Looking at the results from Iowa, I am not at all surprised by the Ted Cruz victory. I’ve never really bought into the presumptive Republican front–runner’s reality TV inspired spectacle. I find it far more likely that this experiment in extremity is intended to make the Tea Party darling(s) appear reasonable by comparison... I am, however, quite surprised by the uneasy feeling of déjà vu I have reading the Democratic caucus results.
Watching the presumptive Democratic front–runner declare “victory” without declaring victory, hearing media trumpet definitive “victory”– currently defined by a margin of 0.2%,
reading multiple accounts of delegates allocated through the flip of a
coin; I am reminded of darker days when hanging chads and provisional
ballots trumped the democratic maxim of one person, one vote. I am
supposed to be reassured that Microsoft has democracy well in hand, and
forget about those Diebold days of old. I am supposed to trust that the Iowa caucus process is free from the kind procedural manipulation
I have witnessed more times than I can count. You say you aren’t
familiar with Robert’s Rules? That’s ok, I assure you it will not affect
the delegate count. Call the question. Can I get a second?
In 2000 and 2004, legal challenges to vote counts throughout the country were dismissed, claiming that vote discrepancies in individual districts were not large enough to individually shift the outcome of the national election.
Of course, those were discrepancies between Republican and Democratic
votes. I don’t suppose we are likely to see lawsuits filed between
Democrats questioning the Iowa caucus results. Perhaps this is why it feels strangely surreal to me. One big happy
Democrat family, with your best interests at heart (or is it head?). “After thorough reporting – and analysis – of results, there is
no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national
and state delegates. Statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the
results and no way that Senator Sanders can overcome Secretary
Clinton's advantage.” So says the Clinton Campaign.
Sorry Hillary / DWS / DNC / IDP / Microsoft, but I just don’t trust you. I want an accountable and verifiable democratic process that doesn’t require me to trust
you. I can still recall the “sore loser” narrative that was bandied
about in 2000, and I can still clearly remember protesting the
coronation in DC, but more importantly I can remember when 15 million
people around the world said NO to the war that our stolen election
enabled, only to have our (s)elected leader dismiss us as a mere “focus group.”
You see, this isn’t really about who wins, it’s about democracy itself. It is about
knowing that the voice of the people counts. And so in 2016, I say, once
again – Count Every Vote!
Editorial: Something smells in the Democratic Party – The Des Moines Register
Iowa Democratic party altered precinct’s caucus results during chaotic night – The Guardian
Could the 2016 Election Be Stolen with Help from Electronic Voting Machines?
– Democracy Now!