14 April 2008

Was Bush's Re-Election Really That Different To Mugabes?

Listening to the news from Zimbabwe, I can't help thinking back to the US Presidential Elections in 2000 and 2004.

Restrictions on the number of polling booths in Democratic wards leading to five hour or more queues and no time for people to vote, intimidation of voters, mass media mis-information, playing the politics of fear with the electorate (white farmers in Zimbabwe, black Arabs in the US), counting and registration irregularities and biased polling officials, delays in the release of vote counts and counts stopped completely by the law courts.

All of these have happened in both the US and Zimbabwe. Now I am not saying that Republican methods in the US have been as brutal or blatant as Zanu PF in Zimbabwe, but it makes you pause for thought, doesn't it?


  1. It sounds more and more like a British General Election every day!

    Is it any coincidence that most postal votes in Northern Ireland are for Sinn Fein!!?

    PS At least Mugabe has held an election, Gordon Brown looked over the precipice and decided to make the British suffer for another two years before holding one...

  2. No Neil, not really. I can't claim that elections in the US are perfect - of course they're not. I will claim that they are free of large-scale bias. There were isolated incidents where republicans played any number of dirty tricks to try to prevent democrats from voting. Against that, one might set the city of Chicago, where the dead only vote twice.

    The facts are that about half of the US voted for Mr. Bush, and about half voted for Mr. Kerry. That fairly represents the public opinion - in 2004, about half the country did indeed support Mr. Bush.

    I'm afraid that comparing, at any level, President Bush to President Muagbe merely betrays your irrationality and lack of perspective.

  3. Even if Mugabe does lose the next election, I suspect the opposition will be just as bad once in power.

    Zimbabwe shows what happens when managers are kicked out and workers take over!

  4. Dumb question!

    Bush (for all his faults) abided by the judges' decision; he hasn't caused 100,000% inflation; he hasn't killed and imprisoned political opponents; he hasn't brought the US economy to its knees, and whatever happens, we know that come the end of this year, we are rid of him for good.

    And as Snafu points out, whoever comes after Mugabe will be just as bad.

  5. Mark; I'll give you the inflation one, but are you sure he hasn't killed or imprisoned political opponents? Rendition? Guantanamo? Saddam? Iraq? etc. The US economy is no Zimbabwe but it is hardly a picture of health either. Yes Bush is gone this year but his party are gearing up to rig the election again for yet another faceless crony to take over.