Posts Tagged ‘elections’

New and Improved Elections

Posted in General on October 23rd, 2012 by Eugene Finerman – 1 Comment

Announcing the solution to questionable electoral counts, Diebold Corporation will produce “pre-voted” ballots for every citizen. Corporate spokesman Eugene Finerman explained the advantages of the new system. “First, the convenience is obvious. You won’t have to go to the polls because Diebold has done it for you. Furthermore, each ballot is custom-designed to anticipate exactly how you would vote. Working with Comcast and AT&T, we know your political tendencies from your monitored phone calls and internet visits. For example, none of my YouTube selections is less than 40 years old and I only download heterosexual pornography, so Diebold has cast my vote for Mitt Romney.”

Voters will have a chance to read how they voted by going to Diebold’s website. It should be up within a week of the election. If a person is dissatisfied with his specific ballot, he can call customer service.

Open Mike Night at Club Eugene

Posted in General on October 17th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

I am not going to worry about this election. Diebold has already counted my ballot; and it seems that I have voted for McCain six times in Florida and Ohio.

Of course, I have yet to recover from the 2000 election…but neither has Western Civilization. That election did answer the profound philosophical question: in a race between an idiot and a fool, who’d win? We now know: the idiot will. The idiot might do something inadvertently right while the fool will do everything meticulously wrong. Bush spoke as if he were in fourth grade, and Gore spoke as if we were in fourth grade.

In this election, John McCain claims to represent the mainstream against the liberals. McCain isn’t mainstream, he is a swimming pool at a country club–the shallow end. But Sarah Palin is genuinely folksy…just like a septic tank.

Barack Obama should accept the mantle of liberal. After all, look who is on Mount Rushmore. By my count, that is three liberals–and even Washington was a revolutionary. Secular humanist liberals founded this republic. Without them, this country would be under the hereditary rule of upper-class twits….Well, until 2000 it wasn’t.

In fairness, I will acknowledge the Conservatives’ contribution to America: they lost the Civil War.

Doge Ball

Posted in English Stew on June 26th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

The city-state of Venice was a republic by default. None of its ruling families was able to eliminate or terrorize its rivals. So the aristocrats agreed to share power but only among themselves. Their idea of a republic would be our idea of a country club. The club—the Grand Council–had 450 members; and the rest of Venice’s population amounted to 140,000 waiters and caddies. (But the club members were good tippers.)

However, even the Grand Council did not govern Venice. The club’s steering committee and executive board managed the day to day affairs of the mercantile empire. There was also the club president: the Doge. The Doge was elected for life, but the election process would have bewildered a Byzantine.

It was as much a lottery as an election. First, 30 members of the Grand Council were chosen by lot.  From this group, 9 were chosen by lot. Those 9 members selected 40 members of the Grand Council; and from the 40, then 12 were chosen by lot. The 12 would select 25 members; and a lottery would pick 9 of them. They would elect 45 members, and then a lottery would choose 11 from them. The 11 would choose 41 members–who actually would elect the Doge. Oh, the Doge had to receive at least 25 out of 41 votes.

And you thought that our Electoral College was stupid. Yet, this convoluted system served Venice for five centuries, from 1268 to 1797.

Furthermore, this bewildering process did enrich our vocabulary. In the electoral lottery, each member received a wax ball which had to be broken open. If his wax ball contained a piece of parchment with the word “lector”, the lucky member proceeded to the next stage of the election. The word for these wax orbs was “ballotes.”

That does sound familiar.