"This country, when it was ever known on the global stage under the union, was associated with tragedy,
in terrible events like Lockerbie and Dunblane; it's now synonymous with real people power. Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This—one more—glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour." Novelist Irvine Welsh
on Scottish independence (SLGuardian) [more inside]
In the somewhat tumultuous debate over the Scottish independence (previously
), and with less than a week before the historic vote, a new voice has risen out of the fray
In what early press reports call a "surprise vote
" in a "late night session
," the US House of Representatives voted to defund controversial NSA surveillance activities. [more inside]
Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier.
Things did not turn out
exactly as predicted
. [more inside]
BBC re-reports: Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption
over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
The Sunday Times has obtained millions of secret documents - emails, letters and bank transfers - which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.
The US is a little closer to a popular vote for president. Governor Cuomo added New York State
to the National Popular Vote
interstate compact. [more inside]
was selected by President Obama to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The Senate, aided and abetted by seven Democratic senators, killed his nomination
. Why? Because
for civil rights
The Missing Right: A Constitutional Right to Vote
is an essay regarding the proposed constitutional amendment to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote
and empower Congress to protect this right. The right to vote is the foundation
of any democracy and yet, surprisingly, such a right is not part of the constitution
. U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison (D-MN)
are trying to create that right and limit the power of special interest to chip away at it.
: Some 70% of Swiss voters appear to have supported plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts for new and departing managers, projected referendum results suggest. One of the organisers of the referendum, Brigitte Moser Harder, told the BBC she thought the Swiss people agreed with the proposals because the gap between rich and poor had become wider. "From the beginning, 2006, we had the support of the people of Switzerland because you know not everybody in Switzerland is rich." [more inside]
The Monopoly game has used the same 8 "base tokens" (car, thimble, boot, scotty dog, battleship, top hat, iron, wheelbarrow) since the 1950s (with a few extras added to "Deluxe Editions"
), and since it's been 15 minutes since Parker Brothers' last promotion, they're doing internet voting at their Facebook page to "SAVE YOUR TOKEN"
. In "American Idol" style, the one with the fewest votes will be replaced by the top-vote-getter among 5 "New Tokens" (robot with mustache, big-ass diamond ring, cat, helicopter, awkwardly-balanced guitar). So far, Scottie Dog has a third of the votes (take THAT, cat people), while Whellbarrow and Absurdly-Oldfashioned-Iron are bringing up the rear. VOTE DAILY
to support your favorite "chocking hazard for under 3 yrs. old"
A Vast Left-Wing Competency
: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab
, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws requiring particular kinds of identification at the polls, as well as grassroots organizations that search public records to challenge certain voters' registrations
. Much of the modern debate about potential voter fraud has been driven by Hans von Spakovsky
, a Heritage Foundation
senior legal fellow, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, where he worked on voting issues. Writing for the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes von Spakovsky's influence
on conservative groups like True the Vote, various state attempts to disqualify registered voters, and the lack of evidence for many claims made in support of voter ID laws.
"A few days ago, I participated in a debate with the legendary Daniel Ellsberg on the merits of the Obama administration, and what progressives should do on Election Day. Ellsberg had written a blog post arguing that, though Obama deserves tremendous criticism, voters in swing states ought to vote for him, lest they operate as dupes for a far more malevolent Republican Party. This attitude is relatively pervasive among Democrats, and it deserves a genuine response."
Matt Stoller lays out a progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection
, even if you are in a swing state.
The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence
. Other reporting in the Telegraph
and the Scottish Sun
The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal
, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania
and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws.
to a nonproblem
] [more inside]
A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage.
North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1
, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
Here are some of the people who would be affected
After interminable months of campaigning, debates, and roller-coaster polling
, the first official vote of the 2012 presidential race is in -- and boy, is it a doozy. Ames straw poll winner Michele Bachmann
placed second-to-last, while former juggernaut Rick Perry performed so badly he's canceled upcoming events
and is said to be on the verge of dropping out. Meanwhile, perennial laughingstock Rick Santorum, consolidating the support hemorrhaging from Perry, Bachmann, and an ad-blitzed Newt Gingrich
, rocketed past the youth- and independent-backed Ron Paul
and, with 99% of the vote counted, is separated from Mitt Romney by four votes
out of ~120,000 -- by far the closest result in caucus history
. As the shaken field contemplates the path ahead through Romney firewall New Hampshire, conservative South Carolina, Florida, Super Tuesday, and beyond, President Obama staged a quiet redux
of his own dramatic caucus win four years ago
, a dry run for the looming general election. And as for powerhouse Buddy Roemer
? Don't worry -- his team
is ready to do battle with evil
Women in Saudi Arabia to vote and run in elections: Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, King Abdullah has announced. [more inside]
Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality
. Married father of three boys writes eloquently about the reasons why he opposes the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment goes before voters in May primary election
, when heavy Republican turnout is expected. Meanwhile Senator Goolsby
says that it is all about "empowering voters" "so no activist judge is able to decide on his or her own what marriage is." [original
Michelle Obama promotes an anti-obesity campaign,
telling her children that "dessert is not a right." Sarah Palin takes a shot at her
on a reality show, making s'mores
and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." There's hooting and hollering
from all sides. And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
Not more then a few days ago, the reddit community started a campaign to call Stephen Colbert to hold a rally tentatively called Restoring Truthiness
in counterpoint to the recent Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally
. Today redditors put their money where their keyboards are through direct action and broke the previous records and servers
$92,004 to the school-teacher funding DonorsChoose.org
in Operation Truthy Classroom
obliterating records set by Hillary Clinton's donation campaign (which has been active since 2008) in less the eight hours. (Previously,
and more previously.
On May 18, 2009, the Governor of Washington state signed into law SB 5688
, granting near-equal legal standing to state registered domestic partners
, meaning mainly (but not exclusively) same-sex couples. This new law, nicknamed the "everything but marriage" law was to go into effect at the end of July. Due to efforts made by some conservative
groups, the measure will now be up for a public vote on the November 3, 2009 ballot in the form of Referendum 71
. [more inside]
week, everyone! The last of the semi-finals was last night, and the twenty-five entries are now set for this Saturday's extravaganza in Moscow, the most expensive
and flashy yet. After last year's controversy
over votes motivated by regional politics and entries that detracted from the, er, dignity of the event, the Eurovision voting mechanism has changed
Western countries in particular have brought in the heavy musical muscle, with Andrew Lloyd Webber writing the UK song
, the amazing Patricia Kaas
singing for France, and Dita von Teese
performing on stage with the German entry.
You can't vote from outside of Europe, and you might struggle to watch the contest live from outside Europe. But you can have your very own Mefi Eurovision experience right here! Get some snacks and lots of booze, settle in, view the twenty-five entries here, and decide for yourselves. (MLYT warning) [more inside]
: the authors of Kieskompas, a "Vote-O-Mat
"-style tool for the undecided Dutch voter, following up on their adaptation for the US Presidential election
(previously on MeFi
), will launch an EU-wide version for the European Parliament elections
upcoming in June.
So Europeans, urge your political parties to register
! The tool itself will launch in May.
at WhiteHouse.gov is asking you to vote for the questions you want Obama to address Thursday night. Like digg
, but more governmentally.
Having trouble voting? Have a question about the polling process in your state? The folks at the non-partisan 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection Hotline
are there to help. Online, they offer information about voting in your state
, the ability to report problems at the polls
or live chat with Election Protection workers.
SLYT. From the creator of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, NC Neighbors, Vote 08
(NSFW). [more inside]
Do you know what to do if your vote is suppressed?
GOODVOTE.ORG is a group of volunteers from the technology community and blogosphere who simply want the will of the voters to be reflected in the result of the 2008 election. Our only purpose is to make sure that when legitimate voters are challenged they know who to turn to for help.
Terry Tate would like to let you know to Get Out The Vote
! He also has a couple of messages for Sarah Palin. He's coming From Russia With Love
to tell you Reading Is Fundamental
to establishing your world view. [more inside]
The Choice 2008
is the newest report
from PBS's Frontline
. It examines the backgrounds, both personal and political, of John McCain and Barack Obama. You can also watch the entire two-hour show on YouTube
As we approach Nov. 4, I'm reminded that an estimated 5.3 million Americans are prohibited from voting
because of a felony conviction. The ACLU breaks it down
The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories needs your vote.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, The Bookseller is pleased to announce the "Diagram of Diagrams" – a public vote to find the oddest book title of the past 30 years.
Direct link to poll page is here
. There are only a few days left to do your part for world-wide (literary) democracy!
Kucinich Asks for New Hampshire Recount in the Interest of Election Integrity.
A little earlier in the election cycle this time around, many people are worried about serious discrepancies between pre-election opinion polling
and exit polls
, which both had Obama winning by a substantial percentage, and the official results. Obama also appears to have won in hand-counted precincts
while Clinton seems to have dominated in precincts which counted the votes with the Diebold Accuvote TSx
optical-scan machines, which have been shown to be susceptible to a memory card hack
. [more inside]
“I’m an old computer nerd,” Diener said. “I can do anything with computers. Nothing’s wrong with computers. But this is the worst way to run an election.”
NYTMag piece on electronic voting, voter confidence, and the impact of old-fashioned problems like printer jams, befuddled voters and volunteers, and interface design flaws. By Clive Thompson