Banana Republics

 1. Imagine that we read of an election occurring anywhere in the third
world in which the self-declared winner was the son of the former prime
minister, and that former prime minister was himself the former head of 
that nation's secret police (CIA).

 2. Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote but won
based on some old colonial holdover (electoral college) from the nation's
pre-democracy 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 favoring the self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands of
voters to vote for the wrong candidate.

 5. Imagine that members of that nation's most despised caste, 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, himself a governor of a major
province, had the worst human rights record of any province in his nation
and actually led 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 lifetime positions on the high
court of that nation.

None of us would deem such an election to be representative of anything
other than the self-declared winner's will-to-power.  All of us, I imagine,
would wearily turn the page thinking that it was another sad tale of
pitiful pre-or anti-democracy peoples in some strange land elsewhere.

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