Posted on | March 5, 2008 |
The math behind the vote: Review of “Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It)” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 352 pages, $25), by William Poundstone . Yup, old Ralphie boy is running again. His slogan, “Don’t Blame Me If You Don’t Win.” This is incredibly disingenuous since, by virtue of the fact that he can’t possibly win, his candidacy is run for the express purpose of drawing attention to Nader’s issues. And what better way to do that but by being the spoiler. Poundstone’s book shows that in a plurality election system as we have, spoilers can and HAVE shifted elections away from the more popular candidate to deliver the election to the secondary choice. This occurs, not just by taking away votes from the one, but by muddying the waters as to the issues. For example, in the 2000 election, Nader constantly called Bush and Gore “Tweedledee” and “Tweedledum” to emphasize his opinion that there was no real difference between the two. That’s enough to have made some voters vote Bush, because of the so-called twins, he seemed like he might be the better of the two. Ralph also receives donations and signatures from Republicans–he don’t repudiate these, do he? Ralph’s politics are not about what’s good for the country…it’s about Ralph.
Just a word about the cartoon. “Return of the Vampire” was one of Bela Lugosi’s last decent films. A B movie, but from a major studio instead of a poverty-row company, it had an excellent cast, including the very young Nina Foch, moody set designs, good direction and a lovely score by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Lugosi is in top form as the vampire Armand Tesla, the vampire who is killed at the beginning of the movie, but returns to seek his revenge. The script is very interesting–while it can be enjoyed as a 40s vampire movie, it also functions allegorically as a morality play where good is equated with freedom and evil with slavery, a very topical approach considering the war against the Nazis was in full swing.