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There is more than enough time to fix US democracy - open letter to Sen. Feinstein

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Message Alastair Thompson



Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the
Senate Rules Committee, said she had already decided against seeking any major changes in voting equipment before 2010.

"My sense is there's no way to get this thing in place by the election of 2008," Ms. Feinstein said. "Without adequate time, we could cause real problems
in the election."

---- NYT: Overhaul Plan for Vote System Will Be Delayed - Friday 20
July 2007.

Dear Dianne,

The idea that the self-proclaimed "greatest democracy in the world" is
unable to prepare to hold a "legitimate" election by November 2008
fifteen and a half months out from the day is one of the most
appalling assertions I have had the misfortune to hear uttered by any
politician period.

It is absolutely extraordinary that this remark should be made from
someone who is clearly in the wing of the Democratic party most
sympathetic to the need to fix the US Democracy apparatus.

Your colleague from Califoria Barbara Boxer's brave challenge to the
2004 election result is one of the defining moments of recent American
political history, as was the Senate's failure to challenge the 2000 result highlighted in Fahrenheit 911.

If you and your colleagues hold to this opinion and simply give up on
US Democracy more than 15 months out from one of the most important elections in history - then today will become another defining moment.

If your opinion is based on advice from Democratic Party officials and
campaign chairs then that advice is flawed and those officials and
campaign chairs should be directed to adopt an open mind to the

If your opinion is based on advice from lobbyists you should ask them
if they think ENSURING A VALID LEGITIMATE VOTE COUNT is an overarching requirement for democracy to function.

If they respond in anything other than the affirmative you should not
listen to a word they say as they are clearly ABJECT MORONS. This is
no longer a question of political practicality, pork and hypothetical threats.

The US voting public are losing faith in US Democracy. If these votes
hear a message from the people charged with protecting it at the
highest level that 16 months is not long enough to prepare to hold A
VALID LEGITIMATE VOTE COUNT then they will have every reason to
relinquish what remaining faith in democracy they have.

It is vital to the very maintenance of the US Constitution that the
2008 primary elections for the Presidential Candidates is not subject
to the degree of doubt that is now associated with the 2000,2002,2004
and 2006 Federal elections. 8 years of broken democracy is more than enough. 12 years is plain careless.

It is now JULY 2007.

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Alastair Thompson is co-editor of Scoop.
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