Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Neither free nor fair

The US midterm elections are tomorrow, and people are quite reasonably painting them as the US's last chance to remain a democracy. But looking at them from New Zealand, that status looks doubtful already. Free and fair elections where the outcome accurately reflects the will of the voters are something we take for granted in New Zealand. Our electoral administration is neutral, our elections free of political manipulation. In the US, its a different story. Gerrymandering, deliberate disenfranchisement, voter suppression, and last-minute changes to make it harder for people to vote - the US has it all. And with widespread use of insecure electronic voting machines, there's also the prospect of outright fraud. Its an election system no-one can have confidence in, stacked to produce unrepresentative outcomes, lacking even the pretence of fairness. And that's simply not how democracies are meant to work.

Tomorrow, we'll see whether the US is still capable of peacefully correcting itself. If not, then Americans who want to live in a democracy should start looking for somewhere else to live.