Wednesday, November 29, 2000
|If tables were turned,
wouldn't Bush be scrambling for every available vote?
As a Canadian living in the U.S., I'm both amused and entertained (as are all of you) with the goings-on in Florida over the past 2 weeks. Canadian elections are never this interesting! Two letters in last week's Citizen made me laugh but forced me to write from a mostly nonpartisan viewpoint.
Russ Gausman and Kevin Arnold both wrote and blamed all the problems on the Democrats. Mr. Gausman says it's Gore's fault that 1,400 absentee military votes were not counted (not the vote counters who disqualified these ballots). Mr. Arnold insists that Bill Daly is stuffing ballot boxes and the Democrats are as despicable as the Communists in Stalin's Russia (this leap of logic is still bewildering to me). Their letters reek of the same partisanship that these men supposedly dislike.
Let me ask your readers a question: If the election had turned out that Bush was a few hundred votes behind Gore, would the Republicans be insisting on additional hand-recounts and questioning every discrepancy? Of course they would; they want to win.
I would also fully expect that the Democrats would try to close the certification out early and deny the recounts etc. It's called politics, it's been this way for years and no one should be the least bit surprised that both sides will do anything they can to try to win. Neither side has taken the high road in this case.
Hopefully, either the Florida Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court can put some sort of framework around a solution that the parties can agree to. But I doubt it. I suspect that no matter how it turns out, the losing side will cry foul, and say the election was stolen from them.
The beautiful irony of this all happening in Jeb Bush's state is not lost on me either. Haven't heard from ol' Jeb much in the last two weeks have we? He's laying lower than a fat turkey the day before Thanksgiving. If he had any federal political aspirations, I suspect they've gone up in smoke with the nonsense going on in his state.
One more question for your readers: If the Bush team feels that they won fair and square, why wouldn't they just let the recounts go on to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt? Wouldn't the Democrats look silly? But all this Republican posturing around closing out the certification early suggests that they think they're going to lose if all the votes are recounted. Kinda makes you wonder.
Finally, I say to Mr. Arnold and Mr. Gausman, don't get yourself so worked up. This country survived two terms with Ronald Reagan, and two terms with Bill Clinton! Who is in the Oval Office doesn't make much difference. America will surely survive with either Bush or Gore. The loser (if he plays his cards right) will come out looking good for 2004.