:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Thursday, May 27, 2004  

Election 2004: President Idol?

Virginia Heffernan's got the right idea about our presidential elections -- make them more like American Idol:

"November's general elections need a "results show" like the big bash "American Idol" staged on Fox last night. Instead of distracted anchormen calling tallies from boring desks, the hyperhappy host, Ryan Seacrest, could crow in a tieless tux about how fabulous voter turnout was. Past failed candidates - Carol Moseley Braun, Bob Dole and Howard Dean, certainly - could reprise old stump speeches, all smiles now. Finally, following a sax rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by a former idol, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and John Kerry could stand up, holding hands, trembling but beaming encouragement to each other, as Ryan announced our next American president."

I wasn't sure if America's youth was ready for an African-American idol this year, especially when La Toya London was booted off a few weeks ago. It was good to see that Heffernan thought the same. But all was well when Fantasia Barrino's win brought back my hope. At the end of the piece, Heffernan pointed out "the twist" in American Democracy by allowing voters to vote as many times as they wanted to, and took back her case for moving towards American Idol type elections. It's good to know though that there's increasing demand for paper trails in places where electronic voting machines are going to be determining our next president. Doug Chapin gets my vote for weirdest metaphor on electronic voting and paper trails:

"You can either build a fence around a cliff or put an ambulance in the valley," he said. "The paper trail is the ambulance in the valley. Certifying the machines and testing them in the first place to make sure they are secure is the fence around the cliff."

posted by Anjali Taneja | 5/27/2004 11:32:00 AM | |


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