[PLUG-TALK] Elections and Halloweeen

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Tue Oct 31 16:40:07 PST 2006

On Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 06:28:19AM -0800, Rich Shepard wrote:
>   Considering the vicious, off-putting campaign for House District 49, and
> this news from Florida
>   <http://www.theregister.com/2006/10/31/florida_terminals_dont_cooperate/>
> there is reason to move election day to Halloween.
>   Beyond the cynicism and disgust many of us feel about the electoral and
> political processes, we now seem to have proof that those who warned about
> the poor quality of electronic voting machines without printed paper audit
> trails have been proven correct.
>   How discouraging.

I am about as discouraged about the imperfections of political 
processes as I am about the imperfections in the establishment of
religious doctrine in Brazil.  I realized long ago that most of
the choices governing my happiness, wealth, and fate were under
my own (lax) control, and that I could achieve more by developing
self-discipline than I could by worrying about who gets elected. 
If most people took control of their own lives, then it would not
matter so much who was elected, because individuals would not cede
much authority to elected officials and government processes.

I am sorry that some feel that The Great Satan has taken over their
church of the state, but they will be happier and more productive
if they worship something else.  And if they cannot wean themselves
from a unhealthy dependence on the religion of vote counting, they
ought to at least learn to approach politics with an adult attitude.
That means individually talking to individual neighbors, listening
to their concerns, and building bridges of trust and understanding,
one on one.  This is the first step on the way to building solid
and undeniable majorities.  Winning with 51% or even 60% of the
votes is not really winning;  it just means you have up to 49%
really pissed neighbors, and that is bad karma and paralyzed public

Close votes with high emotions generate voting noise, because people
on both sides will cheat, trying to win at all costs, reducing the
trustability of the results to both sides.  It is far better to
yield a bit to your "opponents" and make them your friends, so that
for most voters most times all the alternatives are acceptable.

Sadly, most of us turn into angry chimps when we get our hands on a
ballot.  "Screw the other side" is the order of the day.  And both
sides get screwed.  What a surprise, we are getting exactly what we
are voting for - screwed voters.

So yeah, voting machines suck.  So does all other forms of voting,
if the process is used as a club against other voters.


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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