Franken, recounts and Indian elections

It’s official then, finally – Al Franken gets to go to Washington D.C. The only part of this that interests anyone is that the Dems have got their filibuster-proof Senate majority at last. Most people lost interest in the Norm Coleman – Al Franken Senate recount long months ago. But I remember a time in last November when it was great fun.

First, there were those votes for the lizard people.

Courtesy NPR

Pic courtesy NPR

Then there were those who wanted to make it clear they were holding their nose and voting for Franken.

Courtesy NPR

Courtesy NPR

Then there were those who preferred Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to anyone else.

Courtesy NPR

Courtesy NPR

And finally, the ones who couldn’t make up their mind even on election day.

Courtesy NPR

Courtesy NPR

The recount, and the legal challenges dragged on for more than seven months. All of which brings me to my question – do you think something like this can happen in India?

Do people in India ever vote purposely for fictional candidates and invalidate their vote? I know even the poor in India know the value of their vote – they are more likely to barter their vote for a color TV or a sari, but throw it away? The only argument that one can make for throwing your vote is – if you fear rigging and worry that someone else may cast your vote if you don’t. That was not even the issue here.

And then how does one vote for one candidate and then change their mind immediately? You’d think someone who makes the effort to come to the polling booth and stand in line would have decided whom to vote for.

It is funny how literacy has no correlation to voting – even the most illiterate people in India have decided opinions on whom to vote for, and know the value of their vote. While on the other hand, educated, middle-class people have low voting turnouts in the cities.

I also cannot imagine a recount process lasting seven months. That alone seems so wasteful and inefficient. Has such a long drawn out recount (or similar electoral challenge) happened in India, does anyone know?

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11 thoughts on “Franken, recounts and Indian elections

  1. 7 months !! Ha ha ! The recount cannot happen for that long. But, hey, court cases can drag on for that long. Perhaps longer. The last so many days, i have been hearing of court cases challenging election of so many of the new MPs !

    Alls the same all over the world. With some difference here and there perhaps.

    But lizard people. Thats a different case altogether !

    • I agree, lawsuits in India can drag on for eternity 😦 But usually, aren’t lawsuits in such cases (involving politicians etc) decided with surprising alacrity?

      • I think the courts have the authority to fast-track certain cases that need to be decided in a timely manner. IIRC, in the past, certain disputes between parties regarding telecast rights of cricket matches (that were already scheduled) were decided in record time since it would’ve been pointless to decide on those cases at the usual pace.

    • Yes, very long time ! Back in India? The land of opportunity and home-cooked food? I must read your tweets, I am sure now they are all about food πŸ˜€

  2. YouΒ’d think someone who makes the effort to come to the polling booth and stand in line would have decided whom to vote for.

    Never walked into the cereal aisle, picked up a box of the healthy stuff only to put it down and pick up a box of those chocolate sugar bombs? πŸ™‚

    • I wouldn’t compare the two, but even proceeding with the same analogy, I have never heard of anyone, after paying for the cereal at the cashier, changing their mind and going back to the other cereal πŸ™‚

      • All cereals come with a “customer satisfaction/money back guarantee.” Unfortunately, that’s not true of voting. πŸ˜€

  3. To stop students from jumping the gates at college our principal placed a register near the gate that students would have to sign for entry/exit during class hours.

    I’ve always signed ‘Soorma Bhopli, Dental IInd yr’

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