Thursday, October 31, 2002

Who's got the barf bag?
The Guardian sniggers through Russia to monitor American elections:
Amid the worldwide outbreak of Schadenfreude that accompanied America's chaotic presidential showdown in 2000, senior members of the Russian Communist party sarcastically offered to send election monitors to Palm Beach to help the nascent democracy find its feet. Albanian politicians echoed the joke, as did President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

But the line between jokes and reality in Florida has always been a blurred one: now, America has accepted the offer.

Yesterday, the first international delegation of poll monitors assigned to observe an American election arrived in the US, operating under the aegis of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. And representatives from Russia and Albania were among them.
Actually the Independent says:
... the 10-man delegation will not be manning polling stations. ...

Rather, the team will look at the broader picture of Florida's electoral laws, how they are applied, and the ways in which US practices fall short of the stringent requirements imposed on emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
Yup, it's yet another boondoggle (YAB) at the taxpayers' expense.

Too bad. It would have been a salutary experience for the Euros to meet the Condo Commandos. Not to mention the voting dead.