Michael Collins's blog

Richard Charnin: 25 Questions for Nate Silver

 

In December 2009, you posted 20 questions for bill killers. Now I have 25 polling/math questions for you. Most are on election killers, but for variety, I included one about baseball (the 1951 Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff) and another on the JFK assassination.

he questions are in multiple-choice format. Many election activists are interested in your answers. Take your time and respond at your convenience. And it’s open book. You will find most, but not all of the answers in my book Proving Election Fraud: Phantom Voters, Uncounted Votes, and The National Exit Poll.

1) Approximately how many votes have been uncounted in the 11 presidential elections since 1968?

a) 10 million; b) 30 million; c) 80 million

2) According to the Edison-Mitofsky 2004 Evaluation Report, in the five presidential elections from 1988 to 2004, 65 of 238 State Exit Polls had a Within Precinct Discrepancy (WPD) which exceeded 6.0% (i.e. exceeded the 3% margin of error). How many of the 65 favored the Republican?

a) 30; b) 40; c) 64

3) In 2004, at the 12:40am exit poll timeline, the already adjusted state exit polls indicated that 16 states exceeded the state exit poll margin of error in favor of Bush. How would you compute the probability and what was it?

a) 1 in 1000; b) 1 in 1 million; c) 1 in 19 trillion

More...

 

An Open Letter to Nate Silver


by Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)
July 12, 2010

Nate, since your recent hiring by the NY Times, the R2K flap and your exchanges with Zogby you have been getting lots of publicity from blogs such as vanity fair and motherjones.com. Your characterization of Zogby’s expertise says more about you then it does about him. Zogby correctly projected the True Vote in 2000 (yes, Gore won Florida, despite what the NY Times said), 2004 and 2008 elections, yet you fail to give him credit. In fact, you rank him at the bottom. Why? Because you go along with the media-perpetuated myth that the recorded vote is sacrosanct. In other words, you discount the fraud factor and fail to distinguish between the True Vote and the recorded vote.

Below, you will see why Gore won by perhaps three million more than his recorded 540,000 vote margin; why Kerry won the True Vote by 10 million; why the Democratic Tsunami was denied in the 2006 midterms; and why Obama won by nearly 22 million votes in 2008, not the 9.5 million recorded.

I hereby challenge you to try and debunk the data, logic and mathematics used in True Vote Model. If you cannot do so, then the underlying premise of your pollster ranking system (that the recorded vote is an appropriate baseline to measure performance) is invalid.

More...

"Proving Election Fraud" by Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

By Michael Collins
(First published in "Scoop" Independent
News)
 

Stock deals are rigged for insiders.  Big money runs Congress.  And we've gone to war based on a series of calculated lies.

Are you willing to accept the fact that our elections are subject to the same type of corruption?

If you are, then Proving Election Fraud by Richard Charnin pulls back the curtain and exposes the pattern of election fraud over the past four decades.  It's not a mystery when your look at the numbers and check them against multiple public sources.   The information is all there - if the experts care to look.

Charnin is the widely known internet poster using the name TruthIsAll. He was the first to discover the glaring discrepancies in the 2004 election results shortly after the polls closed.  His internet posts on the mathematical impossibility of a Bush victory were critical in fueling the doubts about that election and those that followed.

His many posts are the basis for a consistent narrative and argument using a clearly outlined and heavily quantified analysis.  The result is a wealth of information about how elections really work and a methodology (the True Vote Model) that allows the interested reader to check the official results of any national or state election.

Charnin's straightforward style fits his subject matter.  For example, early on he makes a powerful point, one of many that appear throughout the book:

"Simple mathematics proves that the 1968, 1988, 2004 and 2008 elections were fraudulent.  The returning voter mix required for the Final Exit Poll to match the recorded vote was not just implausible -- it was impossible.  In each election, more voters from the prior election returned to vote than were alive. The fact that they were returning Nixon, Bush 1 and Bush 2 voters cannot just be a coincidence.  The statistical anomaly has no rational explanation other than election fraud." (p.52)

When the official victory margin includes dead voters and excludes uncounted votes, it's more than reasonable to assume election fraud.

How does Charnin know this?  He took the time to correlate pre-election polls, historical (Census) votes cast and recorded, voter mortality, returning voter turnout and national exit poll vote shares. Using this basic information, he calculates the True Vote for each presidential election since 1968. And he debunks the arguments designed to convince us that Bush actually won while the exit polls "behaved badly," including "reluctant Bush responder," "swing/red shift," and "false recall."

Uncounted and Phantom Votes

Uncounted and "phantom" voters are the basis for much of the analysis found in the book.  Votes remain uncounted because they're "spoiled" or of a separate class, provisional and absentee votes.  Returning "phantom" voters were necessary in order to force the Final National Exit Poll to match the recorded vote in the four elections referenced.

Nixon won by half a million recorded votes, but six million went uncounted.  George H.W. Bush won by seven million and more than ten million were uncounted.  Gore won by a half million with five million uncounted.  And Kerry lost by three million with four million uncounted.  Uncounted votes are typically from minority districts where the vote is consistently 70-90% for the Democratic candidate.  Is that a coincidence?

Had the phantom voters not materialized and had all the votes been counted, history would have changed. In addition, the Clinton and Obama margins would have been significantly higher than recorded, perhaps forcing the hoped for change.  More important, the will of the people would have been accurately measured in what we were led to believe was a fair election process.

Knowledge is Power

Specialization often times advances a particular field of study and produces greater knowledge and more useful theories, services and products.  However, in the case of elections, complexity and specialization are enemies of the people.  They take away access to and participation in the voting process and blind us to the awareness of voting irregularities and election fraud.

Proving Election Fraud dispels the mysteries of modern elections.  It walks the reader through the process of understanding how elections work, provides simple explanations of the principals of election analysis and offers an online resource that anyone can use to develop their own True Vote Model.  Of equal or greater importance, Charmin's relentlessly thorough analysis shows just how outrageous election fraud is and frees the reader to analyze the accuracy of official election results.

There couldn't be a better time than right now to analyze elections.  In 2004, less than 10% of voters thought that the election was rigged.  By mid 2006, two major polls showed that nearly half of the registered voters thought so.  It's time to take an objective and liberating look at how elections really work in order to demand that they work for us.

Proving Election Fraud: Phantom Voters, Uncounted Votes, and the National Exit Poll by Richard Charnin

END

This review may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

Disclosure:  In 2006, Charnin (known to me then as “TruthIsAll’”) and I collaborated on a three-part series which quantified the risk of fraud in the midterm elections.

More resources onlineThe Election Calculator (contains a True Vote Model);  The Interactive Election Simulator (run your own pre-election projection and exit poll simulations); and the Monte Carlo Polling Simulation - Excel Model.

The Celebration Went Unnoticed - A Big Leftist Win in Uruguay

Michael Collins

Uruguay's left wing political coalition, the Broad Front party (Frente Amplio), retained control of the presidency in the November elections.  This wasn't just any election.  The winner, flower farmer Jose "Pepe" Mujica, was the victim of imprisonment and torture during Operation Condor in the 1970's as a result of his efforts as a Tupamaro rebel.  During that period of military dictatorship, the new president spent fourteen years in prison, including two years confined at the bottom of a well.

Mujica won 48% of the vote in the initial round of elections on October 25.  He then pushed his total to 52% for a comfortable victory in the November 29 runoff voting against Conservative candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle who gained 44% of the vote.  In the 2004 elections, outgoing President Tabaré Vázquez, also of the Broad Front coalition, won with just over 50% of the vote.

Mujica set an expansive tone in his inaugural speech by stating, “My government will be a government of open doors, and above all a negotiating administration … we will demand commitment, compromise and hard work” MercoPress, Nov. 30.  He then announced meetings with President Lula da Silva of Brazil and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

In one of his first statements after the election, Mujica asked his fellow citizens "to work more and talk less," stop blaming others for their problems, and to recognize that "we are certainly not at the door of the apocalypse." MercoPress, Dec. 5

The victory was celebrated by tens of thousands of jubilant Uruguayans on Montevideo's ocean front.  It represents the second leftist win in a nation journalist Michael Reid describes as one of two "consolidated democracies" in Latin America (Costa Rica is the other).

The election is the climax of over fifty years personal drama for President-elect Mujica and a national struggle that began with a repressive military dictatorship and a revolutionary response during the 1960's and 70's.  Thousands of citizens were kidnapped, tortured, exiled, and imprisoned while urban resistance was, at times, marked by violent action against the ruling junta.

From 1986 on, a "broad front" of leftist parties aligned to fight the blanket reprieve the crimes of the military leaders.  While this referendum was defeated 52% to 42%, an expanded coalition won a 1992 national vote that prevented the privatization the national telephone company and other public utilities.

The creation of the Broad Front as a peaceful force for social democracy after years of the most repressive dictatorship is a story worth telling.  The election of a former rebel leader imprisoned and tortured for fourteen years is the stuff of great stories.  You don't have to be a socialist to appreciate the Uruguayan election.

The mainstream media barely covered the story, although a number of dailies carried the Associate Press summary by Michael Warren, Ex-guerrilla easily wins Uruguay presidency.  The New York Times relied on a Reuters News story, Former Guerrilla Wins Uruguay Presidential Run - Off.

A more in depth review of this election and the changes in Uruguay would have revealed a remarkable story of suffering, struggle, and redemption; a story that shows the long term vitality of social movements focusing on the core issues faced by the vast majority of citizens.

Years of the Condor

Under the code name, Operation Condor, from 1976 on, intelligence agencies for the military dictators in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay waged a "dirty war" against dissident citizens claimed to be "terrorists."  This meant nonviolent social reformers and socialists, plus a much smaller group actually using violence as a tactic.  The terror inflicted by the dictatorships dwarfed any rural or urban violence they sought to control.

Over sixty thousand people were murdered or "disappeared" and torture was routine.  Citizens in the Condor nations were victimized by the loss of political freedom and vicariously traumatized by living in an environment of kidnappings and violence perpetrated by their governments.

The Nixon administration established the overall methodology by supporting the violent coup staged in Chile that removed Salvador Allende, the elected president, and replaced him with General Augusto Pinochet.  There is evidence that Operation Condor was an extension of previous U.S. government sponsored efforts against the left in Latin America.

Lessons

The war was particularly rough on Uruguay, a smaller nation, where human losses and to political repression were experienced daily by citizens.  Yet despite this violent history, Uruguayans, Brazilians, and Chileans persevered to regain basic human rights. For years now, the civilian governments that replaced the military dictators have been investigating and unearthing the past horrors as a preventive measure against future abuse.  Legitimately elected governments of leftists operate through coalition building and shun reprisals.

At the same time, here in the United States, the new administration is reviving an eight year old war in Afghanistan.  It refuses to investigate and prosecute the architects of torture while it provides legal cover for the former government lawyer whose opinions enabled that torture and eviscerated the Constitution.

There are lessons to be learned from the history leading to Uruguay's current democracy.  One of them is honestly facing the truth of the past.

END

Also see Broad Front Celebration Photos from Uruguay

This article may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

Foreign Contributions and the Supreme's Overdue Decision on Campaign Funding

Fat Cat

Michael Collins

The Supreme Court of the United States will soon announce a major decision on our lightly controlled system of campaign funding.  Will it retain some limitations on corporate influence or will the court blow the lid off and cause a perpetual flood of unrestricted corporate contributions?

An additional outcome may surprise and shock the public.

If the Supreme Court overturns the lower court's decision, foreign nationals, corporations, and governments with partial ownership of U.S. corporations will, in effect, end up contributing to and influencing U.S. candidates in federal elections.

The Supreme Court surprised many when it agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that enforced key sections of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold) -- Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

In January 2008, the Federal District Court, District of Columbia upheld an FEC action that barred Citizens United, a right wing nonprofit corporation, from airing an extended attack on Hillary Clinton called Hillary: The Movie. Citizens United is headed by David Bossie, a well known political enemy of the Clintons.  Citizens' lead counsel, Ted Olsen, is an alumnus of the infamous 1990's Clinton bashing Arkansas Project.

The lower court found The Movie violated provisions of McCain-Feingold since some funding for the movie came from the general treasury of Citizens United, rather than a segregated account for political action, e.g., a Political Action Committee (PAC).  The Movie had the sole purpose of convincing viewers that Clinton was unfit for office, making it an example of electioneering communications -- the overriding purpose of which are to advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate.  And The Movie was planned for broadcast both 30 days prior to Democratic primaries and 60 days prior to the general election (had Clinton won the nomination), blackout periods for electioneering communications.

In its appeal, Citizens argued that broadcast restrictions in McCain-Feingold should be overturned to allow unrestricted electioneering communications funded directly from corporate treasuries.

But the appeal also served as a vehicle for lifting virtually any ban on corporate giving.  In 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that corporate funding of campaigns from general funds could be restricted.  The heart of the decision is found here:

"they (the Michigan laws) are justified by a compelling state interest: preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption in the political arena by reducing the threat that huge corporate treasuries, which are amassed with the aid of favorable state laws and have little or no correlation to the public's support for the corporation's political ideas, will be used to influence unfairly election outcomesJustice Marshall, Austin v. Mich. Chamber of Comm., 1990

Lead counsel for Citizens United, Ted Olsen, argued that "Austin was wrongly decided and should be overruled."  He counters with another case that claimed,"First Amendment’s protection against governmental abridgment of free expression cannot properly be made to depend on a person’s financial ability to engage in public discussion.”  Ted Olsen, Merits Brief, p. 30, Sept. 9

This challenge to the Austin decision is the true threat within the Trojan horse argument over broadcast restrictions on political hit pieces.  The goal of this appeal is nothing less than the legal treatment of corporations as the equal of individual citizens and lesser groups in the political process resulting in an even greater advantage for corporations to control elections.

"We are the World"

During oral arguments before the court, Olson argued that McCain-Feingold unlawfully restricts the First Amendment rights of U.S. corporations.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had this exchange with Olson:

MR. OLSON: What the Court has said in the First Amendment context, New York Times v. Sullivan, Rose Jean v. Associated Press, and over and over again, is that corporations are persons entitled to protection under the First Amendment.

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Would that include --

MR. OLSON: Now, Justice --

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Would that include today's mega-corporations, where many of the investors may be foreign individuals or entities?

MR. OLSON: The Court in the past has made no distinction based upon the nature of the entity that might own a share of a corporation.

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Own many shares?

MR. OLSON: Pardon?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Nowadays there are foreign interests, even foreign governments that own not one share but a goodly number of shares.

Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, Oral Arguments, pp. 4, 5, Sept. 9, 2009

Justice Ginsburg created a poison pill by putting on notice any Supreme Court majority that overturns the lower court decision:  your actions will allow foreign funding for U.S. campaigns.  Any foreign entity could simply exercise an existing or newly acquired ownership position in a U.S. corporation to demand services from that corporation's latest wholly owned candidate.

The current bans on direct corporate contributions and contributions from foreign entities would become meaningless.  The influence of the "corrosive and distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth" obtained through the control of puppet politicians would submit all of us to the vicissitudes of balance sheets and the salary and bonus demands of board chairmen all over the world (to an even greater degree than we now experience).

Supremes Green Light Foreign Money in U.S. Elections! How well will that fly with citizens in the current political climate?  Does the Supreme Court even care?

Class of 2000 Reunion

Two alumni of the Bush effort to stop the Florida 2000 recount, freeze in place various voting rights violations, and prevent any real judicial review of a flawed election are reunited in this case.  Chief Justice Roberts was recognized for his contributions to election chaos as then Florida Governor Jeb Bush's legal advisor.  His contributions were less than helpful.  Ted Olson represented George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case that stopped the recount.  He also served as a key strategist for George W. Bush's Florida 2000 recount efforts.

How coincidental that Chief Justice Roberts reached out to his Bush campaign 2000 alumnus Olson by agreeing to hear a case that surprised many when it was selected for the Supreme Court docket.

How ironic that the case presents the opportunity to bring corporate funding into U.S. politics in a way that would end any pretences of democracy as we know it.  History waited just nine years to repeat itself.

END

N.B.  Wouldn't a reasonable person conclude that Fox News violates the McCain-Feingold Act on a regular basis?  Link

This article may be reproduced in part or in whole with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.Foreign Contributions and the  Supreme's Overdue Decision on Campaign Funding

A Censored Headline and Why It Matters

A Censored Headline and Why It Matters:

German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting

Justices of the German Federal Constitutional Court.  Image

Michael Collins

(DailyCensored.Com)  The justices above are clearly the most rational group of high level functionaries in the industrialized world.  They did what no other court would do in Europe or the United States.  They effectively outlawed electronic voting.  On March 3, 2009, the German Federal Constitutional Court declared that the electronic voting machines used in the 2005 Bundestag elections for the German national parliament were outside of the bounds of the German Constitution.

They reasoned that electronic voting is not verifiable because citizen votes are counted in secret.  It  obscured a technology inaccessible to all but a very few initiates.  Most importantly, the German high court noted, electronic voting machines don't allow citizens to "reliably examine, when the vote is cast, whether the vote has been recorded in an unadulterated manner" Mar. 3, 2009.

The written opinion effectively bars electronic voting in future elections based on the complexity of voting machines and the inability of voters to watch their vote being counted.  This raises the bar of acceptability well above the meaningless solutions offered by "paper trails" for touch screen voting or the so-called "paper ballots" for computerized optical scan voting machines, the most popular form of voting in the United States.

Germany's 2009 Bundestag elections were conducted with hand counted paper ballots.

Have you heard that one of the world's leading economic powers, the fourth largest economy in the world, banned electronic voting;  said it was undemocratic?  Given the multitude of problems encountered in the U.S. and the number of questionable election results, wouldn't it make sense that when Germany banned electronic voting and replaced it with paper ballots, there would be at least a days worth of national coverage in the United States?

Nothing like that occurred.  The Associated Press (Times of India) story on the verdict danced around the periphery of the world media market with coverage in Turkey, India, Australia, and Ireland.  But there were no major media takers for the AP story in the United States.

There was every reason to carry the story.  In a 2006 Zogby poll, 92% of the 1028 registered voters surveyed said they agreed with this statement:

Citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes - 92% agreeNew Zogby Poll On Electronic Voting Attitudes  Aug. 21, 2006

That's exactly the proposition that the German court upheld.  Surely there was an audience for the German decision but there was hardly a word from corporate media.

Why did this happen?

Iranian Presidential Election Anomalies, 2005-2009

 Iran's 2005 and 2009 Presidential Election:  Curious Results

Michael Collins


Linked to "Give Me Liberty..."  Iranian People Demand Democracy June 23, 2009  &
Iranian Election Fraud 2009: Who Was the Real Target... and Why?  June 15, 2009

(also see Chatham House's detailed analysis of election fraud in Iran)

This analysis began on after the publication of the June 15th article and was
appended to the "Give Me
Liberty..." article on June 22.  It is ongoing.

Iran's presidential elections have had anywhere from three to ten candidates from 1989 forward.  These candidates must be assessed and approved to run by the Guardian Council.  Candidates for the Majlis (Iran's unicameral legislature) go through the same process.  There is a general election for president with all of the approved candidates.  if there's no majority winner, a runoff is held between the top two candidates.  The runoff occurs within days of the first election.  From 1989 forward, the 2005 presidential race was the only time that a runoff was necessary. 

The following chart shows Reformist versus Conservative vote totals since 1989.  The leading candidates and allied parties are grouped under one of those headings.  2005 data is presented for both the initial and run off elections below due the switch from Reformist to Conservative dominance.  This raises questions considered in the second section of this ongoing analysis.




Election Data: Wikipedia  1989   1993  1997   2001   2,005   2,009  &  IranTracker Data

*Note the flat totals for "Eligible Voters" from 2005 to 2009.  This is a phenomena that needs to explained.

There has been a clear record of Reformist victories since 1989.   1997 and 2001 provides the best view of relative Reformist strength.  Ayatollah Khatami had a clear platform that gave the people a choice between a more open society and the isolation of the Conservatives.

But the two time winner Khatami couldn't run again.  This left the Reformist movement without leadership.  Also, in 2004 the Guardian Council decimated Reformist legislative candidates. This was accomplished under the  radical right wing religious faction doing the bidding of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.  Eliminating Reformist in this obvious fashion is called "silent coup"  of 2004  

 In 2005, Rafsanjani stepped in to fill the void for the Reformists.  While he lacked the appeal of the politically skilled Khatami, Rafsanjani is a major figure from the Islamic Revolution and had a personal fortune at his disposal. 

From 1989 through 2001, there were four match ups of conservative versus reformist elements.  The reformists won each of those with growing margins and significant increases in voter turnout.  Khatami, a true reformer, was the most effective vote getter in the history of the Islamic Republic.  His margins are the basis for claiming that Iran is dominated  by reformists. The 2005 election even showed strength for reformists.  Many boycotted that election but their numbers were significant. 

How do you get from the history of Iranian elections to a 2009 conservative win for president?  You don't unless you disappear the dreadful economic situation, the international isolation, and the anger of the under 30 segment of the population.  It's not conceivable that voters ignored the disastrous management of the economy and regional and international isolation.

  Anomalies in Iran's 2005 Presidential Election: Curious Results

Simply looking at the final results for 2005 leads me to see this as the exception in the Reformist majorities.  The first election on June 17, 2005 showed a 16.6 million to 11.5 million Reformist win. Ahmadinejad won the June 24, 2005 runoff election over Rafsanjani by 17.3 million to 10.0 million votes.   In the course of seven days, Reformists went from a 2 to 1 advantage to a 2 to 1 disadvantage.

2004 saw the move against Reformist candidates for the Majlis, the legislative body, and the 2005 presidential election saw a sudden switch from a two to one advantage for Reformists in the first round of presidential balloting to a two to one advantage for Conservatives without any intervening variables to explain the change.

What's wrong with this picture?  What event caused 5.6 million reformist votes
to switch to the hardliner Conservative Ahmadinejad in just seven days?

 

The 2005 election is of interest due to the boycott of many reformists.  In the first round of voting the race was close between the leading individual candidates, Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani.  But if you take the June 17th data and add up Conservative and Reformist votes by the the individual candidate's allegiance to Reformist or Conservative, you have an outcome in which Reformists out poll Conservatives by 56.6% to 39%. 

That is significant since the June 24th outcome was 61% Conservative to 39% for Reformists.  The Conservative win required that a significant number of Reformists defect to Ahmadinejad.  Why would they do that?  They'd ignored the other boycotting reformists.  They had a strong enough resolve to vote to avoid the boycott of their fellow reformists.  It's safe to assume that this was to fight a conservative win.  Why would they defect to Ahmadinejad.  Was the 2005 presidential race a rigged election?

Also see:  Iranian Election Fraud 2009: Who Was the Real Target... and Why?  June 15, 2009 

Data Sources:  Iran Tracker and Wikipedia Iran Presidential election 1989 through 2009.

Chart of 2005 with allied candidates

 

 

 

 

Mexican 2009 Election Winner Is . . . the Party of Abstention

This is the 2nd post in a 3-part series on the national election in Mexico July 5 2009

Michael Collins

The boycott of the election by registered voters will gain a clear plurality, around 48%, and possibly a majority, of registered voters.

The 2009 Mexican boycott includes those who deliberately nullified their ballots and those who simply chose not to vote.  Early reports indicate that 8% are actively nullifying their vote (voto nulo) and that another 40% of registered voters are not showing up at all.  That combined figure, 48% or so, will handily beat the vote totals for the ruling PAN Party and the former rulers, the PRI, without out any doubt.  While totals will change, there is no way that PAN and PRI can overcome the anulistas and those who stayed away from the polls.

Los Anulistas

Los Anulistas, vote boycotters

Abstentions in Mexican mid term elections for the 500 member Chamber of Deputies have grown from 32% in 1991 to 42% in 1997.  In the most recent election for the Chamber in 2003 58% of citizens chose to avoid the polls (Mexidata).  There is an argument, I suppose, that the formal boycott was the voto nulo movement, defacing ballots that would be counted as such.  But that argument fails when we consider that there's a long term trend by those able to vote who simply boycott elections in Mexico and elsewhere.

Mexico's voters experienced what many believe to be a stolen election in 2006.  That experience plus widespread disillusionment with the performance of government gave rise to the voto nulo movement.

The prediction that "boycott" would win could have been made at most any time prior to the election without much risk.  But the press and politicians fail to even acknowledge this largest voting block, citizens who, by and large, see no purpose in voting.  If they did, they would vote (except for those still barred by institutional barriers).



Vote nullification advocates celebrate
their sure victory July 5, Election Day
photo:  Salamandra Negra

A Matter of Trust - The July 5 Mexican Legislative Elections

A Three Part Series Part 1

In the wake of Felipe Calderon’s surprising electoral win over Andrés Manual Lopez-Obrador in 2006 Presidential Elections, demonstrators protesting alleged election fraud occupied the center of Mexico City from July through December. On three occasions, crowds of over one million were reported. Image: Erasmo Lopez

Michael Collins and Kenneth Thomas

"Se requiere que las ciudadanos no estén ausentes ante una clase política que, desde el punto de vista ciudadano, no ha respondido y claramente ha fallado," dijo el Presidente de la República. Sociedad civil confronta a los poderes de la Unión El Universal, June 25, 2009

Translation: "It is necessary that the citizens not be seated behind a political class which, from the citizen’s point of view, clearly has failed," said the President of the Republic. (President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon El Universal, June 25, 2009)

"Independent analysis of the early vote reports indicated that there was little relationship between actual precinct totals and those reported by the Federal Electoral Institute, the IFE.  .  .  .  A graph of the initial results also revealed an odd statistical curve that looked more like the result of a computer algorithm rather than real vote totals."

Every once in a while, a politician tells the unvarnished truth. It's difficult to recall the last time it happened. Outgoing president Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1961 warning of the dangers of the U.S. military-industrial complex comes to mind. Ike told the truth but too late to matter since he was leaving power. President Calderon is just three years into his six year term as President of Mexico. Just two days prior to Calderon's statement, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (ALMO), Calderon's opponent in the bitterly contested 2006 presidential election, had filed a complaint against the media conglomerate owned television network, Televisa. Obrador argued that Televisa has shown extraordinary bias against his party, the PRD. Candidates are entitled to make complaints about biased coverage to the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) created as part of Mexico's 1990 election reform law. Obrador said:

"I stand in front of you because you are the owners of Televisa and because you form part of the power elite in Mexico.

"I have considered... that you may disagree with my certainty that the national tragedy is the fault of a group which is guilty of acquiring enormous wealth through the employment of public power, and at the cost of suffering for the majority of the Mexican people." El Universal, June 23, 2009

ALMO's point reflects the fact that Televisa is owned and run by one of the twenty families, the wealthiest people in Mexico who dominate the political and economic life of Mexicans.

As their parties approach the 2009 legislative elections, the opponents from the bitterly contested 2006 presidential election seem to suddenly agree. Calderon's "political class," which he says has failed the people, rules "at the bequest of" Mexico's narrow moneyed elite, the class that the "leftist" Lopez-Obrador is accusing of biased coverage in the congressional campaign.

In the speech quoted in the opening of this article, Calderon admits "that the situation in place in matters of security and justice "is, without doubt, a consequence of many of our omissions, of indolence, of corruption, of illegality and of impunity' "June 25, 2009.

"Who can the Mexican people trust?”

The 2006 Mexican presidential election set the stage for this year's July 5 national election for Mexico's bicameral Congress of the Union consisting of the Chamber of Representatives (500 members) and the Senate (128 members). As of June 25, 2009, the two major candidates for president in 2006 see the election system as biased and flawed. ALMO's affirmation is explicit and Calderon says that the problems are related to class issues.

Numerous irregularities in 2006 raised suspicions. ALMO ran an effective campaign and was expected to win. Independent analysis of the early vote reports indicated that there was little relationship between actual precinct totals and those reported by the Federal Electoral Institute, the IFE.

Iranian Election Fraud: Who Was the Real Target?

Original source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0906/S00163.htm

Tuesday, 16 June 2009
by Michael Collins


Iranian Election Fraud 2009:  Who was the Real Target and Why?

There most certainly was election fraud in Iran in this election and every previous election under the current electoral system. The question is not, did fraud take place in this most recent election? Of course it did. You just need to study the Iranian Constitution and recent Iranian elections understand that, a step skipped by the major media and some nay-saying bloggers in the United States.

The real questions are who or what was the target of the fraud and why? The 2009 presidential election produced a 75% turnout, an alleged landslide victory for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and widespread protests by supporters of the losing candidates. It also produced a pervasive and violent crack down by Iranian authorities.  

Rasfanjani
The reelection of Ahmadinejad is highly significant to Iranians and the rest of the world. Iran is a major oil supplier and a political actor of major proportions in the South Asia and the Middle East. Iran may join the list of nations with nuclear weapons soon, it appears.

(Left:  Is this man the target of Iranian election fraud?
Hashemi Rafsanjani, former two-term president
and Iranian power broker.
)

The most pressing current problem with Iran is posed by the nation's president who happens to be certifiably insane. He is a holocaust denier; not just once but every time he's asked. Ahmadinejad even hosted a world conference for other deniers. The existence of the holocaust is not a required issue for discussion by Iranian politicians. Ahmadinejad actually goes out of his way to showcase his break with reality. He also continues the repellent advocacy of the death penalty for homosexuality and for capital crimes by children.

Yet he was approved once again by Iran's Guardian Council as a candidate for the nation's highest office.The council consists of six Islamic jurists appointed by the Supreme Leader of Iran and six from the Majlis, Iran's popularly elected parliament. They screen presidential candidates through background checks and a detailed written examination. Very few pass the test. Since 2004, the council has routinely rejected reform candidates. That's the fraud. It couldn't be more obvious.

Copyright MMV Siavush Randjbar-Daemi


"Statistically and mathematically, it is impossible to maintain such perfect linear relations between the votes of any two candidates in any election -- and at all stages of vote counting.   This is particularly true about Iran, a large country with a variety of ethnic groups   who usually vote for a candidate who is ethnically one of their own." 
--The Teheran Bureau, Muhammad Sahimi, June 13, 2009 (or pdf of site).
 
 
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