With excitement brewing about the elections in Iraq, I’d like to bring things a little closer to home. According to this story about the Iraqi elections:
Around 15.5 million voters are called to the polls Thursday to elect 275 deputies out of 7,655 candidates.
According to my calculator, that is almost 28 candidates per position being contested. Here is what Richard Winger wrote about the previous elections there:
The Iraq ballot contains 75 political parties, 9 coalitions of political parties, and 27 slates of independent candidates, for a total of 111 choices. Any of these 111 slates only needs .36% of the vote, in order to elect one member to the 275-member body.
Meanwhile, here is the latest report from Oklahoma:
The Libertarian Party’s ballot access lawsuit in Oklahoma was to have had a pretrial conference on November 30, 2005, but at the request of the state, it has been delayed again, until March 22, 2006. It is conceivable that the State Board of Elections will be asking the legislature to ease the law early next year, thus making the lawsuit moot. However, this is just speculation.
Oklahoma was the only state in the union in 2004 in which it was impossible for voters to vote for anyone for president except Bush and Kerry. One must go all the way back to 1972 to find a similar instance when it was impossible for anyone to vote for president, except to vote for the Democratic or Republican nominee.
While it was impossible to vote for anyone else in the Sooner state last election cycle, we sure had to work hard and spend a lot of money to get on the ballot in most of the other states. While our resources were being exhausted just getting on the ballot, Bush and his Democrat opponents were heavily engaged in major political battles. The rules should be the same for all candidates; it is that simple.
We brag about bringing democracy to Iraq. How about restoring a little bit of it in the good ole U.S. of A.?