Monday, August 28, 2006

Of the people, by the people, for, um...

In a recent study performed by the Rasmussen Reports, it turns out that a plurality of voters believe that the voting process itself is intrinsically flawed and unfair. Of course, the number of people who tend to think that has remained relatively constant for the last decade or so, with the only shift being which side of the partisan line people toe. After all, it should come as no surprise that more Republicans believe in the fairness of the system now, whereas more Democrats put their faith into it back during the Clinton years.

Really, what this one portion of the study shows is the tendency by people to want to blame something other than themselves or the group they're backing for failure. How often can you watch a sporting event and hear the fans of the losing team complain about bad officiating? And, vice versa, how often do those who support the winning team praise the job done on the field by everyone? Sure, there are always going to be those that don't fit nicely into the boxes, but there's enough instances where that holds true. People don't like losing, and they'll find whatever they can to take the blame for it.

But, when one simply looks as to whether or not the current process is fair, one really only needs to look as far as the presidential elections. Where else can someone lose and still win? The Electoral College is kind of like a disturbed version of blackjack, where you can still walk away with the top prize after the dealer's beaten you, if only you can get enough powerful friends to join your side. And let's also ignore every other election, rife with potential voter fraud, misplaced ballots, and candidates running on lies simply created to fuel their way into a posh Washington job.

So is the voting process flawed and unfair to the voter? Yes. Is there a better process out there? Probably, but nobody's figured it out yet. Should we be heading for the hills and worried that the sky is falling, just because (slightly) over half of those polled don't have faith in the system as it is? Not by a long shot. The process may be flawed, but it's the closest and best sense of honest representation that we currently have. There's not any reason to be concerned about how fair or unfair the system truly is, because there's nothing that can currently be done about it.

Really, we should just sit back and wait until 2008, where we can watch the losing party complain to the officials about the blatant holding penalty that they missed back in September.

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