Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election 2016: Making History, Making A Deal

Right now, America is making history. We are either electing as President our first woman, or our first psychopath.

If, as I expect, Clinton wins, will Bill Clinton become the First Gentleman? FGOTUS doesn't flow the way FLOTUS. First Man? Hm. No better, if you ask me. Given his vibe, I could see a bunch of folks deciding to call him First Dude.

Guess I'll wait to see what AP comes up with. Anyway...

I just voted.

For Jill Stein.

In California.


This is what happened. I learned about something called "vote swapping." In vote swapping, a person in a swing state like me, who would prefer to vote for a 3rd-party candidate, but who does not want to help elect Trump, can make a deal with someone in a non-swing state, like California, to swap votes: I'll vote for Hillary Clinton here, if you'll vote for Jill Stein in the Golden State.

This sort of individualized political brokering across state lines and time zones might have been impractical, if not downright inconceivable, just a few elections ago.

Now, there's an app for that. A couple, actually.

The one that I used is called Never Trump. This video, from its website, breaks down how it works:

As it happens, when I downloaded the app onto my phone, I wound up chatting with a fellow named Ben, in...California. And we made the very deal described above - that I would vote HRC and he would vote Stein.

So I did, and I presume that he did. Which brings up the possible flaw in this whole scenario - namely, that it works on the honor system. Neither Ben nor I can know for certain that the other man voted as he said he would.

Still, I like very much the idea of edging the Republic one step closer to becoming a multi-party democracy. And I flat-out love the idea of individual deal-making. Makes me feel like a rebel, or insurgent, or something...like I should be strapped and wear a beret.

Vote-swapping has caught the attention of the BBC, ABC, and NBC, but I am eager to see if any post-election analysis will give it credit for any measure of Clinton's victory (my presumption). After all, as Clinton loyalists have incessantly reminded us during this campaign, the 2000 presidential outcome in Florida (and thus, ultimately, for the nation) was decided by just 537 votes.

I am even more eager to see what pundits have to say about the role that vote-swapping could play in further elections.  We'll see.
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