How George Dubbya got to play in the White House.

Sunday, 20 May 2001 By MAX GROSS


1. Imagine an election in a third-world country in which the self-declared winner was the moronic son of the former president -- and imagine that the former president was himself the former head of that nation's secret police. 2. Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote, but won based on some fucked old colonial holdover from the nation's pre-democratic past. 3. Imagine that the self-declared winner's "victory" turned on disputed votes cast in a province governed by his brother. 4. Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one district - a district heavily favouring the self-declared winner's opponent -- led thousands of voters to vote for the wrong candidate. 5. Imagine that that members of that nation's most despised caste of former slaves, fearing for their lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in near-universal opposition to the self-declared winner's candidacy. 6. Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised caste were intercepted on their way to the polls by state police, operating under the authority of the self-declared winner's brother. 7. Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed province, and that the self-declared winner's "lead" was only 327 votes -- fewer, certainly, than the vote-counting machines' margin of error. 8. Imagine that the self-declared winner and his political party opposed a more careful, by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the disputed province, or in its most hotly disputed district. 9. Imagine that the self-declared winner was himself a governor of a major province, and that his province had the worst human-rights record of any province in his nation, leading the nation in executions. 10. Imagine that a major campaign promise of the self-declared winner was to appoint like-minded human-rights violators to positions on the high court of that nation. You can open your eyes now!

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