The other night's exhibition of crazy political ideals prompted some discussion from a friend intrigued by my Ron Paulian Libertarian Fantasyland. He was particularly perturbed by the idea of things like roads and schools not being paid for with taxpayer moneys, and wondered what I thought about them. I must confess that the school angle had simply not occurred to me before, so after a little thinking I went with the standard Libertarian answer (private companies). Like all Libertarians, I became smug after giving an answer of such sufficient convincingness.
"But what about poor families? How will they pay the tuition at these privately run schools?" he countered.
Once again, the idea of people unable to pay for school had simply not occurred to me. I briefly felt my world-view beginning to crumble, but then, mercifully, sudden inspiration struck.
"We put webcams in the gymnasium and charge pedophiles money to watch all the kids chasing bouncy-balls around and climbing ropes in those skimpy shorts. This will bring in TONS of money, effectively making tuition null and void."
See, with a little creative thinking, Libertarianism can solve ANY problem. We don't need the government to solve all our problems (badly) when we have millions of citizens willing to MAKE money off all the problems.
OK. Can you please tell me why black-box voting systems are a good idea?
Putting aside the conspiracy theories as to the motives behind Diebold, and whether or not they "rigged" the election or whether they were "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes for the president next year," can anyone still say that using a system that no one knows anything about is a good thing?
The only way to run an election with this type of machine is to allow anyone and everyone to see how they work, and to be able to handle the errors as they happen -- not 2 years later when it's too late to fix. There should be no secrets, because secrets let information like the fact that over 100,000 voting errors slip through the cracks. It's a real shame that the systems failed, but requiring conspiracy theorists to find out about it is really terrible. I'm convinced that had people known what was going on when it did, there'd be alot more people outraged by this than there are now. As it is now, it's just the tinfoil hat people and me -- who some of you probably consider a tinfoil hat person.
I realize that paper ballots can be manipulated as well, but it takes a hell of a lot more effort and people involved to pull it off. With a black-box system, it really only takes one.
After all this complaining, I actually do have a solution for this problem: let the Amish run our elections in 2008.