Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it."

[Elections] This cynical quote is sometimes attributed to Andrew Lack, onetime president of NBC, who denied during testimony at congressional hearings that the network, having possibly affected the outcome of the 2000 presidential election by prematurely calling it for George W. Bush, did so at the behest of a powerful Bush supporter.

Others attribute it to admirably lefty British MP Ken Livingstone, who wrote an autobiography by that title following his term as London mayor.

Whether or not voting does actually change anything, a candidate had better behave as though it does. And "change" is the watchword during this presidential primary, even among Republican candidates whose policies can only be distinguished from the current neocon occupant's by virtue of the fact that they're not being read haltingly aloud in a whiny Texas/Maine accent.

That occupant, by the way, was famously described by Livingstone as "the greatest threat to life on this planet." So whatever change we may or may not get come Jan. 20, 2009, we'd better make sure it's a little less life-threatening than the George W. Bush administration.

(Brandon Burt)


  1. bwhahaha. Lovethispost!

  2. Actually it was Emma Goldman who said "if voting changed anything they'd make it illegal". Echoing Stalins observation that "The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do."; but in either case, good post!

  3. I think Ken explained in his book that the title came from graffiti that he saw. The graffiti was relevant to the fate of the Greater London Council (GLC), which the Tories hated so much - a bastion of the left sitting across the Thames from Westminster - that they did indeed abolish it.


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