File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2000/postcolonial.0012, message 2

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:11:30 -0500
Subject: FW: A View from Abroad (forwarded by  M. Trawick)

"solidarity means sharing the same risks" - Che
( la solidarita significa correre gli stessi rischi)

From: "r d" <>
Subject: A View from Abroad (forwarded by  M. Trawick)
Date: Fri, Dec 1, 2000, 8:03 AM

[Rcvd. from a member of the foreign service community living in Geneva,
Switzerland.    Please circulate broadly.  JBB]

A View From Abroad

A history professor from Uppsala University in Sweden called to tell about
an article she had read in which a Zimbabwe politician was quoted as saying
that children should study this event closely for it shows that election
fraud is not only a third world phenomenon:

1.      Imagine that we read of an election occurring anywhere in the third
world in which the self-declared winner was the son of the former prime
minister and that former prime minister was himself the former head of that
nationís secret police (CIA).

2.      Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote but won
based on some old colonial holdover (electoral college) from the nationís
pre-democracy past.

3.      Imagine that the self-declared winnerís ďvictoryĒ turned on disputed
votes cast in a province governed by his brother.

4.      Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one district, a district
heavily favoring the self-declared winnerís opponent, led thousands of
voters to vote for the wrong candidate.

5.      Imagine that members of that nationís most despised caste, fearing
for their lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in
near-universal opposition to the self-declared winnerís candidacy.

6.      Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised caste were
intercepted on their way to the polls by state police operating under the
authority of the self-declared winnerís brother.

7.      Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed province and
that the self-declared winnerís ďleadĒ was only 327 votes.  Fewer,
certainly, than the vote counting machinesí margin of error.

8.      Imagine that the self-declared winner and his political party
opposed a more careful by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in
the disputed province or in its most hotly disputed district.

9.      Imagine that the self-declared winner, himself a governor of a major
province, had the worst human rights record of any province in his nation
and actually led the nation in executions.

10. Imagine that a major campaign promise of the self-declared winner was to
appoint like-minded human rights violators to lifetime positions on the high
court of that nation.

11. Imagine that the decision whether the hand recounts should be completed
and validated rests solely with an official from the self-declared winnerís
party, an appointee of the self-declared winnerís brother.

None of us would deem such an election to be representative of anything
other than the self-declared winnerís will to power.  All of us, I imagine,
would wearily turn the page thinking that it was just another sad tale of
pitiful pre- or anti-democratic peoples in some strange elsewhere.

Barney Bate
5311 S Woodlawn, #1
Chicago, IL 60615

H. 773.684.0991


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