Monday, November 08, 2004

Election Reflections

1. Maps: A whole boatload can be found here , slicing and dicing the results. One which might be of interest to the two americas/Jesustan people is the Purple America map, which shows that some of the red states are more purple than stereotypes might indicate. Of course it also shows that some blue states are looking a little redder than we might like.

2. Fraud: Not holding out any particular hope, but as a rational man, I'd like a convincing explanation as to how exit polling in Fla. and Ohio gave such a different picture of the outcome than the actual vote totals. IS it creepy that no-one in the "mainstream" media is raising even a whisper about this? not even a "Hmm, that's interesting, how did it happen?" One thing that is clearly necessary is a verifiable paper trail for all electronic voting machines. I mean, who is against this? Don't answer that.

3. Jiu-jitsu: This is the term some of my favorite blogs use for a tried-and-true republican debating technique. Namely, taking a democratic issue or accusation, and rather than debating or answering it, instead just accusing the democrats of whatever it was, only worse. E.g. voter fraud & intimidation, capaigning on fear, funding "shadowy" 527 ads,... The media then of course reports that there are allegations on "both sides" and ask "when will the dirty politics stop?" without actually verifying the facts of the case. Bastards.

4. Framing. There's been a lot of buzz about George Lakoff for his comments that democrats don't just need facts on their side, they need to do a better job of framing the debates in terms or "frames" that favor their point of view. While I don't think this is especially a revelation--the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" people figured this out long ago, I think he's correct that the democrats need to put a lot more time, effort and $$$ to get their side out through think tanks and opinion media.

5. Polls: The one thing I did pre-election which was inarguably a waste of time was following polling data, historical trends and the like. Basically I learned that about half the country favored each guy, but the race was "too close to call." That and interminable pages of prose about ordinary americans and what they like. yeesh.

6. MoveOn. I did a bunch of canvassing in my neighborhood, essentially pestering my neighbors to vote, under the auspices of MoveOn. What I like about these guys is that they have cojones to take strong stands and aren't cowed by the right wing noise machine. There's a lot of grassroots energy there, a lot of creativity, and hopefully a movement that continues to grow.

7. Blogs. There are 4 political blogs that I read every day for at least the past year: Atrios, dailyKOS (pronounced as in "daily dose"), talking points memo, and this modern world. Each has a different focus, and I think they complement each other well. Besides getting news that somehow my local paper buried on pg. E27, I found the assortment of political junkies who read and comment on these sites to be a reassuring sign that I am not living in some alternate reality. Or at least I'm not alone there.

8. Palli. Duane, don't mind my officemate palli. he's a little bit of a redneck, but thankfully due to some events in his past, he's not entitled to vote under US law.

9. Pittsburgh. Just went to a meeting tonight of some locals who are interested in transitioning to some local issues. So now I'm off to try to save public transit in pgh. Wish me luck.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Item # 2 - I'm sure this won't be convincing, however, I'm gonna post my thoughts anyway ;)

If you're doing an exit poll and of all the people who voted, only 45% stop to participate in the poll, how can that poll be considered accurate since you don't know what the other 55% of the people voted for?

I know, for me, that I don't like participating in exit polls. It's me personal choise who I vote for and sometimes I don't want to tell anyone. Isn't that the reason for the little curtain around the booths? To keep your vote secret, should you want it to be?

Just a thought.

5:51 PM  
Blogger deo said...

Sure, a poll is only a sample, but unless the sample is somehow biased, the results of the sample should mirror the overall results pretty well. Is there some reason that bush voters would be less likely to answer an exit poll in a 50/50 state like OH or fla?

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