Sunday, 3 October 2021

A Very Bad Example

Pic courtesy CNBC

I've always believed that watching what is going on across the Pacific is a pretty reliable way of predicting the future of this country.

This rule of thumb has held historically for a wide range of cultural phenomena, including media trends, music and changes in lifestyle. Note I wrote "changes", not "improvements". 

Recently in the USA, we've seen the election in 2016 of a populist one-term POTUS, who effectively destroyed whatever remained of his country's unity in his term, and then refused to accept that he was defeated at the election of November 2020. His break with the democratic tradition has plunged his country further into the pit of division that he exploited to get elected in the first place.

As part of the exploitation of this division, the Republicans (or at least some of them) instituted an audit of the presidential vote in Maricopa county in Arizona, the state which, when called by Fox News for Biden, broke the news that Trump was a one-term president.

The goal of the audit was to prove fraud in order to get Biden elected. It was not an objective exercise.The results of that audit have finally been released, but without the blaze of publicity that was associated with the announcement of the audit in the first place. The report can be found here. 

An extract - 

What has been found is both encouraging and revealing. On the positive side there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official election canvass results for Maricopa County.

Remember, that is a summary of the major findings of the Trump-inspired exercise carried out by his supporters - exactly the opposite of what it was intended to find. 
So the official results stand. In fact, the audit found that Biden actually won by 360 more votes than the official results, winning the state by a margin of 45,469 ballots.  You get the best reporting by reading the local non-aligned media. 

So in the washup, the audit was an exercise in maintaining the rage and frustration felt by Trump supporters with the goal of keeping his run in 2024 in the news, and maintaining a fund-raising base. It had absolutely nothing to do with election integrity.

In other words, it's now OK across the Pacific, that if you lose an election, to simply deny the fact, put it down to fraud, and throughly weaken your country's confidence in the democratic process as you go along. 
That is obviously extremely dangerous, and throughly immoral, and reminds me of Abe Lincoln's speech in which he quoted Matthew 12:22-28 - 

A house divided against itself cannot stand. 

So we should look across the Pacific, note the mess the USA is in, and use it as a reminder not to follow down that road. There are so many examples of this in terms of firearms legislation, a largely non-existent health system and the USA's dysfunctional electoral process itself.

The Americans could do with our independent Electoral Commissions, both state and federal, and our system of compulsory voting. They could also do with our NFA, our public health system, and our largely non-partisan judiciary.

Never take your own country for granted.

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