Enough with the politics, already!

Want to break the tension with a good movie? Go see Billy Elliot. Go see Best in Show. (And if you like Best in Show as much as I think you will, rent Waiting for Guffman, by the same people – it’s a cult classic.)

Want to visit a smart website for smart value investors? Click here. It will be closed to guests at some point, but in the meantime you may find some great ideas. And if your own ideas are sharp enough, you may become a member of the club.

Now, back to politics.

You know why this is a great country? Because you can click on a site like this and distort the faces of either of our next possible Presidents. It’s a marvel of technology and political freedom. And completely useless.

Tom Cuddy: ‘Watching George W. Bush quickly naming his transition team reminds me of a football team rushing up to the line of scrimmage to get the next play off before instant replay can be used to reverse an obvious mistake!’

Joel Williams: ‘The whole Florida thing is very frustrating, since there is a clear technical solution. You could easily build a special terminal and program it to take a person’s vote. You could make sure that he did not vote for two people for the same office, for example.’

Karen Tiede: ‘Re your suggestion that they toss a coin — it’d only land on edge.’

Jim Kozma: ‘Now you’re just being flip.’

Dan’l Leviton: ‘How about they govern on alternate days?’

Ray Heer: ‘Let Gore be President of the blue states, Bush be President of the red states, and Florida become the next banana republic.’

Jim McHenry: ‘Isn’t it wonderful we live in interesting times? I really mean that. All this talk about how court challenges will weaken us. Baloney! It shows our strength. It shows how good our system is. How it works best even under stress. God bless America no matter how it turns out.’

Eric Batson: ‘How about for a little while you run a parallel column on the electoral college? Maybe we can fix this thing for the future. (A parallel column so your nonpolitical readers are mollified about its not being on finance.)’

☞ To me the Electoral College is an easy one. Yes, there are good arguments on both sides, with the abolitionist argument probably the stronger of the two. But strong enough to amend the Constitution? One of the things that gives the Constitution strength is our rarely messing with it. I’d rather put our energies into campaign finance reform, which would be far more important and not require tampering with the Constitution.

J Yoder: ‘The electoral college is not such an out-of-date idea. The World Series is determined by who wins 4 games (electoral votes) and not by who scores the most runs (popular vote). In the 1960 World Series the Yankees beat the Pirates 4 games to 3, but lost the total runs scored by a very large margin. The framers of the constitution were very worried about excess power by the majority. That’s why we have a Bill of Rights. Electoral votes restrict the effect a large state like California or New York can have on an election. If politicians win the urban areas by a large enough margin (and we are increasingly becoming an urban country), then it wouldn’t matter what happens in the rural states.’


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