SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

SHARK IN THE SEATTLE TIMES. Today's Seattle Times features an op-ed by Seattle's blogging genius Stefan Sharkansky, entitled "A citizens' revolution for clean elections, new media." This is an important op-ed. Read it!

Sharkansky makes the case for election reform and dismantles Christine Gregoire's bizarre and bewildering claim that our recent election in Washington State was "a model to the rest of the nation and the world." With remarks like that, Gregoire might have been better served in succeeding the former Iraqi Information Minister rather than Gary Locke.

Sharkansky calls for a re-vote and persuasively argues for why it is necessary. In addition, he correctly places responsibility for the public awareness of the election mishaps with the New Media. Of course, Sharkansky would be well within his rights to take credit for his own role, since no one has done more to defend electoral integrity and insure that Washington State has an informed citizenry than he has. (But he's a modest man.) Sharkansky goes on to diagnose the problems with Old Media/Legacy Media, describe the merits of the bloggers and discuss the need for action to reform our electoral process:

The new participatory media have led the charge with this story because, unfortunately, our establishment media are too often partisan and credulous and as lazy and complacent as the local government they're supposed to be watching. But we Americans are a resourceful people, an inventive people, a self-reliant people. When our institutions stop serving us well, we fix the ones we can fix, and create new institutions to supplant the ones we can't fix.

It would be nice if winning candidates won every election by a substantial enough margin to render episodes of fraud harmless and to put any doubts to rest. But that possibilty does not absolve our responsibility to ensure that good laws are enacted and vigorously enforced, and Sharkansky closes his op-ed with some suggestions for reform; including a requirement that voters show ID.

Be sure to continue to follow Sharkansky's work at Sound Politics.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)


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