Well the election has been called and the silly season is officially underway.
Don’t get me wrong, I think elections are as serious as a heart attack. For sure, the results of some have certainly been the cause of more than a few I would think. So to gird your loins against the onslaught of political ads and the blizzard of lawn signs, I thought it may be fun (and educational) to look at the lighter side of the elections, the people and processes. And just in case you start taking your politics too seriously, remember the wisdom of Mark Twain who offered: “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
Did you know:
- In Nevada if you aren’t impressed by any of the political offerings, the state allows voters to mark “None of these candidates” on the ballot. The option has been on the ballot since 1976 and plenty of voters have used it.
- Charles D.B. King, President of Liberia won an election with 234,000 votes in 1927. The only problem was that there were only 15,000 registered voters. But this King did win something legitimately: he won the dubious achievement of being listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the most fraudulent election reported in history.
- The women of Utah gained the right to vote 50 years before the U.S. itself, in 1870. But since Utah women voted in ways favorable to end polygamy, the U.S. Congress revoked this right in 1887. Bamboozled!
- There was an amendment proposed in 1916 in the US Constitution that all acts of war should be put to a national vote, and every person that voted yes had to register for volunteer service in the army.
- In 2010, a satirical political party in Reykjavik, Iceland, openly stated that they would keep none of their campaign promises. They won 34.7% of the city vote, with their founder, who is a comedian becoming mayor. Must be an escapee from the Rhinoceros party.
- No clowning around here: Tiririca, a Brazilian Clown, used slogans such as “What does a federal congressman do? I really don’t know – but if you vote for me, I’ll tell ya” and “It can’t get any worse, vote Tiririca”. He became the second-most-voted congressman in Brazil’s history, with 1,348,295 votes in 2010.
- Everythingis changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.
- Under the category of WHY??? In order to become a Liechtenstein Citizen, you must either be married to a Liechtenstein citizen for 3 years, or live in the country for 3 years with a visa and have the entire country vote for whether or not you deserve citizenship, based on what you personally can add to the country. Betcha they don’t have a lot of border crashers.
- During the last federal elections: The Liberal party campaign emailed out a photo release on Friday, entitled: Justin Trudeau attends batting practice with the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately, the accompanying photo showed Trudeau chatting with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. The only connection to baseball is that Coderre is hoping to lure major league ball back to Montreal.
- Here’s a solution to a problem like when Christy Clark lost Point Grey and developed an immediate affinity for the Okanagan. Election laws once allowed people to run in more than one riding. In 1878, Sir John A. Macdonald, perhaps sensing a political problem in his home constituency of Kingston, Ont., ran there and in Marquette in Manitoba and in Victoria. He lost in Kingston, was acclaimed in Marquette and won Victoria. He resigned the Manitoba seat and held Victoria. He was later re-elected in Kingston. You’re in good company Madam Premier!
And finally, just as we were thinking nasty things about the Dear Leader it would appear, for the sake of efficiency, North Korea has hit the jackpot in election thinking. They hold elections every 5 years, in which the ballots list only one candidate. Boy, I’ll bet that’s a cliff hanger on election night. Pass the nachos will ya!
Vote for me! If nominated I won’t stand, if elected I won’t serve!
Don’t that just trump all?