De la démocratie en Amérique

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Watching the US presidential election has never been so interesting. Actually way more interesting than those of many banana republics out there. Enough for the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to deploy an Election Observation Mission there (and they have already published a puzzling report [PDF] following their first evaluation visit).

After Bush who bans everybody but North Americans from his site (but I can still see ya, Junior!), now 58,000 Florida ballot papers go missing just days before the deadline, leading to a flurry of lawsuits. Florida, governed by Jeb Bush, once against will shine with hints of voter fraud, dirty tricks, facing election fracas by enforcing its bogus felon list again, enjoying e-vote snafu and bugaboo with electronic voting machines just as they are turned on (oh, and don't miss the chimpanzee demonstrating how to erase votes on the higly secured Diebold machines, but no need to worry now that a Diebold rep runs the elections in a California County). Oh, and I forgot about "cutting edge" user interface design.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, a coalition of private citizens and local elected officials plan to file a lawsuit to block the state's use of electronic voting machines, because they "cannot be relied upon to protect the fundamental right to vote".

And with more electoral codes than states in the US, there might be other surprises, such as if Colorado voters scrap the winner-takes-all electoral college system, in favour of a more proportional solution. Making every vote count in a democratic election, who would have thought of that before?

Indeed, let's stop complaining and recognize how far ahead the US are compared to our old democracies: technology-driven elections that can potentially be determined before a human being casts a vote, a system where you don't need to get the majority of votes to be elected, where the highest Justices are politically affiliated and can nominate the winner in case the lawsuits don't work... No, really, watching this from my middle-aged city in old Europe, I'm impressed.