Thursday, July 13, 2006

Conspiracy Theories Part II

Some back and forth from my response the other day about election fraud in Mexico on Professor Long's Comment Board.

The response to my original comment:

"Old buddy." "sinister manner". So, now that we know what side you are on, let's have a discussion. I think your problem with the article is the fact that it could be true. Also, since an article like this would NEVER be published in an American newspaper, you treat it as babble and a consipracy.

Isn't it possible that your US media has failed you (all of them, not just on one side or another), and foreign papers may be accurate? Isn't it possible that there is actual investigative journalism in our world but none in the US?

Tens of thousands are marching throughout Mexico today in protest of the election. There is video of people stuffing ballot boxes. The would-be president-elect has already stated that he will not support a recount. And the same company in charge of votes in Florida in 2000 just-so-happened to be the company used in Mexico in 2006. But that has to be a consipracy, because the US media never picked it up and you never heard of it before Palast's article.

I am not saying I believe the article; rather, my belief is that you, a conservative party-liner, shouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. After all, that is the purpose of the message board: discussion.

Followed by my final word:

Just a few brief responses-

One I'm not a conservative party-liner at all, I’m a libertarian who toes no party line, and who tends to be a skeptic. you're probably right, I do tend to dismiss these sorts of stories, mainly for the reasons I outlined above. I’d be equally likely to be dismissive if this election had gone the other way and conservatives were claiming election fraud. I just wonder whether Mr. Palast would be equally probing of a razor thin liberal victory, or as likely to believe stories of fraud if it were conservatives who were protesting.

In my mind, investigative journalism should involve actual evidence. Examination of ballot lists, under votes, and the involvement of US companies is not actually evidence of any wrong doing. As a lawyer, think of this in a legal context- from the Palast article I see no evidence to prove any wrong doing by a preponderance of the evidence, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt. Maybe what Palast reports is enough to warrant further investigation, but the insinuations of electoral theft and Bush administration involvement are unsubstantiated. All close elections lead to outraged protests, and I’ve just seen no actual evidence of any widespread fraud here.


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