which came from paperless, electronic voting equipment. In each case the tallied outcomes favored the incumbent, George W. Bush. The odds for such an occurrence is one in 250 million for this to have occurred by chance.


http://onlinejournal.com/evoting/111704 ... ehart.html



All exit polls matched results except OH and FL
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/3/53438/6175


RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie wants to eliminate exit polls because he says they're not accurate
http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/04/11/ana04027.html



The alliance of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press -- to tabulate exit poll surveys – pointed early on toward a decisive John F. Kerry win in key battleground states, an outcome that failed to materialize.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... 4Nov3.html



Exit polls showing Kerry ahead agreed with election results everywhere except areas using unauditable touch-screen electronic voting
http://www.alternet.org/election04/20416/index.html



Footprints of Electoral Fraud:
The November 2 Exit Poll Scam
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411A.html


The ugly, secret shame of American democracy is that 2 million votes are "spoiled" in presidential elections -- tossed away untallied as "unreadable." And the nasty part is that roughly half are cast by African-Americans.
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=395&row=0


Republican Congressman Peter King on Election 'Day' 2004: "We won.... It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting." and they did
http://homepage.mac.com/duffyb/nobush/i ... er256.html


Why do I call Diebold partisan and unethical, you ask?
http://www.chuckherrin.com/hackthevotedemo.htm


Most Ohio voters Chose Kerry. here's how the votes vanished
http://www.baou.com/newswire/main.php?a ... t&rid=1876


Maps and cartograms of the 2004 US presidential election results
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/


Foreign monitors 'barred' from US polls: "We were not allowed to enter polling stations," said Soeren Soendergaard, a Danish parliamentary deputy.
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 860260U213


CEO of Diebold Inc, stated that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." His company made the Ohio voting machines.
http://azplace.net/index.php?itemid=309


It's easy to win Ohio when machines in a heavy Democratic area register negative 25,000,000 votes: Errors plague voting process in Ohio, Pa. That led to some races showing votes of negative 25 million, Munroe said. "The numbers were nonsensical so we knew there were problems," he said.
http://www.vindy.com/basic/news/281829446390855.php


Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair?
http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR110304.htm


Bush received 4258 votes in Ohio's Franklin County; trouble is only 638 voters cast ballots
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print.php?sid=19005


Florida: Voting software program stopped counting votes at a predetermined number, and started reducing the number of yes votes. The problem was detected two years ago but never was fixed
http://www.sptimes.com/2004/11/05/State ... atch.shtml



Bush manages to get 64% of the vote in Florida's Calhoun County despite less than 12% of the population being registered Republican


QUOTE
incomplete data and insufficient transparency of the election administration process do not allow for a conclusive statement regarding the accuracy or fairness of specific results..."


http://uscountvotes.org/


They also did the "Katherine Harris" DIRTY trick of denying democrats a ballot.....140,000 of them in Ohio. By the way, the 57,700 democrats in Florida that were denied a ballot in 2000 are still off the voting rolls and could not vote this year either.
http://www.tnimc.org/newswire/display/3347/index.php





QUOTE
Why did poor and predominantly African-American communities have disproportionately long waits?

Why in Franklin County did election officials only use 2,798 machines when they said they needed 5,000? Why did they hold back 68 machines in warehouses? Why were 42 of those machines in predominantly African-American districts?

Why did, in Columbus area alone, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 voters leave polling places, out of frustration, without having voted? How many more never bothered to vote after they heard about this?

Why is it when 638 people voted at a precinct in Franklin County, a voting machine awarded 4,258 extra votes to George Bush? Thankfully, they fixed it – but how many other votes did the computers get wrong?

Why did Franklin County officials reduce the number of electronic voting machines in downtown precincts, while adding them in the suburbs? This also led to long lines.


http://www.alternet.org/story/20928/


So next time some fool comes along and suggests that there are more examples of vote fraud in the Washington Governors race and that we should focus on that, just point them to this thread.


source: POAC at www.oldamericancentury.com

Catherine

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:55 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
Quote:
This is what a smoking gun looks like (compliments of www.electiledysfunction.com)
http://www.electiledysfunction.org/Cony ... hunk_8.wmv (opens windows media player)


No explanation for the machines in Mahoning County that recorded Kerry votes for Bush, the improper purging in Cuyahoga County, the lock down in Warren County, the 99% voter turnout in Miami County, the machine tampering in Hocking County
http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/mi ... _6_05.html


Less access than Kazakhstan. Fewer fail-safes than Venezuela. Not as simple Republic of Georgia. The 2004 Elections according to international observers.
http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/11/1702712.php


Complete US Exit Poll Data Confirms Net Suspicions
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm


US allies say election 'did not meet democratic standards'

QUOTE
An international election observer mission - from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe - released a preliminary report on Monday declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.

The observers' findings were seconded by Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Citing the disturbing fact that official results diverged sharply from a range of surveys of voters at polling places, Lugar said, "A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."


http://nanovirus.blogspot.com/2004/11/o ... -meet.html


Electronic voting in Florida produces 130k-270k "ghost" votes for Bush
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1119-01.htm


Something is rotten in Denmark: Exit poll data in former Soviet Republic of Georgia vs. USA By Sara S. DeHart, Ph.D.


QUOTE
in three battle ground states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, with data based on exit polls predicted an outcome in variance with the tallied vote outcomes. Major news organizations, including CNN changed their exit poll data to conform with the tallied outcomes, most of which came from paperless, electronic voting equipment. In each case the tallied outcomes favored the incumbent, George W. Bush. The odds for such an occurrence is one in 250 million for this to have occurred by chance.


http://onlinejournal.com/evoting/111704 ... ehart.html



All exit polls matched results except OH and FL
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/3/53438/6175


RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie wants to eliminate exit polls because he says they're not accurate
http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/04/11/ana04027.html



The alliance of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press -- to tabulate exit poll surveys – pointed early on toward a decisive John F. Kerry win in key battleground states, an outcome that failed to materialize.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... 4Nov3.html



Exit polls showing Kerry ahead agreed with election results everywhere except areas using unauditable touch-screen electronic voting
http://www.alternet.org/election04/20416/index.html



Footprints of Electoral Fraud:
The November 2 Exit Poll Scam
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411A.html


The ugly, secret shame of American democracy is that 2 million votes are "spoiled" in presidential elections -- tossed away untallied as "unreadable." And the nasty part is that roughly half are cast by African-Americans.
http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=395&row=0


Republican Congressman Peter King on Election 'Day' 2004: "We won.... It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting." and they did
http://homepage.mac.com/duffyb/nobush/i ... er256.html


Why do I call Diebold partisan and unethical, you ask?
http://www.chuckherrin.com/hackthevotedemo.htm


Most Ohio voters Chose Kerry. here's how the votes vanished
http://www.baou.com/newswire/main.php?a ... t&rid=1876


Maps and cartograms of the 2004 US presidential election results
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/


Foreign monitors 'barred' from US polls: "We were not allowed to enter polling stations," said Soeren Soendergaard, a Danish parliamentary deputy.
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 860260U213


CEO of Diebold Inc, stated that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." His company made the Ohio voting machines.
http://azplace.net/index.php?itemid=309


It's easy to win Ohio when machines in a heavy Democratic area register negative 25,000,000 votes: Errors plague voting process in Ohio, Pa. That led to some races showing votes of negative 25 million, Munroe said. "The numbers were nonsensical so we knew there were problems," he said.
http://www.vindy.com/basic/news/281829446390855.php


Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair?
http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR110304.htm


Bush received 4258 votes in Ohio's Franklin County; trouble is only 638 voters cast ballots
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print.php?sid=19005


Florida: Voting software program stopped counting votes at a predetermined number, and started reducing the number of yes votes. The problem was detected two years ago but never was fixed
http://www.sptimes.com/2004/11/05/State ... atch.shtml



Bush manages to get 64% of the vote in Florida's Calhoun County despite less than 12% of the population being registered Republican


QUOTE
incomplete data and insufficient transparency of the election administration process do not allow for a conclusive statement regarding the accuracy or fairness of specific results..."


http://uscountvotes.org/


They also did the "Katherine Harris" DIRTY trick of denying democrats a ballot.....140,000 of them in Ohio. By the way, the 57,700 democrats in Florida that were denied a ballot in 2000 are still off the voting rolls and could not vote this year either.
http://www.tnimc.org/newswire/display/3347/index.php





QUOTE
Why did poor and predominantly African-American communities have disproportionately long waits?

Why in Franklin County did election officials only use 2,798 machines when they said they needed 5,000? Why did they hold back 68 machines in warehouses? Why were 42 of those machines in predominantly African-American districts?

Why did, in Columbus area alone, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 voters leave polling places, out of frustration, without having voted? How many more never bothered to vote after they heard about this?

Why is it when 638 people voted at a precinct in Franklin County, a voting machine awarded 4,258 extra votes to George Bush? Thankfully, they fixed it – but how many other votes did the computers get wrong?

Why did Franklin County officials reduce the number of electronic voting machines in downtown precincts, while adding them in the suburbs? This also led to long lines.


http://www.alternet.org/story/20928/


So next time some fool comes along and suggests that there are more examples of vote fraud in the Washington Governors race and that we should focus on that, just point them to this thread.


source: POAC at www.oldamericancentury.com

Catherine

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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