The Electric electorate

In my insular little world, I'm a bit of a loon. Compared to my peers, I'm radically liberal - "way out there", as they often say while pointing an index finger at their temple and waving it in a slow circle.

My online interactions don't seem much different. Oh, sure, I find a fellow loon now and then, but I find a few of these people in real life, too. That's why I was very surprised at the results of the opinion polls at Americans Elect.

What's Americans Elect? Well, they have a loony idea: they want to bypass the traditional political parties and field an electronically selected candidate.

Of course that is completely insane. It's down right un-American: imagine what might happen if ordinary citizens had the ability to put a candidate on the ballot! You might end up electing someone who actually represented their interests rather than the interests of Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big everything else. It is almost treasonous!

Yet that's what they propose and part of that process is for you to join up (no cost) and answer some questions about political issues. I did that, and was quite surprised to see that my answers almost always matched the majority opinion, and in the few cases where they did not, I matched the second highest scoring opinion. Maybe I'm not such a loon after all?

Naww. I'm a fruitcake. The people who have signed up so far are obviously self selected and likely very involved with on-line activities - I didn't find out about this from Fox News.

I'm not sure why that would make the opinions lean left, but it might. Maybe conservatives don't like the idea; why, I do not know.

There is another problem, too. All you need to vote is an email address. I can have hundreds of those, so I could self select multiple times if I wished. That plainly could skew the results and a candidate who agreed with majority opinions there might actually be representing a very small number of people.

Yet, in spite of those flaws, I have hope for this. I have a certain amount of dread, too: what if it turns out that the Tea Party idiots really are the majority? I'd be more than a little unhappy about that..

I think this is a positive step in the right direction. We will see what we will see, won't we?

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An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Baal or the golden calf. As has been said before, we are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. (Richard Dawkins)

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