Friday, November 09, 2012

The Supposed Virtue of Romney’s Conceding

Over the radio, I heard a local bureaucrat pontificate over the supposed “virtue” of defeated US presidential candidate Mitt Romney on conceding the race to re-elected President Obama as worthy of emulation by local politicians.

From (bold mine)
Speaking to a large but dispirited crowd at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Romney began his speech on a gracious note:
 "Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much."

"I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory." 

With only the state of Florida's 29 electoral college votes undecided, President Obama held an insurmountable 303 to 200 electoral college lead over Governor Romney.
The act of conceding, could in the surface, seem as sportsmanship or as gentleman’s behavior.  Yes, political agents love to draw people's attention towards superficial abstractions by pinning the blame or conflicts on people's behavior rather than from systemic flaws.

But my point is that Mr. Romney’s loss has already been an established fact or a reality when he made the concession.

So being a politician, Mr. Romney opted to save face by being gracious in the face of defeat than become a sour grape—the latter would have put at risk his political career or future political actions.

In other words, US electoral conditions vary from Philippine elections such that the former’s electronic platform which produced immediate results,  supposedly removed the stigma of cheating or electoral fraud that has been the key source of acrimony in the local setting.

Of course, we can never really say how clean the US elections had been since any electoral cheating in the digital age would have meant largely untraceable systematic manipulation.

As former assistant secretary of US Treasury and former associate editor of Wall Street Journal Paul Craig Roberts duly noted
With electronic voting machines, which leave no paper trail and are programmed with proprietary software, the count can be decided before the vote. Those who control the electronics can simply program voting machines to elect the candidate they want to win. Electronic voting is not transparent. When you vote electronically, you do not know for whom you are voting. Only the machine knows.

According to most polls, the race for the White House is too-close-to-call. History has shown that when an election is close and there’s no expectation of a clear winner, these are the easiest ones to steal. Even more important, the divergence between exit polls, perhaps indicating the real winner, and the stolen result, if not overdone, can be very small. Those who stole the election can easily put enough experts on TV to explain that the divergence between the exit polls and the vote count is not statistically significant or is it because women or racial minorities or members of one party were disproportionately questioned in exit polls.
The world does not operate in a vacuum. People act based on incentives. Laws, regulations and social or political economic systems have material influences on people's behavior and actions.

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