[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#4735: Burnham adds two cents concerning elections and int´l response (fwd)

From: thor burnham <thorald_mb@hotmail.com>

    While i claim no particular insight into the specifics of the latest 
election debacle (if indeed it is), i must say that i have to agree with 
those on the list who are questioning the international condemnation of the 
results and/or irregularities. Are we splitting hairs? Or is the criticism 
justifid? And, if it is justified, does it logically lead to international 
ostracism? sounds like a repeat of the Haitian revolution and some of the 
international reaction to that turn of events. plus ca change...
    I was recently in a country in the Americas where voting problems were 
widespread. The chief electoral officer was publicly vilified for poor 
organization, lack of ballots, and the fact that workers didnt show up to 
the balloting stations. Polling times had to be extended, and a bomb threat 
closed another polling station. Many people didnt get to vote at all. Where 
was this fiasco? It was the 1999 provincial election in Ontario, Canada. And 
yet, Canada, with its all too smug holier than thou attitude has seen fit to 
declare Haiti once again inept. (never mind the large scale fraud that 
permeated the 1995 secession referendum) And i dont remember Haiti publicly 
condemning it for its election problems.
    This being said, if there are problems, then certainly they need to be 
investigated and corrected. But i'm having a difficult time making the 
connection between Aristide´s future legitimacy and electoral problems. If 
it turns out to be that FL did orchestrate fraud, then fine, deal with that. 
  But i do find it interesting how quickly the daggers leave their sheaths 
when somebody who wants to change the status quo actually becomes percieved 
as a threat.
    By the way, the recent election in Mexico is another case in point. 
Widely hailed as an example of democratic acheivement, there were many 
problems. I was in Oaxaca in the zocalo on the night of the election. A 
fairly large crowd assembled outside the election offices demanding 
ballots....apparently the IFE ran out of ballots, so hundreds of people did 
not get to vote. They stoned the building and tried to break down the door. 
But, Fox is pretty much a status quo neo-liberal, so no one got too excited, 
which was confirmed when he backed down on his promise to pull the army out 
of chiapas...after all, it is a question of national sovereignty. i dont 
remember reading a deluge (pardon the pun) of washington post articles 
condemning the elections in Mexico, but they certainly trot out the rhetoric 
for Haiti, dont they?

my two bits
Thor Burnham

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com