Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Simple numbers

There's a paean of despair I've seen over and over, exemplified by this remark and response in a recent comment thread at Eschaton.
B1: As soon as the pictures became public, there was outrage all across the country. Don't sell the American public short...

B2: Never forget that half the fucking country voted for chimpy. Don't make excuses for them.
No! No, no, no, and again I say, no! Eligible voter turnout in the 2004 Presidential Election was 60.3%. Bush took 50.7% of those votes.

I make that pretty much bang on 30% of eligible Americans voted for Simius Rex. Less than a third. More people didn't bother to vote at all than voted for the missing link.

Pull yourselves together! You know there is no mandate. There must be hope.


At 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, right, but the really depressing things is that John Kerry got somewhat less (at least if you believe the voting machines, which I can't say I fully do).

What percentage of eligible voters take part in eletions in New Zealand? I suspect it's fairly high, given the strong literacy rate.

I can't figure out how to log on here, so I will just go the Anonymous route.

Red State Blues

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Mentis Fugit said...

Per this page from the Ministry of Social Development's website, voter turnout in the last few general elections has slowly declined. I suspect this is often the case when the incumbent party is expected to return.

The turnout in 2002 was 72.5 percent, which is close to the average for OECD countries, and down from 89% in 1984. (The US placed 29th out of 30.)

What intrigued me was the figure of 82% in Australia, where voting is compulsory and you can be fined for not doing so. This gets me wondering how diligent enforcement is, and how easy exemptions would be to come by.

We have general elections to change the seat-warmers in the House of Representatives every 3 years, and the election date for this year should be announced shortly. I'm watching the polls with trepidation: some people have very short memories.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OECD? Definition please?

72.5% is a very respectable number. If we ever hit that over here, the pundits would drop dead from shock.

Hmmmm, now that gave me a great idea.


At 11:41 AM, Blogger Mentis Fugit said...

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The OECD groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation.

   Czech Republic
   New Zealand
   Slovak Republic
   United Kingdom
   United States


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