July 14, 2003


Malcolm Knox today chides fellow SMH columnist Miranda Devine for reporting “from Sydney” on Jessica Lynch’s rescue. Then he makes this comment about Saddam Hussein:

He certainly wasn't a leader with 100 per cent electoral approval, as he claimed, but then in a free election he'd still likely have won more votes than the 24 per cent of Americans who voted for George Bush.

Malcolm not only reports on Iraq from Sydney, he runs exit polls from here. Knox should stick to sport. Meanwhile Frank Devine graciously mentions this site in a commentary on another SMH wrongster, peroxided pensioner Mike Carlton.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 14, 2003 07:46 PM

Only 41,255 people voted for John Howard, out of
12,054,455. That works out to 0.34%. John Howard stole the election.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at July 14, 2003 at 09:03 PM

hmm...yes and somthing like 24% voted against george bush. (ie in favour of al gore)
that means 76% "failed to vote against him"
A landslide!

Voter apathy might be a bad thing in itself but if you already have 100 million plus people voting and the apathy is relitively randomly spread then you still have all the normal democratic controls.. infact more than most other democratic countries.

Posted by: scottie at July 14, 2003 at 11:56 PM

More like Turd Knox

Posted by: terry at July 15, 2003 at 12:46 AM

I've just been blogging a little about Knox's article. My verdict is that he would make a good defence lawyer for rapists. He's pretty good at blaming the victim.

Posted by: wilbur at July 15, 2003 at 02:06 AM

Mike Hunt is good with percentages.

Posted by: Gabor at July 15, 2003 at 03:29 AM

I'm one of those 24 percent and I didn't win any votes at all.

Or did I mis-parse that, somehow?

Posted by: David Perron at July 15, 2003 at 03:30 AM

Years of teaching Am Govt and listening to twits like this have inured me to an extent. Look -- the apparent reason that only 50% of the eligible voters vote is the US is that they are satisfied that the system works and whoever is elected Pres will not be too bad. They're right. Except for the nutters on both extremes, no American President has been all that bad. They do good things, they do bad things, they do nothing, but the system chugs along.

List them all. Truman (thought to be too dumb to be Pres) -- good and bad. Eisenhower -- boring, good and bad. Kennedy -- charismatic, some good, bad, and nothing. LBJ -- arrogant, civil rights, Vietnam. Nixon -- criminal, open China, affirmative action, negative income tax (now exists, called Child Credit), Watergate. Ford -- clumsy, WIN buttons, not much done, not much bad. Carter -- peanut farmet, rabbit attacks, corruption among friends, "malaise" micromanagement, Iran Crisis, decent human being, etc. Reagan -- raving right-wing loony, Fall of Communism, end of Cold War, beginning of longest boom in American history, Alzheimers, cultural wars, etc. Bush I -- aristocrat, inattentive to common people, Gulf War I, good and bad. Clinton -- brilliant hillbilly, good and bad, corruption among friends, sex problems, changed welfare (check Kausfiles.com), Waco, Kosovo, Serbia, Somalia, etc. a mixed bag of good and bad, unmet expectations. Bush II -- too stupid to be Pres, tax cuts, WTC leadership, Afghanistan, Gulf War II, protectionism, compassionate conservativism, a mixed bag of good and bad.

So. No blood, no foul. Why bother to vote if you don't care because it won't matter much. The system only lets individuals have so much power. It is not like a parliamentary system.

Live with it.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at July 15, 2003 at 03:40 AM

Kudos to Frank Devine, who also did some great reporting from Vietnam.

Posted by: Wallace at July 15, 2003 at 05:29 AM

Well, if it is a choice beteween fed to the shredding machine or voting for Saddam in a free election, it is likely Saddam would recieve a large share of the votes, and so poll a larger number than Bush.
As for opposition candidates, they were last seen enjoying the view of the shredding machine from the inside.

Posted by: d at July 15, 2003 at 09:42 AM

No Jorg, most Americans don't vote because they feel their vote won't make a difference. Unfortunately. Yet it does. Can you say Electoral College? I know I can.

Of course we could discuss the vagaries of the Florida recount situation. The Dems attempt to disallowing servicemen's absentee ballots is insulting.

Why do you think the Dem's are so pissy when it comes to Bush II?

If Gore had won, we'd really be in a quagmire--of inaction.

Posted by: jc at July 15, 2003 at 12:50 PM

Don't knock volitional voting jc, it has merits which compulsory voting does not.

To illustrate by a confessional, one regards the Lib-Nat coalition another socialist party. Voting for them is only becuase what is ranged against them is worse.With this in view, for the e.g.:

1982, one returned a donkey vote .Certainly couldn't vote in the commie loving ALP, but couldn't vote for the rather pinko `wets' led by Frazer. He didn't do one damned thing viz the ratioanle for the '75 dissolution : put the unions under the rule of common law and get government out the way of the entrepeneurial and out of real earners wallets.No, Sir,Frazer and his fellow wets just threw in more spannerts tyo make life `not easy'.

That election day , one would have been content not to have shown up at a p[olling booth: why be co-erced into voting for the above shows, there are times castingy a vote is indeed a waste of precious time and so, to be coerced into it is violence, like taxation and all the other regulatory crap governments ram down the proverbial throat, plus fucktard kangaroo courts.

Posted by: d at July 15, 2003 at 01:01 PM