Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clear as Mud = America's Beloved Democracy

If you're anything like me then understanding the American Democratic process is about as simple as sputtering through characters 127 to 189 of the Chinese language using a British accent in front of a group of "no hablas ingles" Mexicans. Nearly impossible is what I'm trying to say in other words.

For example, all those incredibly gifted politicians who manage to balance our national budget every year have a very interesting way of tallying up the final votes in our primaries and caucuses. Iowa produced the following results for the Democrats:

1st Place - Barack Obama - 940 votes
2nd Place - John Edwards - 744 votes
3rd Place - Hillary Clinton - 737 votes

But we all know that for some unexplainable reason that votes don't actually count for real in our democracy because the official results are determined by the total number of delegates a candidate receives. And who are these "delegates" anyway? Do delegates major in voting in college? Maybe that's why they have the expertise to elect a president for all of us peon citizens who think our opinions matter. I wonder what a typical college day of classes are like for delegates? I bet they start off with Lobbying 101 their freshman year and then proceed to more advanced courses like How to Cover Up Political Scandals 560 their senior year. Anyhow why don't we examine the number of delegates each Democratic candidate won in the Iowa caucuses:

1st Place - Barack Obama - 16 delegates
2nd Place - Hillary Clinton - 15 delegates
3rd Place - John Edwards - 14 delegates

Hmmmmm..... Clear as mud right? So getting 2nd place in the popular vote means you actually get the shaft in what actually counts for making your run for the White House. But then I thought to myself that maybe it's just those crazy Iowan's who can't count correctly and like to make up their own rules if they don't like the outcome of the game. Iowa does stand for Idiots Out Wandering Around you know.

As we head off to the New Hampshire and Nevada maybe we can get a clearer picture of how this whole American pastime of voting works. Here's the results:

New Hampshire

1st Place - Hillary Clinton - 112,251 votes
2nd Place - Barack Obama - 104,772 votes
3rd Place - John Edwards - 48,681 votes

1st Place(tie) - Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama - 9 delegates
2nd Place - John Edwards - 4 delegates

Nevada *98% precincts reporting

1st Place - Hillary Clinton - 5,355 votes
2nd Place - Barack Obama - 4,773 votes
3rd Place - John Edwards - 396 votes

1st Place - Barack Obama - 13 delegates
2nd Place - Hillary Clinton - 12 delegates
3rd Place - John Edwards - 0 delegates

I'm starting to get that feeling I had when I took my first semester of calculus in college from a Russian professor who spoke with an accent as thick as the underground mafia and failed to provide subtitles for his corresponding lessons. Are things a little cloudy for you too?

Wait a second! I completely understand now. This whole political process makes our $9 trillion national deficit all make sense now. Is there a CPA running for president this year? Where's Ross Perot when you need him?!

Good luck at the polls everyone! May the electronic voting booths be kind to you. I think I'll vote for Bill Clinton so his wife loses her delegates to Dennis Kucinich which will put John Edwards and Barack Obama in a tie for first & fourth place right behind their arch rival Mike Gravel in tenth place with -2 votes.


Misty said...

I am reminded why I don't keep up with politics. At least I did get a good laugh. It was a confused laugh. Nontheless, good.