Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Big Brother: Oh the Possibilities

I have been slow in recovering from the last US Election. I admit to being a life-long Democrat and more liberal than is deemed decent by certain elements of the American dream. I'm finding it difficult to believe that the election was won by the 'other side'. I suspect, though I don't want to admit it, or think about it too closely, that I now understand just how those steadfast opponents of Bill Clinton felt while I was celebrating his two elections. No one questioned that he won, though.

My husband reminded me yesterday that more people in the UK voted for Big Brother, the foray into TV voyerism than in the General Election which elected Tony Blair the last time around. And it occured to me that perhaps the time has come to consider that method for electing the President of the United States. In fact, it would work in any country.

Consider putting all the candidates, whether Republican or Democrat -- and include the primary candidates, too and the Green Party and Ralph Nader (I think he might be a party by now) and put them all together in a Big Brother house with TV cameras on them 24/7. For however long it would take, but no longer than a year (well that's a short time compared with what the rest of us have to put up with)

The General Public could then vote them off one week at a time, until there is only one left. Our new President! We would see all of them as they really are -- we might even get some real and honest debate, instead of the stilted soundbit variety we have now. We'd finally see what we will never see the way it is now when they are all made up and in their best suits or casual outfits. And it wouldn't matter how much money was coughed up on mindless and endless TV ads. Everything would come from the candidates own mouth. No one could speak on their behalf.

Oh don't worry about an incumbent President. From what I see they don't do anything much except campaign anyway! And maybe the way would be that when an incumbent is running we have to do it the way we do now. Just save Big Brother for the Free For All. We could start now and have it run 4 years until the next election!

Wouldn't the best thing would be to go back to paper ballots. It works in Europe. It's a very cheap and easy way to ensure that everybody can vote. No technicians needed, nothing to break down. A paper and a pen. And people who know how to count. At the very least every voter should be guaranteed a paper ballot should machines breakdown or not be able to cope with voter turnout. Period.

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