Going to the Democratic National Convention

I’m getting on a plane to Denver, Colorado in a couple of hours to attend the Democratic National Convention, so my blogging here might become rather sporadic over the next week or so depending on busy my schedule ends up being. I’ll try to post photographs, at least.

6 Responses to “Going to the Democratic National Convention”

  1. Ed Says:

    GO Obama GO!!!!

    Now, here’s a novel idea for you tech experts to implement.

    I’m sure I’m not the only foreigner with an idea about who should win the American election. Would I even be willing to actually buy a vote?
    Now… There are a lot, (and I mean a lot) of Americans who never vote, who don’t care who wins and never even bother to show up at the voting boots. My proposal is to develop a web site that puts one group in contact with the other. The first group will always be bigger then the other so an an auction stile of site will suit this perfectly. Give a serial number as the members of the second group register, they will receive whatever amount of money is at that position in the auction queue and will have to vote for the bidder’s candidate. This will encourage early uptake and work as a kind of direct marketing campaign as word gets around. At the day of the elections, people are obliged to document (photograph?) their vote and submit it to collect their award.

    There are probably laws against this sort of things, but house the web site outside the US, (Netherlands, Sweden?) have a not for profit organisation run it and I don’t see how it can go wrong.

  2. Cyde Weys Says:

    Ed: Yes, that’s actually very illegal, and it’s frankly insulting to anyone who takes the democratic process seriously. And there’s no way to do it anyway, as all American elections are by secret ballot. Most people using the site would take the free money and then go vote for whoever they wanted to anyway.

  3. Initial impressions of Denver | Cyde Weys Musings Says:

    […] Recent Comments Going to the Democratic National Convention […]

  4. William (green) Says:

    He’s got a point. We’ve got voter turnout of around 30% last I heard.
    I won’t be voting this year for a number of reasons, the least of which is that I’m in the wrong country and didn’t file any change of address forms, so my ballot’s going to go somewhere I’m not. Further, I haven’t been able to find information on the candidates that isn’t too biased to pull anything useful from, and I honestly don’t care enough to try and decipher how they feel out of countless hours of television footage and official web sites.
    If I were going to vote, I’d probably go Obama at this point, in the hopes of getting us out of Iraq and maybe getting some of that money towards education or, [insert your chosen deity here] forbid, lowering the national debt. It’s only up to double our GDP now, right?
    On the other hand, I’m worried about what he would do to our gun control rights, and that’s kind of a key issue for me. It’s a hard choice.

  5. Ed Says:

    Cyde, you’re right. There’s no way to trust someone that will go as far as selling his vote. Even if they take a picture of the ballot paper next to their driving license, they can still go back and ask for another paper anyway…
    The website itself is probably legal (outside the US) but it is certainly illegal for someone to sell their vote in the US, as some wise guys found out a few years ago when they tried to do it on ebay. It’s a bit ironic that in the land of the free and capitalism, a citizen does not have the right to sell his vote. It’s OK for senators cede to lobbying, for political parties to accept “donations” from corporations, but not for Billy Bob to swap his vote for a few beers. Also ironic is the fact that Sheryl, who obviously supports “our hope” is able to kindly ask for votes http://www.rockthevote.com/music/featured-artist/ in exchange for an item with market value but I cannot send my £10, with a nice picture of the Queen, to Mary Jane Bob. (Interesting, Cheryl also came up with an direct marketing approach like me, good for her.)
    Regarding the reasons why only 30% of people bother to vote, Wikipedia once again comes to the rescue. I defend that some form of direct democracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy would be much better than the current representative democracy enjoyed/suffered by the US citizens at a national level. No matter how you look at it, political parties are oligarchies and you are only asked to choose between the two of them. They are as vague as they can about what they propose to do and when elected there’s no accountably for a whole four years. Just perfect.
    Anyway, just to add that I also think it is insulting to those who take the democratic process seriously. I also find it insulting that the US sees itself fit to invade another country without a clear United Nations mandate, i.e. against international law. It’s also insulting that such a mighty country keeps prisoners in jail for years on end without a trial. Unfortunately, JWB has managed to turn the US into a mockery of a country. Do as I say, don´t do as I do… The world needs the United States to do the right thing, not to behave as the school bully who got his toes stepped upon.

    By the way William, I also live abroad but I’m also guilty of not having voted in the last elections. I actually took some time off to go to the consulate and register, but forgot my voting card (Portuguese bureaucracy, don’t ask) in my other wallet. I hope to redeem myself next time…