Friday, October 26, 2007

PA election infrastructure now a "state secret"

So here we have various PA agencies colluding to not publicize a statewide list of polling locations, an action explained with a vague gesture to "security reasons." This whole thing just smells off. For one thing, the powers that be in PA homeland security cite the threat of terrorism, particularly the terror bombings in Madrid right before Spain's '04 elections as motivation. Someone in the "keep the people afraid dept." at PA homeland security should get re-examined on his or her knowledge of recent historic events. The Madrid bombings may well have affected Spain's election outcome, but they targeted a larger part of the county and city's infrastructure, its train and transit system. So I guess, by that logic my twice weekly commute out of Philly is going to have to be subjected to randomized time tables and a massive dog and pony show of PA paramilitary might come election day.

Huh, I'm not going to see that? Democracy will be defended simply by keeping "classified" a comprehensive accounting of the very places in PA where democracy is itself actually held up for account? In the minds of the homeland security "professionals", this may well be about security, but all this really accomplishes is the frustration of resource-strapped get out the vote campagins and other organizations invested in political participation, particularly those serving candidates outside of the political status quo. That real effect begs citizens to ponder more cynical calculations at play. The best way to ensure democracy is to make sure only the systemically entrenched can work the system.

This is homeland security alarmism via red herring threats to our civil fabric.

1 comment:

Cod Peace said...

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. - John Adams

Somewhere along the line it has become the case that democracy must be protected from the citizenry. The fewer people that vote, the less chance that those in power will get tossed out. Combine that with overblown post-9/11 fears of terrorism and it's natural (for the imbeciles who thrive in our failing democracy) to seek to suppress the democratic system itself.

I blame Jesse Ventura for much of this trend. His election showed what happened when you let just anyone end up with t-shirts saying "My governor can beat up your governor" and third parties gaining advantage over the establishment.