Monday, August 24, 2009

Election Fraud: Real or Imagined?

By Stanford Matthews Is it simply a growing trend in conspiracy theories or is there valid evidence that election fraud is omnipresent in those countries of the world which allow citizens to choose their leaders? Reports on the latest challenges in an election deemed noteworthy by the various media is highlighted below. There is mounting concern about the aftermath of Afghanistan's presidential election. No results or even an estimated voter turnout have been announced by the country's election officials. Partial results from some provinces are expected Tuesday, however. But the election overseers say official results may have to be delayed while they investigate a rising number of serious charges of voting fraud. According to another report both sides make a claim of election fraud. Both the campaigns of incumbent President Hamid Karzai and his top challenger, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, accuse the other of illegal campaign activities and tampering with the voting process. Earlier this year an election in Iran accompanied by subsequent charges of election fraud caused a 'stir' that has not been satisfactorily resolved. It has been reported that the event is responsible for disruptions of alliances in the ruling elite. Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi repeated her call for a fresh election in Iran, held under the supervision of the United Nations. Speaking during a visit to South Korea, Ebadi said a new presidential election with U.N. oversight could help end the unrest that erupted after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 re-election. Ebadi made similar comments during a protest speech in Amsterdam last month. She also asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit Iran to receive a first-hand account of human rights abuses. The secretary-general Monday sent what his office called a "customary letter" on his inauguration congratulating him, though the text would not be made public. And then a contrast in claims of election fraud and media coverage on conspiracy theories. Massive street protests by millions of peaceful demonstrators waving homemade signs and wearing bracelets displaying the color of their movement? At least 20 protesters gunned down by authorities and paramilitaries? Worldwide moral indignation stirred up by the international media? Iran 2009? Yes! Mexico 2006? Yes and no. All aspects of the above scenario describe the Great Mexican Electoral Flimflam three years ago this July 2nd - save for the conundrum of worldwide moral indignation. Virtually ignored by the international media, the stealing of the Mexican presidential election by the right-wing oligarchy stirred little indignation anywhere outside of Mexico. Imagine that. Something claimed as stolen in Mexico. With all the rants following elections in the US that disappointed the liberal masses comes a stunning development within the conservative ranks in America. The primary question conservatives are afraid to ask is “What if the election is very close and Obama wins, then what?” Will the McCain campaign protest? Is there a cadre of thousands of lawyers ready to jump on the ACORN voter registration fraud issue, or the Obama campaign pre-paid credit card donation debacle, or the many suspected votes cast for Obama by non-citizens? Obama and his “thousands of attorneys” have answers to all these “trumped-up” complaints by the GOP. The DNC has convinced the Kool-aid crowd that Bush stole the last two elections, and they aren’t about the let that pass. So, hang on to you hats, and further down in this article you will find the Obama/DNC election fraud playbook. WHAT???? Conservatives would consider leveling charges of election fraud???? Yes, it has come nearly full circle. Beyond the long standing American political rivalry between left and right there are other left and right battles making claim on election fraud. Not to be outdone by anyone else Venezuela's Hugo Chavez successfully cheated term limits for his electoral ambitions. As for the Russian Bear.... It has been 10 years since an ailing Boris Yeltsin promoted Putin from security chief to prime minister on Aug. 9, 1999. He was elected president the following year and in 2008 he handed the post -- but not all the power -- to a hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev. Putin became prime minister again, allowed almost all the men he surrounded himself with as president to remain in power, and is still understood to call the major shots. For what once appeared as an aberration in American politics, if not world public affairs, political corruption in the form of 'vote early, vote often' has risen to a level that reduces the discussion to one simple inquiry. If all elections are suspect does anything else in public debate matter? Or is this a new strategy to distract?

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