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5491: Haitian & US electoral parallels: Chamberlain comments on Laleau (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Nancy's diplomatically-worded post makes some good points, but I hope it
won't encourage people to excuse the deliberate miscounting of the Haitian
Senate election on the grounds that there has been (a different sort of)
confusion in the US.  

Politicians and regime apologists in Haiti have always tried by any means
to divert their long-suffering public's attention from the country's
serious problems by pointing a finger at the US.  But the US situation is
not Haiti.  The president and ex-president of the US have not (unlike the
president -- Préval -- and the ex-president -- Aristide -- of Haiti)
threatened electoral officials and no-one fled the US as a result (as did
electoral board chairman Léon Manus from Haiti).  

The electoral law was deliberately violated in Haiti and government
officials lied by saying that the method used in 2000 was the same as in
previous elections.  And there is zero chance of any re-run voting or
re-counting in Haiti.  

Hypocritical behaviour by the US and its officials towards Haiti over the
years does not excuse foul-ups by the rulers of Haiti.  At most, the
present US confusion means Haitians can enjoy a good laugh at US expense. 
Especially as we know there's no question of an OAS observation mission
(not that it'd be really needed because there're plenty of vigorous
observers in the US, but the principle remains because the US is an OAS

OK, but then it's back to Haitians sorting out Haitian problems, not an
excuse to delay or do nothing because of what's going on in Palm Beach
County etc.  The same goes for the argument by some that because some
police are brutal racists in the US and people (especially blacks) are
publicly executed there, criticism of what goes on in Haiti is invalid.

In the US, the law can be made to work in most cases.  In Haiti, sadly, the
law does not work in most cases and there seems little interest by
politicians in making it work for the benefit of ordinary people.  The
Raboteau trial was a great milestone.  But it would not've taken place but
for the years-long efforts of one determined and selfless foreign lawyer,
Brian Concannon.  Making laws work for the majority is a universal struggle
in all countries.  That struggle is undermined by time-wasting
finger-pointing exercises.

        Greg Chamberlain