Thursday, July 06, 2006

Honest Elections an Oxymoron?

Regardless of whether conservative free-trader Felipe Calderon or populist Lopez Obrador win the see-saw vote count, the next president of Mexico faces a skeptical, deeply divided, difficult-to-govern populace.

Currently, Calderon is ahead 35.6 to 35.59 percent with 98 percent of the polling places counted. If Calderon is declared the winner, Obrador will undoubtedly challenge the results to the special election court, which has until September 6 to certify the winner.

According to WaPo reporter, Manuel Roig-Franzia, one charge already alleged by Obrador is that 18,600 polling places "ended up with more votes than the number of ballots given to the polling place." Whoops.

Is this just a preview of our U.S. elections in November? Will it again be a time for GOP political "dirty tricks" at polling places, and manipulated electronic voting machines, some with no paper trail?

The bedrock of democracy is an incorruptible voting process.

How can the United States expect to export the lofty ideals of democracy to the world while dragging its own election skirts through the mud.

The democratic voting process must be transparently honest. Everything depends on it.

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