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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You want to read something REALLY funny?

start with the title of this piece in the current edition of foreign policy...

The List: How to Steal an Election Without Breaking a Sweat

with me so far...? ok, NOW, let's look at the teaser...
From Abuja to Islamabad, autocratic regimes have become adept at manipulating “free and fair elections” to stay in power. Here’s how they do it—and how to stop them.

heaven forbid the u.s. would be included in the list...

anyway, here's a few of the things being "done" to steal elections and what we can "do" to "stop THEM"...

How it’s done: It’s much easier to steal an election when there are fewer checks on executive power and no legal framework for resolving disputes.

How to stop it: An independent judicial branch that is capable of arbitrating electoral disputes without partisan pressure is a must. It also helps if polls are managed by independent election commissions rather than interior ministries.

stop me if any of this sounds familiar...
How it’s done: In countries with little or no independent media outlets, opportunities are rife for leaders to use state-controlled media to broadcast propaganda or discredit the opposition.

How to stop it: The proliferation of Internet news sources and text messaging can make it harder to control the flow of information...

How it’s done: In close elections, a popular technique is to identify which polling stations are likely to be swing votes and replace trained election officials with government loyalists at the last minute.

How to stop it: Observers from international organizations are harder to remove and less susceptible to threats from local law enforcement personnel.

How it’s done: [O]fficial results are generally tabulated by officials at centralized locations away from public scrutiny, making deliberate miscounting all too easy.

How to stop it: [Use] mobile phones to text unofficial results to a central server, creating a tally that could be compared to officially released results

well, gosh, there's just lots and lots more, but you'll just have to go read it yourselves...

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