Opinion

Incompetence rules in Florida’s recent elections

If you listen closely, you can hear the state of Florida slowly choking the life out of democracy. The most recent Democratic gubernatorial primaries were just another exercise in our astounding, appalling voting-day ineptitude.

This showdown was between Janet Reno, a graduate of Yale law school and attorney general of the United States for eight years, and Bill McBride, a local businessman of indeterminate background.

Call me crazy, but Bill McBride didn’t seem to have a chance. I mean, it’s like a governor from Texas who admittedly used cocaine, had a serious drinking problem, ran multiple businesses into the ground and couldn’t correctly pronounce the names of important world leaders, let alone the word “subliminal,” beating the current vice president of eight years who always had specific numbers and figures ready to answer any question and knew the White House like the back of his hand.

Oh, wait-that wasn’t just a bad dream?

In yet another pathetic election (if you can call it that), Florida has once again snubbed superior qualification, experience and intelligence to select the candidate who nobody knows much about.

To be fair, it is not all Florida’s fault. After all, Reno won 71% of the vote in Miami-Dade County alone, and most counties she lost either misplaced votes, recorded them incorrectly or illegally closed early. And McBride only won by 4,800 votes, giving Reno more than sufficient reason to call for a recount. Instead, she graciously conceded the election.

Is anyone else tired of having the rightful loser of an election win because of undemocratic actions at voting centers? Does anyone else feel their vote, provided it doesn’t get lost, is meaningless anyway?

Is anyone reminded of when thousands of elderly Jewish citizens of Palm Beach, against nearly a century of tradition, decided to see what the Republican party had to offer and “voted” for Bush?

In the end, maybe Florida is the smartest state in the union. After all, if it wasn’t for us, George W. Bush would almost certainly have lost the election, and now it seems we picked the candidate who can ensure the almost certain reelection of Jeb Bush. In essence, the Bush family owes its prominence to our incompetence. Come on, Florida, let’s start demanding more money. We’re not “electing” these officials for nothing.

Travis Atria is a junior majoring in English Literature

September 20, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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