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5494: Comparative Voting Systems (fwd)

From: Riwilson <RIWilson@maf.org>

     It seems to me that there is little analogy between the voting 
     problems of Haiti and the United States.  
     The former is a poorly developed political system with little history 
     of a commitment to the rule of law either by the government (elected 
     or not) or its people and parties.  All sides seem willing to use 
     violence, intimidation and outright murder of opponents in the name of 
     "the people", whatever that term means.
     The United States on the other hand has the oldest written form of 
     government in the world, with no history of violent overthrow by coup 
     d'etat nor murder and intimidation of political opponents.  The few 
     exceptions to this latter only prove the rule.
     The electoral problems of the USA are not out of the ordinary, and are 
     addressed in the legal system, though it may take awhile.  The 
     commitment to the rule of law and the inviolable sanctity of the 
     Constitution and Bill of Rights give the government an enduring 
     stability envied by the majority of other peoples of the world, as 
     evidenced by the constant voting in favor of it through the use of 
     legal and illegal immigration to the United States.
     Haitian political activists give lip service to their Constitution but 
     seem willing to compromise, change or ignore it when confronted with 
     the opportunity to achieve and/or keep political power, and always "in 
     the name of the people." Dead and mutilated bodies of political 
     opponents in the streets of the cities and villages of Haiti, as well 
     as the political Diaspora of Haiti,  give mute testimony to this 
     The call for the "rule of the people" in a democratic vote is a thinly 
     veiled call for mobocracy in both countries.  The Electoral College 
     was designed to protect the Republic of the United States from the 
     demagoguery of unscrupulous politicians who would manipulate the 
     masses for their own purposes.  Those who have called for its 
     destruction over the years are proponents of "populism", a dangerous 
     political movement.  Anyone who understands democracy wants little to 
     do with it.  The best example of democracy in action is a lynch mob; 
     it is majority rule with only one dissenter--and he is hung.  What we 
     should want is a system where the individual's rights are protected 
     against the wishes of the majority.  The individual may still be hung, 
     but only after due deliberation of a jury of his peers restricted by 
     the rule of law.
     Both countries are republics.  That word says it all.  The rule of law 
     is supreme.  That is the ideal.  The call for "democracy" in the 
     United States is a call for the dismantling of the republic; in Haiti 
     it is a call to ignore any attempt at establishing the rule of law 
     over the wishes of the "majority."
     Democracy was not a term that the founders of the United States used 
     to describe the form of government they established.  Theirs was a 
     republic modeled after that of the republic that preceded the Roman 
     Empire.  That Haiti uses the term "republic" to describe its form of 
     government indicates that the original goal was a representative 
     government of laws, not majority rule where the mob directs the nation 
     for its own self-aggrandizement.
     When one takes the oath of office in the United States it is to 
     "protect the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and 
     domestic."  You do not take an oath to support the president, a 
     political party, or a movement.  We have lost sight of that in the 
     United States.  Haiti and it's people need to catch that vision and 
     place loyalty not to any political party, movement, or personal 
     goals--but to "protect their Constitution against all enemies, both 
     foreign and domestic."  Estblishing the rule of law over everything 
     and everyone will solve a lot of the problems Haiti faces.    
     Richard Wilson