electronic voting

After seeing Bush Family Fortunes (which details how the Florida vote was compromised…”bought for 4 million dollars”), it’s especially discouraging to read in the NYTimes today that electronic voting will go national this year despite numerous already identified problems and weaknesses.
Can you hear my sigh?
Stephen just posted for the DRP class (Democracy, Rhetoric & Performance) that one must “fight propaganda with propaganda” and yet questions whether this attitude in and of itself contributes to the difficulty of reaching genuine democratic decision-making. (We’re still debating what might qualify as “genuine.”)
This brings up something Kennaria and I have discussed on a few occassions – whether human nature is inherently incapable of rising to (or being taught, as the deliberative democrats advocate, and social constructionism would seem to support) this level of….integrity? It definitely has something to do with a balancing of regard for oneself AND others, whomever those “others” might be.

4 thoughts on “electronic voting”

  1. Steph, you sound like you could use my favorite quote by Raymond Williams right now (which I’ve been repeating like a mantra to myself these days!)
    “To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing. ”
    Don’t despair, keep up the good fight!

  2. Thanks, Camille, that’s a great one to remember. Much more optimistic than my most typical mantra, “this won’t last forever.” ­čÖé
    My mood was that obvious, huh? (Alas – no surprise there!) The sun is out now, though, and that helps tremendously. See you at the Dept Party later?

  3. Steph, I wonder if you might flesh out more of the discussion with Kennaria you invoke above. When I explain to my undergrads the basic differences between liberals and conservatives, I start with the dualing conceptions of human nature (i.e., good by nature but in need of education, bad by nature in need of discipline, respectively). There might also be lurking in your distinction a Jeffersonian impulse to educate towards citizenship vs. a Madisonian impulse to regulate the people before they become a mob. I’d appreciate reading your thoughts.

  4. Partisan communication is not always a bad thing. It reflects judgment that one position or policy better suits the problem at hand than others. Town Meetings actually aren’t partisan in the familiar sense of party affiliated-politics. Partisan on issues, of course, but not party.
    As for critiques of town meetings as elitist clubs, well, that usually depends on the nature of the community. And they’ve actually gotten less elitist than they once were (property owning white adult male church members in good standing).

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