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29 October 2008 @ 09:54 am
"If US Presidential elections were more like rugby, the world would be better for it."  

This was written over the course of a few hours and while I can't be bothered to read over it I am convinced it's disjointed.  So; roadmap -

Rambling leading to disgust over voter registration problems in Mississippi, then treatment of voter fraud allegations in general, then rugby, then moot court.

*****

Even after you move past all the trite little Hallmarky bits of rhetoric, Home is one of the most fundamentally human concepts.

While I was in Ireland I kept a wide range of speaking engagements, from Cork to Belfast, and from Dublin and Drogheda to Sligo.  I found that one of the most effective methods for quickly developing a clear and tangible emotional link with the audiences - which were as diverse as you can get in Ireland, typically people of all social, political and religious backgrounds - was to play on the idea by illustrative reference to my home, which I do love dearly.

Simply put, by referencencing my own feelings on the subject in a direct fashion, with a touch of the poetic, I guided my audiences thoughts to their own feelings on the.  People are easily reminded of how much they miss whatever place they consider their home; and when reminded, they love themselves better for it.  It's important, in no small part because it is profound - 'Home Sweet Home' floormats aside.

... and that's why this has irritated me.

*****

I know that a lot of people have been fairly dismissive of voter fraud allegations, or on the other side hugely over-fanatical about them.  While it interests me that, as this piece notes, Democracts are crying disenfranchisement while Republicans call fraud, often over the same situations, that's not really what I'm interested in.

Voting is the fundamental form by which the body-politic exercises sovereign authority.  If the Republic were a God, this would be it's highest sacrament.  In a situation that sees it noted by the New York Times that  'round 30% of its 1.3 million voters registered by ACORN are 'faulty', somebody somewhere has to break down and objectively acknowledge that we might have a bit of a problem.

It doesn't matter if many of these irregularities were reported by ACORN; the fact is that wrongful registrations did take place, and were actively encouraged by the operation strategies used by ACORN, engendering fevered registration to boost numbers.  Ignore the fact that Mickey Mouse was registered; the poll workers would catch that easy enough.  I'm far more concerned about the ones that are far less obvious.

I also don't think it particularly matters, as a moral concept, that ACORN is working to register persons in areas and demographics that havily favour Obama.  Voter registration is an absolute end-good, until it's done wrongfully or fraudulently.

"Oh come now Phillip!" you might say.  "We all know that you hover somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun!  Surely you gloat over the increasing likelihood of systematic voter fraud in and amongst those registered by left-of-centre organizations."

Maybe.  But there are two things there; one, it has to be remembered that in the mix are Republicans and Republican organizations just as guilty; take a look at California and see what's there to see on that matter.  Second, perhaps it's that classic idealistic naivete I'm so often accused of, but I have a deep and abiding belief in the sovereign determination of the voter.  If the voters elect someone I don't agree with, eh.  Well.  It's happened before.  

Even more secretly, I'm one of those few persons who honestly believes that leaving one party in control of the Executive for too long - even if it's my party - is fundamentally bad for the Republic.  After all, in institutional terms (not denotative, ye stodgy nit-picking history majors) we are still a Republic; not an Empire.

*****

As one or two of you may be aware, there are two Rugby Unions in the world that I support.  Well, three if you count 'Whoever's playing England', but then every once and a while France might play England, which gives me a conundrum.

Be that as it may, one is the Sisters of Mercy of Gonzaga University in Washington State.  A friend of mine plays for them, and sent me a T-shirt featuring the statement "Support Your Local Hooker".  People in the know may or may not find that deeply amusing.

The other is, of course, Ulster.  Who's had quite the rough time of it.  Things were starting to look up after their brutal, crushing defeat by the Ospreys when they bested Edinburgh 13 - 9.

The universe promptly decided that Phillip's happiness was to be taken out to a woodshed and shot, delivering losses in Paris and against the London Harlequins, 10-26 and 42-21 respectively.  The Harlequins match was particularly bitter; Ulster gained an early lead, gained no more points in the first half, ending the half at 27-7.  Ulster didn't recover, to say the least.

Then on sunday came a surprise; Munster, the current Magners League Champions, came up to Belfast and lost 22-6; a stunning win for Ulster!  Especially when we ignore that Munster brought only 12 of their 22-man squad up to Belfast, leaving several key players behind.

... yeah, bittersweet.  We'll see where we go from here.

*****

Mr. Shoemaker and Mr. Brinkley asked me to serve as one of their 'witnesses' in the moot court competition in progress now; I've been kindof looking forward to it, but even though they broke through the first round of competition, I will be up on thursday at the earliest.  Kinda' disappointing.
 
 
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: 'Arthur McBride' - Planxty
 
 
 
Little Dingolittle_dingo on October 29th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
I kind resent the 'Whoever's play England' one. Just so you know. =)'Cause we suck at sports generally and need as much support as possible lol
phillipos: Black Adamphillipos on October 30th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
It's just the principle of the thing, Rhia; y'all are the common enemy. An aged but still aggressive and formidable-looking Scot told me so on a bound for Larne. And as you may not know, only truth can be spoken on trains bound for Larne!