Polswatch

Outlining a Progressive Future

The Importance of A Neutral Electoral Commission

A very quick post today. As the Al Franken/Norm Coleman Minnesota Senate race continues to go on in the United States it is becoming clearer and clearer how important a neutral electoral commission is. In this video, Governor Tim Pawlenty (a Republican) discusses how he will act in the future as the man who is destined to be the final sign off point to declare either of these two as the winner of the race (along with the Secretary of State, who is a Democrat).

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/04/09/gov_pawlenty_on_the_frankencoleman_race.html

Whilst I think Pawlenty is much better than many other Republicans (just in general) it is clear to see here the level of bias within the way he speaks about the race, which I believe would happen for any Governor on either side of the fence (although some, such as Pawlenty would be better at it). For example in the Presidential race of 2000, it was the Florida Governor, Jeb Bush (George Bush’s brother) and the Florida Secretary of State, who was the convenor of the Republican campaign in Florida who were legally obliged to sign off on Florida’s election results.

It is clear that such situations cause major problems. Having a neutral electoral commission, with stringent rules, such as that in Australia, ensures that these sorts of problems do not occur through having a higher level of accountability and neutrality when voting occurs. The success of this can be seen in Australia, where there are very few reports of any sort of election troubles and where any disputes are generally resolved quickly, due to the effectiveness of the commission.

Whilst I think Franken will eventually become the winner of the race in Minnesota, one will have to question whether the partisan nature of the electoral process in the state has and will continue to slow his victory and leave Minnesota one Senator short (a big deal in the US) for longer that is needed.

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April 9, 2009 - Posted by | Democracy and the State

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