25 Oct 2008

US elections favour scary return to Republicans

I've not blogged on the US elections and don't really mean to start but note John Marjoram's letter in Guardian today here. He calls for them to consider more than just the Republican - Democrat fight...

Photos: This morning over Farmhill - a new dawn!

With that in mind I note Roseanne Barr comes out with some typically feisty comments re the US elections and her support for Cynthia Mc Kinney and the Greens here. See also Reactions of the Green Party Vice Presidential candidate to the Vice Presidential debate here.

In one shocking bit of news it emerged at the European Green Party Council that the General Secretary and the EGP had been in touch with the US Greens trying to get them not to campaign in the so called swing states for fear of damaging the Democrat campaign. The US Greens had told them where to get off. Agree!!! Can you imagine the US Greens telling the EGP not to campaign in the UK, as it might damage the Labour or Tory vote? The Gen Sec apparently went on to state that it was no longer an issue as the Democrats were sufficiently ahead in the swing states this time. Ah well Greens are not perfect!

Election stacked against Obama

Anyway more re the US elections - certainly this week the Republican election campaign has gone from one crisis to another with the seemingly barely competent Senator McCain and Governor Palin - the latter is now deliberately being kept away from the media as she shows her true colours as Mayor of Gaffe City.

However the US election is still stacked against Obama - the scale of voter disenfranchisement in America could put the Republicans back in the White House (see Peter Tatchell comment here). Naomi Wolf as seen on this blog earlier this month believes a coup has already taken place - see her scary video here.

Amazingly research by the New York Times (NYT) and BBC Newsnight confirms that the US presidential election will not be free and fair, because millions of electors will either not be allowed to vote or will not have their votes properly counted. The NYT found that in some states for every new voter registered in the last couple of months, two voters have been removed – negating Obama's massive voter registration drive. This voter purging could mean fewer people voting next month than voted in 2004. This widespread electoral malpractice is independently corroborated by a Newsnight investigation by Greg Palast. See here and here.

Palast says that almost three million voters have already been purged from the voter rolls – mostly poor and black voters who are more likely to vote Democrat. During elections in New Mexico earlier this year, one in nine voters found that their names had disappeared from the voter rolls. In Colorado, the disenfranchisement is even greater, with 20% of voters being purged. It has happened before. During the 2004 presidential election one in four registered Ohio voters turned up at the polling booth only to discover that their names were not on the voter roll, an exclusion rate of 25%.

The Republican strategist Karl Rove has backed a new law requiring voters to show photo ID at
the polling booth. One in ten US citizens don't have photo ID. Among African Americans it is one in five. This requirement will disenfranchise millions of poor, elderly and black Americans, who tend to vote Democrat. In one swing state, Indiana, an estimated 100,000 African-Americans may lose their right to vote (see more here).

Many will remember that voting irregularities in 2004 were enough to steal the presidency for the Republicans - see article by the civil rights lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr, JFK's nephew here.

What would Obama victory bring?

It is clear a McCain victory would have truly frightening foreign policy implications. However I can't say I am not also worried ny an Obama victory - many of his foreign policy statements have been less than reassuring. Indeed he sounds positively hawkish on Afghanistan. The occupation of Afghanistan is increasingly brutal. Reports of civilian deaths have been mounting as air bombardments become more intense. The occupation is in crisis, but the response in both the US and UK seems to be to order an escalation of the aggression. The outspoken General Dannatt is resigning early as chief of the General Staff and is replaced by the hawk Sir David Richards who supports a surge in Afghanistan including sending 5,000 extra British troops. Yet the British ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, recently said that the US strategy in Afghanistan is destined to fail. "The coalition presence - particularly the military presence - is part of the problem, not the solution."

The only way to end this destruction is by the withdrawal of all foreign troops, a view shared by the vast majority of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, America and Britain.

Obama on injustices in the US is better than McCain but again no real programme for the one hundred million poor people and children in the US. But hey I wasn't intending to blog on all this - there are many more knowledgeable bloggers out there that will give you the low down on these elections.

Green bloggers on election night

I've been invited to join a network of Green bloggers at Green Change for an election night online party - sadly I wont be able to join them but others might be interested - see more here.

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

News on the Greens running in the presidential election and being ignored by the media.