Forgive me for not extending my congratulations to Saddam Hussein yesterday for commanding all 11,445,638 of the votes cast in a referendum in which Iraqis were asked to decide if they were for or against the president of the republic remaining in power seven more years. To enjoy such absolute popularity, and to lead a country in which so many votes can be counted overnight, is truly commendable.
You, sir, must be doing something right.
In my country, it is difficult to find out where to vote, and our people are often uninformed when they reach the polls. In a society where a financial empire can collapse in a few clicks on a computer, the actual devices which record our votes – the very machinery of democracy – are complicated and misleading. Some people can’t determine for whom they’re casting their lot.
And we don’t even let everyone who lives here vote. Until just a few years ago, black people and women weren’t allowed to vote. Oftentimes, not all of the votes are even counted. And when they are all counted, they don’t really count
, so to speak. We have something called an Electoral College, if you can believe that. Our votes graduate from our communities and go to university, where they’re commandeered by someone else.
If you look up Electoral College in the dictionary, this is what it says:
A body of electors chosen to elect the President and Vice President of the United States.
It’s all rather confusing and unsettling.
In Iraq, voting is more simple.